All Ages with a Curfew

Bright Eyes played what was advertised as an "all ages" show at Columbus' Newport Music Hall. I can't quite recall the year, but I know it was during the summer and it was hot.

Opener Tilly and the Wall sounded awful, but I equate this to the Newport's infamously bad sound system. Later, better sounding performances would support this assertion. The tap dancer just sounded like your upstairs neighbor stomping around his apartment.

Bright Eyes came on to thirteen-year-old screams and calls for all various ballads of teen angst and loss and whatever else Oberst laments. The set was not particularly inspired, but it cost us enough to get in that we weren't going to leave.

Then, suddenly, without warning, the lights came on and the crummy sound system was turned off. Oberst played on, eventually opting for an acoustic guitar while sitting on the monitors.

Bouncers and the management started pushing us out of the venue. I believe my brother shouted some not-so-appreciative words at the Newport folk. They ignored and sent us walking.

We ventured to several other rock shows that night, not ever feeling like we got our money's worth. It was later revealed on a Bright Eyes discussion board that the show was only scheduled to go until 10, since it was "all ages". I have since avoided "all ages" shows. However, I may reconsider once the kid is keeping me awake all night.

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