I finally made it to the 9:30 Club. A singer Dean has liked for as long as I’ve known him was playing there last night so I got him tickets for Christmas. When you go they stamp your hand with a time – it was not the time we went in, because we got there after 9. But mine says 8:16. (Actually, now after reading the Wikipedia article, I think it says 8:15 – which was the name of the venue the club moved into in 1996, but that’s a long time to keep rubber stamps.)
The last time I tried to to the 9:30 Club was a disaster. Dan Bern was playing there with Ani DiFranco. While I’m not a fan of Ms DiFranco, I am a rabid Dan Bern fan and since 1998 had seen him every time he was in the area (and occasionally beyond) . I was unaware how popular Ms DiFranco was, so didn’t attempt to get tickets right away. Unfortunately for me the tickets sold out quickly and I was devastated.
I told my tale of woe on the Dan Bern email list – hoping someone might have a ticket he or she was not going to use, or might know of someone who might. Shortly thereafter I got an email from my favorite member of Dan’s former band with whom I’d talked after or before a couple of shows. He set me up with two VIP tickets and specific instructions on how to use them. (get there early, give them my name, etc).
I was delighted and honored. We booked a babysitter (the teenager next door) and cleared our schedule for the event. Dean is not a fan of Dan Bern, but he thought he’d like Ani DiFranco. Go figure.
Anyway, the day came and we got ready to go. We fed the kids and made the babysitter list of phone numbers and instructions. All we needed was the babysitter. It takes a while to get to the club from our house and because we needed to get there early for our special seats we began to be worried when the designated time for Katie to arrive came and went. We called her house — no answer. We knew her mom was out of town, but had seen Katie earlier that day. We went to her house and knocked on the doors — no answer. By this time I was in a panic. We had no close friends, and no family in the area to help us out in a pinch like this. It looked like we were not going to get to see the show.
I wanted to just jump on the metro and go myself — I wanted Dean to suggest it, but he never did. Katie never showed up and we missed the show. I was able to see it online — the 9:30 Club had a streaming Internet video at the time, but it was not at all the same. Katie apologized and said she thought it was the next night and had been taking a nap and didn’t hear the phone or door. It took me a while to forgive her.
The show last night was pretty good. Patti Smith has an amazing voice, she is entertaining and talented. I never got to actually see her, being short and unaggressive and all, but I could hear her just fine.
So now that I’ve been to the 9:30 Club – I think I’ll go back. It’s a great venue. If only they had chairs for the Very Unimportant People. I guess I should have insisted Andrew develop his friendship with the owner’s son more. (Friends of the family are always treated as VIPs)