Stories from the city...

I was listening to some PJ Harvey today at work, which reminded me of this bittersweet tale.

So in the fall of 2001, PJ Harvey was scheduled to play the Warfield theater out here in San Francisco. I had gotten a late start on the tickets and the show was sold out. I ended up paying extortion prices for a pair of tickets from eBay, I wanted to see her that badly. I arranged to meet up with the seller at a bar across from the venue before the show. It was some place, I forget the name, on 6th Street, between Market and Mission. I'd never been there before and my friend and I walked past it twice before we realized it. It's in one of the seediest areas of town and the bar was a complete dive...and not in a good way. We got there about an hour before the show and waited.

And waited.

And waited.

We finally left and walked around, trying to find anyone selling tickets, but practically everyone was looking to buy. We eventually gave up and just went to a semi decent bar for drinks. The next day, the seller emails me with his apology. It turns out he lived in the East Bay area and rarely ever came to San Francisco. The bar that he suggested as a meeting place was recommended to him by one of his friends...so he wasn't able to find it either.

Finally, he offered me to send me a check for $10 to compensate me for my time. Ten dollars. I responded and politely told him to keep his money. I left him some nasty feedback on his eBay profile, tho. I think he earned it.

Here's the lemon juice in the paper cut. The reviews for the gig were absolutely fantastic. Fuck, man...I couldn't believe I had missed out because of that jackass. UGH!

Fast forward to a couple years ago, summer of 2004. Uh Huh Her was set to come out and PJ was doing a quick promotional tour and there were some west coast dates. I forget exactly what happened, but there was some scheduling fuck-up for the San Francisco date. It was supposed to be at the Civic, I believe, but it turned out there was already an event scheduled. Something like that, you get the picture.

So she ends up skipping SF but vows to return. A month or so later, it's announced that PJ is gonna play the Great American Music Hall, which is a much smaller venue than the Civic, in a week's time. My buddy, Ben, booked the tickets and we were set.

Showtime finally came along and she fucking destroyed the place. The band were on fire, they tore it all up. Easily one of the best gigs I've ever seen. Was it worth the three year wait? I dunno, it's hard to quantify something like that. I mean, that 2001 gig I missed was, by all accounts, pretty spectacular. This one was pretty fucking good, as well. I'm glad I got to go.

This is from my favorite PJ album, "Is This Desire?", give it a spin.
PJ Harvey > No Girl So Sweet


jennifer said...

What a pisser! :o( This song is pretty fuckin' right on, but I don't like some of the grating distortion in her voice at times here.

robot_hero said...

the different textures are what i like about that song and album, tho. some smooth, other parts abrasive. lotsa cracks and fissures in which to get lost. probably why it's my fave album of hers.