Saturday, April 08, 2006

Franz Ferdinand and Death Cab for Cutie, 4/7/2006, Cameron Indoor Stadium, Duke U

I bought tickets to this gig ages ago as I was pretty pumped about seeing FF. I like their first album a lot, although the follow-on album has a rather hurried feel to it. I didn't know anything about DCFC. The concert was at Cameron indoor stadium which is the home of the Duke basketball team. The building was built in the 1930s or so, and is pretty small for a major college sports arena.
We arrived at about 7, parked the car and trecked a couple of miles to the venue. We then stood in line for about 45 minutes waiting to get it. The Duke event staff were wholly unprepared for the crowds and just couldn't handle the number of people in an orderly manner. By the time we got in FF were 15 minutes into their set.
Things didn't get any better once we were inside. FF have a very crisp clean guitar sound which was completely muffled by the terrible acoustics of cameron. I know their songs well, but there were some cases where I couldn't even figure out what they were playing. It was terrible. We decided not to stay for DCFC, as I think they are rather overrated - and frankly a little dull.
I did email the "chair of major events" for Duke, here is the email...

I felt I had to email you to tell you just how bad the FF/DCFC concert was. First of all your crowd management was hopeless. The line was ridiculous. What made it worse was event staff constantly coming along and saying "move more quickly" as if we were deliberately taking our time. Then one of the staff said "well doors did open at 5:30". OK lets be realistic - I am supposed to arrive at 5:30 and sit around for 2 1/2 hours until the concert begins. I have never had to do that for any other concert, why should I do it at Duke?

Once inside, things didn't get any better. The sound quality was terrible. It was very muffled and distorted. I am sure that both acts have quality sound equipment, so I must conclude that the acoustics of Cameron are the problem. This venue is clearly unsuited to large concerts.

Anyhow, this was my first and last concert that I will attend at Duke, we didn't even stay for DCFC, we had had all we could take. You guys would do well to stay out of the concert business until you figure out how to do it professionally.

FF played mostly stuff off the first album with a few off the new record, but to be honest it was so hard to get into any of the songs, I really can't remember much about it. It was that bad.

Anyhow, I think I'll stick with smaller venues from now on.

So I got an email response. To summarize: it was my fault for not getting there on time, and the events folks at Duke admit that the sound sucked, and they won't be using Cameron again...So do I get my $70 back?

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