Concert venues are typically a breeding ground for annoyed people. Whether it be the girl who keeps getting bumped into by the overweight sweaty man or the security staff member that just can’t get those lousy kids to stop crowd surfing, typically someone is always unhappy at a show.
However, on March 13 Senses Fail, Man Overboard, Transit, Make Me Break Me, and Forever Young rolled into Fubar and proved that the audience at a rock show really can be polite and cheerful from start to finish.
Fubar, which is located on Locust Street in downtown St. Louis, is a smaller venue. I believe there were about 200 people at the show. From the moment I took my place in line outside of the venue waiting anxiously for the doors to open, I felt a different atmosphere than that of concerts I have attended at venues like Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Maryland Heights, Mo. or The Pageant on Delmar. People were standing outside in 35 degree weather patiently waiting, no complaints and no outrageous line cutting.
As the doors opened and staff members starting taking money and drawing X’s on the hands of minors, the attitudes of those in charge were just as relaxed as those in line. I tend to think that being patted down like a prisoner while filing through a roped area like a cow seems excessively intrusive and rather uptight for an art form that is based on being open-minded and laid back.
The Fubar staff seemed more interested in making sure everyone was enjoying themselves instead of watching every move of every patron that walked through their doors. This was a tiny gift from rock n’ roll heaven.
But enough about the venue, the bands are what makes the show a success or fail so let’s talk music. Local bands Make Me Break Me and Forever Young opened the show and their performances were expectedly mediocre. I have to give any local band credit for being successful enough to open for established bands like Senses Fail, but 30 minutes of awkward lead singers and less than average sound is enough to make me want to push some sort of unseen mute button. I raise my glass to these guys though; at least they didn’t attempt a Journey cover.
The next band, Transit, was quite the step up from the locals. Transit hails from Boston and boasts an indie/pop-punk sound that was quite catchy. Even though I had never heard any of their music prior to the show, I found my foot tapping throughout the set.
Man Overboard took the stage with an air of confidence, probably from their recently increasing popularity. I found out about this band a few weeks prior to the concert and checked out their songs on iTunes. Similar to Transit, they rely on a catchy pop-punk sound and relatable lyrics to hook the audience.
After four openers and about 3 hours of music and breaks between sets, I was more than ready for Senses Fail to take the stage. I’ve never really been a diehard Senses Fail fan, but I have been listening to a few of their songs on and off for a few years now, and I’m not one to pass up a concert opportunity.
As the set began, tattooed dudes began stage diving and surfing the crowd like a killer wave while Buddy Nielson (the lead singer) created a rather intimate atmosphere by putting himself almost directly in the crowd by hanging off the stage and allowing groupies to sing into the mic. Keep in mind there was absolutely no security between the stage and the crowd, which helped create the intimate atmosphere that concert-goers yearn for.
Fortunately for not-so-super fans like myself, the group played their hits “Rum is for Drinking, Not for Burning” and “Buried a Lie” so at least I got to sing along a few times.
All in all, I would have to say that my Fubar experience was a success. For having no security and letting many typical venue rules slide, the crowd was probably the most well-behaved that I’ve ever seen. Maybe it’s some sort of psychology rule that when people aren’t told what not to do over and over again, they feel no urge to obnoxiously rebel. Good job Fubar. I give this show a rock on!