Fire, water, earth … Air

McMenamins has taken one of the best rock venues in town, theCrystal Ballroom, and turned it into fucking kindergarten. Whatother club in town sends you into the arms of three fat-assbouncers before you’re allowed to pass into an over-crowded,over-priced, bouncy-floored, echo cave, laser show, porta-pottydance meadow?

“You can’t bring that camera in here, only a point and shoot.”What the hell? There’s a tech limit to what level of photography isallowed?

“I’m going to have to hold onto that water for you.” Uh huh.Apparently you can smoke the chron-chron wherevs, but motherearth’s sweet life fluid is strictly regulated.

Fuck that place, really. First it was the tricky black lightstamps and the constant confiscation of harmless belongings. Nowthey’re just making shit up because someone once snuck in a flaskof shitty bourbon and took a semi decent photo of Janet Weiss’ bassdrum.

Anyhoot … electronic frog duo Air played Tuesday night forroughly 600 “woo”-happy Portlanders. And it was OK. $29 OK? No,hell no, l’enfer non. But it was nice to see a Keytar on stage forthe first time since the “Who’s Johnny” video.

The heavily sororitized crowd was patient enough, waiting forthe Moon Safari material that finally crowned 45 minutes into theset.

“Wahoooooo,” they yelled, which I believe translates to: “Icompletely agree with the things that are occurring before me.”

“Sexy Boy” and “Kelly Watch the Stars” got the blond hairbobbin’ and pointy shoes a-tappin.’ That’s great, because thosesongs force you to surrender your will to stand still. Tap it,girl. Tappity tizzap. Yes, heart those electronic voices.

Two jam-happy encores later, things winded down and I finallymade it out of rock-and-roll daycare and speed-walked downBurnside. This weirdo girl was in front of me for about six blocksdragging ass hard. Of course, I couldn’t pass her because that’sjust awkward, and staying behind her makes me look all stalko. Soit’s a slow stumble to Dante’s where I try to use my secret blacklight stamp to sneak into totally guitarted (Chunklet word) TheElectric Six.

“That’ll be eight dollars.”

Now that’s more like it: shitty club, marginal band, acceptablelevel of unacceptance, no bag check, no water confiscation, no nonre-entry, no $1 coat check, no sorority, no all-ages checkpoint.

Ahhhhhh, fresh Air.