Thursday, June 18, 2009

Keepin’ it real in the Neighborhood

Posted By on Thu, Jun 18, 2009 at 2:06 PM

With the high vendor prices at Charlotte music venues stirring debate this week – see Lynn Farris’ post from earlier this week or Sarah Aarthun’s rant here – it was refreshing to walk into a show last night and see things the way they’re supposed to be.

First, by now most of us are aware of the $11 beers that angered so many at the new Uptown Amphitheatre’s debut on Saturday evening. If you’ve made the trek north to the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre this season, you’ve seen the same thing. Inflated prices on food and band merchandise as well.

Enter an old staple, NoDa’s own Neighborhood Theatre. Last night, on the verge of releasing its third album, indie darlings Band of Horses was in town to debut some of its new stuff in front of a keenly attentive, sold-out crowd. The show was great, but there were a few other elements in play that really made for an enjoyable concert for us fans.

The ticket was $18, to start. Fair.

A draft of AmberBock was only $3.50 – refreshing in more ways than one. Other choice brews were available for a dollar more, but completely reasonable compared to the options at Live Nation spots. (Now, I heard the Neighborhood bartenders were also selling $2 PBR cans, but haven’t been able to confirm).

At the merch booth, the band sold its high quality tees (the super soft, jersey kind) for $20. Again, not too bad. Last Friday, Nine Inch Nails and Jane’s Addiction had them for $35 apiece at Verizon.

Band of Horses CDs went for $10 a pop and the show poster was priced at $20. We’ve all seen higher. If I had one chance to gripe, a 10 spot might be a tad high for the Band of Horses signature Frisbee. I’m not an ‘ultimate’ guy, though.

No plans on getting into a comparative argument or prolonging the assault on other venues. I just think that, with things the way they are, it was nice to see a local favorite – and its guest musicians for the night – keep it real.

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