Libertines - Live

By liz

The Libertines - Chicago - Empty Bottle - 08/10/03
Review by Misa Challingsworth.

I've been waiting to see the Libertines play since last October. I sighed with relief that I didn't waste my time and money on Coachella this year after the fiasco that happened there. When the US tour was announced...and the show was booked at the Empty Bottle (3 blocks from my house), I figured it was fate. I just had to fork out the money (15 dollars + fees) to see them.

During the European tour, when guitarist Pete went missing only to show up 3 weeks later (after being arrested for burglary) I figured maybe it WAS fate...the bad kind. But noooo, I decide to go see them anyway. Even though the opening band was crap. Even though it was a late show on a Sunday night and I work very early in the morning. Even though the venue reaches a scorching 120 degrees in the summertime no matter how many people are in the place.

What a waste of my freaking time.

I found out at the last minute that Anthony from the Damn Personals was filling in for Pete on the US tour, which was an excellent choice for sure. Anthony played amazingly well for being "the new guy" as he only fucked up twice and only broke 3 strings on 2 different guitars. The drummer is a machine... probably one of the best drummers I've seen in ages. The bass player, John Entwhistle style, wasn't much of a presence, but was loud and right on good. All in all the band played fast loud and hard, the way they should have.

So why was the show a waste of time? Glad you asked. The doors opened at 9:30. The opening band ended at 10:45pm. The Libertines went on at 11:40pm. Now, I've been to enough shows in my life to know that it does not take a band almost an hour to set up and play after the opening band has finished. Especially when all their equipment was already set up on stage. It's 2 guitars, a bass and drums! After checking all the instruments, the crowd was waiting at least 35 minutes for the band to start. We waited in a sea of very sweaty, very smelly, beer guzzling people for 35 minutes. Now, that may not seem like a long time to you but by the time the band came on, I was bored, pissed off, sweaty and smelly and just plain not excited to see the band anymore. I felt jipped that I payed to see a band who's entire set list was only 1/2 hour long. The time I waited to see them perform was longer than the performance itself! Ridiculous. In between songs, they took FOREVER drinking, smoking, and chatting. It was the most un-professional thing I've ever seen. Totally crap, cheeky shit. I don't get bugged that easily and that was just unacceptable. It wasn't all the better that all the songs sounded even more like Clash covers live and in person than they do on record.

I should have stayed home and blared Combat Rock on my stereo and spent the 30 + dollars for some pizza and beer.

Hope other people had a better experience.