What I Learned from Blowout 2010

In terms of a final (and late) report, I thought I'd share what I learned at Blowout this year:

From Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr I learned that great musicians in Detroit can turn the cover song into an art form all its own.

I also learned from Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr that the sound at the Magic Stick can actually be fantastic as long as the band isn't trying to blow out the speakers.

I learned from the Pre-Party at the Majestic Complex that after the first couple of beers you stop really listening to the music in order to catch up with the people you haven't seen since Cityfest. (Consequently, this is also how you spend the first day of Cityfest--catching up with the people you haven't seen since Blowout).

I learned from Michael Seger & Everybody's Favorite Band that 89X-sounding rock from a MySpace profile can severely lower your expectations and thereby allow a band to surpise you with their actual talent.

I learned from Macrame Tiger that a set where every freakin' song sounds different can seem unbearable while midway through a night of watching 7 bands, yet there's something about that band that's going to make me go out to see them a lot this year.

I learned that FAWN deserves the hype they've been getting, and that Paychecks is actually one of the best places to see a band in the area.

I learned that the drum riser at Jean's was actually a pool table.

I also learned that Jean's is too far to walk to see 15 minutes of a set unless there's a nearby venue added next year. Isn't there a P.L.A.V. nearby where Devin Scillian played a couple of years ago?

I learned that Citizen Smile still requires some polish before filling The Singles' Beatles' boots, but they're young and having fun and are well on their way.

I remembered that when it's not filled over capacity with 100 people, Whiskey in the Jar is one of the best bars in the area to hang out.

I learned that the drummer and bassist from the Hadituptoheres are consistently the sweatiest performers in Detroit.

I learned that when playing Quiz Show at the Belmont, if there's a question about the Beatles, the answer is always George Harrison.

I learned from the Juliets that Detroit is just as likely to breed amazing chamber pop bands as Portland or Glasgow.

I also learned from the Juliets that Office's Scott Masson is an excellent drummer, and that the cello should be utilized more often by Detroit bands.

I learned from Lettercamp that you can still be blown away by a performance even though you can't see the performers because they're being hidden behind Japanese screens.

I learned that the Ferdy Mayne might be my favorite local band in 2010.

I learned that although Atlas Bar has come a long way in terms of sound equipment, it still isn't the kind of place where a band of the Satin Peaches popularity should be headlining a show: too loud, too full, too self-defeating of a stage location to get a good sound.

I also learned that the Satin Peaches are so great that you can enjoy them even in a over-packed, overly saturated Atlas Bar at the end of a long, long night.

On Saturday, I learned that tweeting for the Metro Times (@mtblowout) during Blowout is a lot easier than dragging myself out of bed (and a hangover) to write blog posts about the previous night where I have to put together nouns and verbs and adjectives and stuff. I don't know how you other writers did it.

I learned that my suspicions about the Cold Wave were correct: bona fide jamburgers. I also learned how great A.J. Sherman's voice is.

I learned that while Lightning Love may not be Detroit's most popular band (that's Kid Rock, of course), their fans know and adore their music and lyrics as well and as much as any Bon Jovi or Bruce Springsteen fan.

I learned that Millions of Brazilians know how to end a Blowout. Also, that the stage built in the Gates of Columbus can hold a lot of equipment and about 50 jumping, dancing, sweating fans without breaking.

Finally, I learned that even though this year's Blowout didn't include some of my favorite bands of year's past--including the Dead Bodies, the High Strung, Champions of Breakfast, Pas/Cal, the Silent Years, Croff Family Band, etc, etc (there have been so many)--that there's still so much effing talent in this area that Blowout will be around for years to come.

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