A while ago, my friend Hunter from the band Julie Ocean proposed a challenge. He’d heard me talk about how I missed being in New York and having a ton of bands to choose from every night of the week, and how too many bands that I like tend to skip DC in favor of Baltimore (I’m looking at you, Earlimart) or simply just play New York and nowhere else (Mystery Jets, etc.).
Hunter’s proposal was simple — spend one month living in DC but pretending that I’m living in New York. In other words, go to one show per night for one full month. 30 shows in 30 days.
I always kinda laughed the suggestion off when it came up. Even with all the music options in New York, I’m fairly certain that I never went to 30 shows over 30 nights. At some point work makes it impossible, or you run out of money, or you simply can’t bear to miss another episode of The Big Bang Theory.
But I was looking at my concert calendar for March a few minutes ago, and it suddenly hit me — if there is any month that I could possibly do this (albeit by cheating in a few key ways), this is it. There are a TON of great shows going on in DC in March. Check it out. Shows in bold are shows that I already have tickets to, and shows in italics are shows I would go to if I weren’t already going to be in Austin.
3/1: Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit (9:30 Club)
3/2: First Monday w/ The Federal Reserve (Iota)
3/3: Illinois (DC9)
3/4: The Whigs, Dead Confederate (Black Cat)
3/5: Black Lips (Black Cat)
3/6: Your 33 Black Angels (Red and Black)
3/7: Here We Go Magic (Red and Black)
3/8: Lisa Hannigan, Low Anthem (9:30 Club)
3/9: Vandaveer (Black Cat)
3/10: Mumpsy (The Red and The Black)
3/11: The Antlers (Black Cat)
3/12: Henry Clay People, Airborne Toxic Event (Black Cat)
3/13: Bishop Allen (Black Cat)
3/14: The Feelies (9:30 Club)
3/15: Crystal Stilts, Women, True Womanhood (DC9)
3/16: The Aquarium, Aerialist (Galaxy Hut)
3/17: The Pogues, Ben Nichols (of Lucero) (9:30 Club)
3/18: SXSW // AC Newman, The Broken West (Black Cat)
3/19: SXSW // The Dig (Red and Black)
3/20: SXSW // no idea
3/21: SXSW // Butch Walker (9:30 Club)
3/22: [NONE – flying back from SXSW] // Mittenfields, Oh Captain My Captain (Galaxy Hut)
3/23: Human Highway (Black Cat)
3/25: New Rock Church of Fire (DC9)
3/26: Glasvegas (Black Cat)
3/27: Primal Scream (9:30 Club)
3/28: Asobi Seksu (RnR Hotel)
3/29: From the Jam, Julie Ocean (State Theatre)
3/30: Brendon Small of Dethklock/Metalocalypse (9:30 Club)
3/31: Balkan Beat Box (9:30 Club)
There’s one date — 3/24 — that I simply can’t find ANYTHING to see in DC. Every other night has something I could at least be convinced to check out (though 3/30 and 3/31 are really tenuous).
So this seems like something I could do. But do I want to? And will I really want to go to so many shows right after getting back from SXSW? And what if I go to NYC for an interview? (Gonna try to see Hey Rosetta!, that’s what.) And what if I get a job?
So I’m not putting good odds on this, but I’m thinking about it. I’ve basically got until Monday to decide whether to give it a shot or not. We’ll see.
Edited to add: One alternative that has been proposed by a friend is, instead of one show per night, simply (ha!) trying to see 100 bands in March. While normally an absurd idea, it’s really not all that ridiculous considering I’m spending 4 days in Austin for SXSW. I tend to average about 15 bands per day (including some partial sets), so that would get me to 60. Then I’d have to see 40 bands the rest of the month. That’s doable, especially if I sit through a bunch of openers…