Lucid Culture

JAZZ, CLASSICAL MUSIC AND THE ARTS IN NEW YORK CITY

Concert Review from the Archives: the Village People at Brooklyn College Auditorium, 8/13/92

[Editor’s note: we see way more bad bands than you ever will – let’s hope, anyway. It’s just that you’d never know it: since no press is generally worse than bad press, we keep those things to ourselves. And as much as we like to avoid boring, predictable stories of nightcrawling in various altered states, we’ve been sitting on this one for too long not to share it.]

 

With my girlfriend on crutches and all pilled up, we decided the only way to truly appreciate this show would be to get even more intoxicated at her place beforehand. Either despite or because of our condition, we managed to negotiate both the up and down staircases on the D train without sending her tumbling into the turnstiles. Expecting to be able to slowly stroll onto the Brooklyn College sports field where the concerts are usually held, we followed the crowd through the campus to the auditorium where the show had been moved since they were expecting rain. They were charging a cover now, $3, and the place was sold out: apparently the Village People are still big in Midwood.

 

Not to be deterred, we sought out an alternate means of egress and, bingo, found one in the person of a sympathetic cop who saw the crutches and beckoned us inside through a back exit. Inside, the tension was palpable: this was a crowd on the verge of rioting, or so it seemed, the place completely packed, the room filled with every kind of weirdo you ever saw on the subway filling the seats and the aisles, muttering to themselves and scowling. There were no seats, so we wandered stage right. Standing in the aisle, we were screamed at by several audience members, so we finally took a seat there: when the citizens are worse than the cops, you know you’re in a police state. Within a minute, a voice came over the PA, advising that unfortunately, KC & the Sunshine Band would not be playing this evening. Howls of anger! But – but, but, the announcer hastily told the assembled multitudes, he was pleased to introduce the Village People. Crisis averted.

 

The sixtysomething lady in front of us, squeezed into a leotard and tights and gripping a walkman recorder, wriggled with delight as the lights went down. The backing track began to play and the Village People emerged from the shadows, all the original members: the cowboy, the construction worker, the leather queen, the Indian and the rest of the gang, twirling and stepping to what was obviously a new recording. With the 70s schlock revival in full swing, apparently somebody thought it was time to get the Village People back together, so they put together a new tape incorporating 80s production values, with both drum machine and heavy metal guitar flourishes. They hadn’t even bothered to set up mics onstage, making it even more obvious that everybody was lipsynching. After some unfamiliar songs, they did a medley appropriately titled Trash Disco and then Macho Man and this really got the aging disco freaks going. Eventually they did YMCA and everybody except the guys onstage sang along. Or maybe some of them actually did, but nobody could hear them. After about a half-hour of this sideshow, the joke was getting old and homegirl needed to sit down, so we carefully made our way back and went out the same way we went in. Maybe next time there’s a show I really want to see I’ll borrow those crutches, or, even better, I’ll get her to bring them along. 

August 13, 2008 - Posted by | Live Events, Music, New York City, Reviews

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