You may have read my post the other day about Spoon’s cancelled shows at the 9:30 Club here in D.C. I was none too pleased about the cancellations, and especially the way they occurred – two shows in an excellent, mid-sized club were canceled in favor of one show at a huge outdoor festival-style venue (Merriweather Post). Moreover, instead of getting a full headlining set, it seemed that fans would see at best a slightly longer-than-usual opening set.
The worst part of the situation, in my mind at least, was that it was done in a very matter-of-fact way. The email that went out to ticketholders from Tickets.com, instead of being apologetic, treated the situation like it was a “bonus” for the ticketholders, despite the fact that it left ticketholders with three less-than-optimal options: (1) pay an extra $10 to get seats close to the stage at Merriweather (which, by the way, is a 45-60 minute drive from DC); (2) for the same price, see the show from the “lawn” section of Merriweather (i.e., not close to the stage at all); or (3) get a refund and skip the show altogether.
As a longtime fan of the band who admittedly has been spoiled in being able to see the band in small, intimate venues for a number of years, I was upset. My post, which was intended primarily to express my disappointment in the situation, admittedly had a pretty harsh title, and as a result caught the attention of Brooklyn Vegan, as well as numerous commenters and emailers.
Today, my post seems to have caught the attention of Britt Daniel himself. (While I would normally question whether someone posting as Britt Daniel was, in fact, Britt Daniel, the tone and content of the post leads me to believe that it likely is him.)
In fairness to Britt and the rest of the band, I want to post Britt’s response here. His explanation is pretty reasonable and, as I’ve said here, I don’t blame the band one bit for jumping at the chance to play a big venue with The Shins. I just wish that a replacement DC had been announced. Thankfully, it appears that this may in fact be in the cards.
I first heard about this situation last week while we were traveling
in Europe. There was some misunderstanding on my part from the
beginning…I was told that the promoter of our show was promoting a
Shins show as well and that all parties involved did not want for
Spoon to be going up against the Shins on the same Monday night. Spoon
was asked would we be ok with getting on the bill with the Shins
instead but not as a typical opener slot, we’d have a full set time.
We’re fans of the Shins, and since this was coming from the promoter
of our own show I figured this would be best. What I hadn’t understood
at the time was that by combining the Monday night show of both bands
into such a big venue, Spoon would also be giving up its Tuesday night
show. This is my fault. If I had thought about it a little more
carefully I would have realized this would be the case because it’s
standard. In order to get as many tickets sold for the bigger show as
possible, they have to eliminate the option of what was to be our
second DC show. Usually without exception, an opening band cannot put
its own smaller show on sale in the same city until the bigger show
sells out. The promoter / band may have been hoping to do the second
show all along but they need to see that the first one’s going to sell
through before they can do it.
So, for all of this I apologize. Once I did realize there was no
Tuesday night 930 club show I was like, “fuck!”
We’ve tried to make sure that there are decent options for those
who had already bought tickets — as I understand it you can transfer
your ticket from the 930 to the new venue for free (granted, it’s on
the lawn), or you can use a 930 ticket to get a seated ticket for
less than it normally would have cost, or you can just get a full
rebate. But I do understand some people just prefer smaller-venue
shows to bigger ones — this is why we played so many small-room shows
this year (like the Mohawk in Austin, Doug Fir in Portland, Schubas in
Chicago, the Bowery in New York, Cafe Du Norde and Popscene in SF, the
MFA in Boston to name a few of em) when we could have gone for much
more money in much bigger rooms. Since I realized both 9:30 shows were
out of the picture , I’ve been trying to find out if there are any
options for some kind of smaller show in the area and if something is
possible up we’ll of course announce that.
My thanks to Britt (assuming this was, in fact, him) for his post, and for doing what he can to get us another show down the road.
I’m sure it’s hard to balance the need for a band to reach a larger audience with the need to stay true to its older fanbase, and I’m sure this is even harder when you have various different booking, promo and management people all making decisions for you at the same time. The fact that Britt does seem to at least be trying to stay true to his older fans is a promising sign.
And, yes, I do apologize for the title of my previous post.