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Last Night's Wilco Show Served to Remind: Fair Park Music Hall Ain't Bad For a Concert

Speaking of cell phones, I ran into the great Bobby Patterson last night. He was there to see his good pal Jeff Tweedy, who once covered this classic.
Speaking of cell phones, I ran into the great Bobby Patterson last night. He was there to see his good pal Jeff Tweedy, who once covered this classic.

I won't horn in on the music blog's review of last night's Wilco-Nick Lowe show in the Music Hall at Fair Park. Seems about right to me, though the first-timer can't appreciate the giddy shock of hearing A.M. standard "Passenger Side" slid into that short, sharp, shard-filled set list that seemed to take as its inspiration Lowe's classic line: "l need the noises of destruction/When there's nothing new."

I would add this, though: The historic, city-owned venue -- which, over the years, has hosted the likes of Jimi Hendrix-Soft Machine, The Doors, the Allman Brothers, Frank Sinatra and Radiohead-Spiritualized -- needs to get back into regular rotation as a rock-concert venue, not merely a place to see Debbie Gibson and George Wendt schlep through town their kitsch-en sink Christmas Carol. Despite the Music Hall's legendary reputation for lousy acoustics, you could actually hear Nick Lowe's pure pop -- every slight joke, every sharp poke. The audience, comfy in plush seats, kept quiet as he crooned. Why, it was almost like being out of town.

Jayne Basse -- who books the Music Hall for Dallas Summer Musical Management Group, which actually runs the city-owned venue -- says more show are on the way. Dates, she tells Unfair Park this afternoon, are on hold for both LiveNation and AEG -- for whom, she won't say, but of course.

"When the Dallas Opera moved out it afforded us more time to rent out the building," she says. "So we now are hoping to build a relationship with some of the promoters who bring in concerts. We don't dedicate whether it's rock or country or whatever."

Incidentally, for those wondering why Wilco's set ended at 11 p.m. and wasn't as epic as, say, the '09 Palladium show, that had nothing to do with the Music Hall. Basse says: "We just rented the building, so they could have played all night."

I did discover, though, that the only thing more annoying than cell-phone cameras at a concert are D&L Security workers and Music Hall ushers telling people to stop using their cell-phone cameras. Terrific sentiment, lousy execution -- all that snarling and shoving as the men in blue and maroon vests brandished their flashlights like nightsticks was far more off-putting than someone trying to capture a keepsake.

Anyway. Now that the Music Hall's back in the mix, let's not forget about the Fair Park Band Shell. Cotton Bowl too.


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