I had read a gushing review that oakthorne had written at http://www.livejournal.com/users/oakthorne/146925.html, and I completely agree. So read his, and I'm only going to provide scattershot bits of my own experience.
- I really appreciated Gwen's introducing me to other people--I felt much more connected than I usually do when clubbing.
- I did manage to make some connections on my own, though; I had a nice chat with a guy named Dan from Cleveland, and a friendly chat with a woman named Rachel in a beautiful blue taffeta ballgown and a black lace shawl. (My status as a married man was very freeing there--not only was I not trying to get anywhere, I was trying not to get anywhere, so I could just make conversation without any goals.)
- I realized that it's been a long long time since I've been out clubbing--it's possible that I haven't been clubbing in the 2000's. The chain-link fence barrier around the bar to keep out the underages was a new addition to the Upstage for me.
- Thou Shalt Not was fairly good. I enjoyed the songs, and I give them erudition points for the lyric that used 'I am your Pygmalion' correctly. I liked the fact that the drummer had electronic drums on a harness so that he could dance around. Overall, though, I felt that Thou Shalt Not wasn't quite honed enough or something--this was almost my first encounter with them, but I found myself thinking "they could be so much better".
- The Crüxshadows, of course, score full erudition points plus a gold star. Most of the concert was structured around the story of the Trojan War (told from the Trojan side), with voiceovers from Rogue between songs about various bits of the war. "Return (Coming Home)" had a new kick for me when Rogue put it in the context of the Odyssey.
- Rogue was going out into the audience quite a lot, really moving around and engaging with people. Yay for wireless mikes. He had two flashlights in pockets of his shirt over his biceps, so even when he was out roaming, he usually was illuminated. I thought this was a very good effect.
Rogue is tall and has a tall haircut (shaved on the sides, with the top spiked like a startled hedgehog), and he's pretty big physically, so I'd find his appearance very intimidating up close--but he seems like such a nice, warm guy that I'd happily invite him to our house. I was happy to return his hug when he signed my poster.
- This is how powerful Rogue's presence was: there were two scantily clad female dancers on stage, dancing very energetically and very well. I normally find such sights very eye-catching, but I sometimes realized that I hadn't looked at them for a whole song, because I'd been looking at Rogue.
- I like their taste in volume, too: the only time I felt oppressed by the noise level was during the cheering for an encore.
- My leg had been hurting earlier, but if anything it felt better after the concert. I credit this to deliberately staying moving and not locking my knees--I think locking my knees ends up hurting me.
- I had decided by the midpoint of the concert that I was going to buy every CD they didn't have and a t-shirt. Sadly, I had assumed that they would take credit cards, and this turned out to be very wrong. But: I realized that I had a $100 bill that I had been carrying in my wallet since I received it as a Christmas gift in 1999. (I'd been intending to use it for a number plate for the house, but I haven't been able to find the style that I want.) I brought out the bill and happily bought $74 of merchandise.
I felt really empowered and privileged that by saving this bill for so long, I had enabled myself to make this impulse purchase. I'm tempted to take the $74 from my personal account to buy another $100 bill.