Presented by World Music/CRASHarts in collaboration with Crossroads Presents
COEUR DE PIRATE
Wednesday, October 21, 8:00 pm
Brighton Music Hall
158 Brighton Ave., Boston, MA.
Review by Danielle Rosvally
(Boston, MA) Let’s start here: Béatrice Martin is insanely talented. I enjoyed her music immensely, she’s cute as a button, and the Francophone snob in me took great glee that I was able to follow her bilingual banter with ease. On that front, last evening at Brighton Music Hall was a great success and I was happy to have been introduced to an artist whose work I don’t think I ever would have found otherwise.
World Music/CRASHarts is a wonderful program, bringing artists from around the world to Boston so that we can have some international flavor in our cultural offerings. I am intensely grateful for the initiative, and devoutly hope that it will continue doing the very necessary work that it does.
Everything else about last night was a complete disaster.
Brighton Music Hall was packed to the gills with people. It was so crowded that I was beginning to have flashes of the 2003 Station Nightclub Fire and positioned myself appropriately in case of mass panic. It was beyond claustrophobic, and I thanked every applicable deity that I didn’t have the need to use the restroom. I don’t think I could have moved to get there. I was also thankful that I wouldn’t need to visit the bar since the overworked bartenders didn’t seem to be satisfying any of the patrons due to sheer volume of people.
When I say that “it was loud”, I don’t think I can fully relate to you what that means. I felt the music in my chest. And not in the pleasant “I’m so in tune with the music that I can dance effortlessly” way; in the terribly, uncomfortable “this is actually rocking me to my core and I’m worried that my eardrums are going to burst” way. I’m reasonably sure that the vibrations in my stomach felt due to the sheer volume of the place will be giving me ambient indigestion for days. By the third song of the set, I was beginning to have a major headache; not because the music was bad, simply because of how loud it was. I, unfortunately, had to excuse myself from the venue before Martin had finished her set because it was just intolerable to stay.
From the sidewalk outside, I could hear every lyric clearly. The music was much more enjoyable than it had been inside, and I actually stayed to listen to much of the concert from the far less crowded, far more decibel-friendly street corner. This is doubly unfortunate since Martin presented her music in conjunction with visually stunning projections that created added dimension to the performance. The little I did see was incredible, and I would have liked to see more.
I don’t understand how anyone could enjoy being packed in these conditions for any length of time. It is a great disservice to the artist the Brighton Music Hall asks performers to create art in this situation; and it is a great disservice to the audience that Brighton Music Hall charges entry for such indignities. I don’t know if I can truly express how ashamed I felt to have to leave this performance as early as I did, but there simply was no other option for me. I did buy a CD on my way out, and I have been listening to it with great pleasure which in part (I think) makes up for my early exit; but I do truly wish I could have stayed.
Please, concert halls, make a change. Allow your patrons to sit comfortably while enjoying their music instead of stand packed in like sardines worrying about their wallets getting lifting by the guy whose hand is basically right next to their pocket for three hours. Recognize that you’re a small hole-in-the-wall den, not a giant stadium, and temper your volume accordingly. We’re coming to hear music; not to experience permanent hearing loss as a result of your overenthusiastic volume cranking. This isn’t Spinal Tap. You don’t get points for going to 11.