THE WHITE STRIPES AT WILMINGTON'S GRAND OPERA
In New York City, where FBO makes its semi-permanent HQ base, music fans expect to see whomever they want on any given night of the week. Everyone plays here, and many people go. If you try to get seats -- as FBO tried for Arcade Fire a couple months ago -- you're lucky to get bad seats (as the FBO was lucky enough to procure). If you line up at 3am, you don't get anywhere near the front row -- press, VIPs, band family already has those seats: wanting to see a show in the Big Apple, where Rolling Stones and New York Times tend to make their reviews.
When FBO Representative Robert Reid was invited to see the White Stripes first-ever Delaware show at a 1871 opera house -- far more compact than Tulsa's Old Brady, with painted ceilings, fussy parlors to drink beer and talk with the gray-haired staff in cranberry outfits -- we quickly signed up for the Delaware/FBO symposium. The theatre looks like the place Abraham Lincoln should've been shot. The worst seat is by far better than anything you can get in most venues. FBO got second-row center.
Delaware was clearly excited about The White Stripes -- six albums old, and still making the drum/guitar two-fer sound fresh and yet ever-linked to the better riffs of early Zeppelin and more distant blues. A bar across from the opera house, on downtown's Market Street, blared White Stripes songs on a sidewalk speaker, as a mix of lawyers, accountants and bearded hipsters drank Dogfish beer in a slightly too fancy bar. Outside, a guy tried to sell tickets for $200 (which he 'bought on eBay for $100 a piece') when the cops weren't looking. Twenty-something hipsters genuinely wondered of each other: 'are you excited?' No one in New York talks like that before a TV on the Radio show. Nearby two pudgy 43-year-old men walked briskly to the bar, both wearing identical, brand-new White Stripes concert t-shirts.
After the 105-minute set wrapped up, the crowd left -- with the retired volunteer staff smiling and wishing you a 'good night' -- and stuck around Market Street to talk about the show and 'go get a beer at The Exchange' nearby. An associate in Wilmington, Ms Jamie, said, 'You better get a photo. No one's ever out on Market Street at this time.'
Other photos from the first part of the FBO's symposium in north and east Delaware follow:
The FBO thanks northern and eastern Delaware -- as represented by Phil Bangle -- for the tickets, and the playful introductory evening to the Delaware/FBO symposium and exchange. The FBO hopes the positive energy of that evening will carry over to future projects merging to the two in the future.
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY