We just had to make it out to the Doug Fir for MONEY with local openers Hawks Do Not Share. One thing was that MONEY’s album, The Shadow of Heaven, is a melodious and patient entry. TSH is an ethereal, floating, entry filled out by churning music under the trance-inducing vocals of Jamie Lee. He commands your attention with a great vocal range, but it’s his emotional intensity where he seems to almost get a bit lost in the performance that grabs you.
Too often an album seems to be in a hurry to get to the end; end of verse, the song, the album. I recall a line from the movie Boiler Room. It went something like, “If you want to get off the phone so badly, then just hang up.” MONEY let’s the song linger, grow, almost organically. This music is something akin to a cross between Ben Folds Five and Coldplay with maybe some Shins or Snow Patrol tossed in for good measure.
As an aside: I’d like to make a point to call out the girl who was talking incessantly through the entire performance. While the room of a few dozen people paid the $12 to see the performers, she seems to have paid a fee to talk…and talk, and talk, and single-handedly ruin the entire show. So much so, that mid-song, she was called out by the band and crowd…only to continue talking right up until the last note. It was at this point that Jamie made a point to ball her out as the rest of the band stormed off stage without a word. Jamie did what we all had wished we’d done the moment she became unbearable, told her she was rude, should go outside to talk, and that if she isn’t listening, then get the fuck out.
Portland has a reputation as a great music town, for talent and for crowds. When you are at a show, you are as much an audience member as you are an ambassador for your city. When someone travels hundreds and even thousands of miles (flies into your country in many cases) you are now representing the crowds of the Doug Fir, Portland, the NW, and the US. Take your responsibility as an engaged, appreciative, and respectful audience member with a little bit of decorum. Shut the fuck up and listen. Don’t try to talk OVER music being performed. Especially in a small, quiet room of a few dozen listeners.
There are times that screaming, singing along, jumping around, chucking beer cans, moshing, are all appropriate. There are crowds so large that you can scream yourself horse and won’t interrupt or spoil the show. This and many small venues in Portland is not one of those places.
The show ended uncomfortably, that chewing out by Jamie was the last impression we had, and I left embarrassed for Portland in the eyes of an incredibly talented group from Manchester who I wouldn’t blame for never coming back to this city to play for us again.
Just shut up and listen, folks. If you paid money to get in, I am sure it will be worth the money. (Pun intended)