Bishop Allen @ Rock and Roll Hotel, Washington, DC [9/22/07]
So I finally got to see Bishop Allen for the first time last night. I had tickets to no less than 5 of their monthly EP-release shows at Pianos in New York last year, and somehow always managed to miss them for one reason or another. I also had them penciled in on this year's SXSW schedule, only to find out at the last minute I couldn't get into the show because it was a badgeholder-only show (and I only had a lowly wristband). So when I saw that the band was coming to DC opening for John Vanderslice, I had to go.
Happily, the band put on a great show. I guess they're treating this tour almost as a co-headlining gig, because Bishop Allen played close to a full hour-long set, unlike a normal 35-45 minute opening set. Moreover, based on the size of the crowd and the reaction of the crowd, I think they pretty easily could have been the actual headliners. The place was packed, and various people were singing and/or dancing along to songs and generally having a great time. Frankly, I was shocked at how well the crowd seemed to know the band. Do they have a following in DC, or is this happening everywhere they play? (I'm not complaining, mind you, I'm just surprised.)
The only downside to the show was the fact that the Rock and Roll Hotel seems either not to have an air conditioner, or they seem unwilling to admit that, while it now technically Fall, it was still hot as balls yesterday. We had a high temperature in the mid-80's yesterday, and it felt close to that inside the club last night. By the time Bishop Allen's set was over, we didn't even really give a thought to sticking around for Vanderslice. I felt bad about it, but I just couldn't stay in that club any longer. Next time I'm bringing a hand-held water mister fan. (Well, probably not.)
I somehow managed to forget my camera last night, so I was stuck with the old iPhone camera. That's the last time I'll be doing that, as the photos below will prove (i.e., they're shitty):