Dallas, we have a problem.
Portland’s genre-smashing, horn-driven intergalactic glam performance band Lovebomb Go-Go landed at Three Links in Deep Ellum on Wednesday in the middle of a cold, wet February night to give us a nova blast of sound before heading east to New Orleans.
You weren’t there.
About a 10th of the venue's 125-person capacity was filled with band members on a host of instruments, from the trombone to the saxophone and every brass and wind instrument in between. Another 10th was occupied by the people who bothered to show up and the bar staff.
Somehow just big enough for 300-square-foot Three Links, the band still came out in costume and makeup but shirked their dancers and their aerial performers. Why waste so much energy on a city that couldn’t brave light rain and kinda chilly weather to see a band that wants a crowd to feel their music?
“The first time I saw Lovebomb on Galveston Island — an unlikely place — I was sitting at a pub having a beer listening to shitty reruns of typical classic rock,” longtime fan and Galveston transplant Carley Elsey said. “All of a sudden a band with a team of dancers stormed the bar and all the brass, white, glitter and intergalactic glam you could imagine. They transformed the bar with an immense amount of energy. People closed out or left their tabs to dance down the street with this huge band to the next bar to dance and surprise unsuspecting locals which I knew. We all joined.”
There was no such commitment from any of you. The handful of people there stayed in their own groups, or worse, stayed in the smoking section outside, missing any chance to catch the band's greatness.
“It almost felt like a cult you could tour with forever,” Elsey continued. “They really brought out 'the little easy' that Galveston is in comparison to NOLA. A magical night for the whole island, to say the least. For me, Lovebomb is friendship.”
Rather than friendship, there was a lot of disappointment. Not because the band didn’t bring it, which they absolutely did. There was just none of the magic that happens when locals get together to see a show from a touring band and have stories to share after.
"The band has played for 13,000, 8,000 and 5,000. To play for five, it always boils down to touching that one person.” — Mars
One couple who drove for hours with tickets for the night’s show did not feel that sense of friendship. With the start time of the show being delayed a full hour-and-a-half in hopes that just a few more of you showed up, they stayed just long enough to catch the first few songs and take a few pictures before they had to return home.
Without any care to the blank floor space in front of them, Lovebomb kept up with their rehearsed choreography, spinning their guitars together in perfect harmony and letting the smoke machines run.
Do you have any idea how sad it sounds to hear band introductions being met with the same kind of applause a school principal gets when making morning announcements? Well that’s what it’s like when nobody shows up to support a touring band playing a small venue.
Three Links sponsored ads on social media for the night's show, but what good did it do? Eighty-nine of you were “interested” in going, but where were you?
While those of us who came to the show were wowed, albeit separately, by the smooth vocals of band leader Mars, the psychedelic horns, the jokes, a modest light show and the collective feeling that everyone else was missing out, you were probably at home, at some bar or just idling somewhere.
But, hey, don’t worry about it. We were just the second audience to hear their new track. Those of us who were there, loved it — even the band.
"The band has played for 13,000, 8,000 and 5,000,” Mars said. “To play for 5, it always boils down to touching that one person.”
You could have been that one person.
What’s wrong with you, Dallas?
We have a killer music scene that hosts some of the most incredible national acts, and you’re just not participating.
You want to be cooler than Austin?
Then show up and be cooler than Austin, dammit.