And then nothing turned itself inside out and we were back at the Khyber, watching Yo La Tengo with the same size crowd as we did in 1990.
In the ultimate fracas of events that is, every year, without fail, the first full weekend of September, there is much that competes for your attention: There’s Live Arts & Fringe, First Friday all over the place, plus hundreds of other things to do. So between a stiff competition for its audience’s attention and a tropical-humid Saturday rainout, you will forgive both the WHYY Connections Festival and us — and yourself, for that matter — for nearly forgetting that the event was happening at all. (Sidebar: Fire Bill Marrazzo, WHYY, and we’ll give you free ads for this thing for a full month next year, guys.) Due to all of this, Saturday’s Connections — its top-billed day of talent — was a rough haul, with attendance estimates varying between 200 and 400 at the comparatively massive Penn’s Landing stage.
But here are the silver linings: One is that headliners Yo La Tengo played a wet set on Saturday night to perhaps one of their smallest crowds in recent memory, making it an inadvertently special night for all present. Here’s the other nice thing, which will sound like a dis, but it’s not, we swear: In a town where literally every fifth person is now an event promoter — including this blog and even our Mayor (which, by the way, Dude, is a bad look, enough already) — it’s nice to see that the people who produce “You Bet Your Garden” are just as bad at promoting rock shows as you would expect them to be. In its way, it feels as though just a tiny piece of the order of the universe has been restored.
[Photo courtesy of Colin Pate]