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Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Review: Woven Hand at Benders Tavern

On Good Friday, the g-phrase and I attended what was probably the best concert that I will see this year.

Benders Tavern is a bar and small concert venue that sits in the building formerly occupied by the Goth bar, Onyx. Where it used to be dark and gloomy, with its TVs showing a mix of stylish and campy cult films, Benders is a brighter space with more buoyant colors. It was the first time I had been in the bar since before it had changed ownership, and the experience was a little disconcerting.

The part that made it so strange wasn’t the new style, though, it was that some of the clientele didn’t seem to have changed all that much. Pierced and tattooed people still attended, wearing their uniforms of black PVC and leather, carefully cultivating their ironic detachment and sartorial separatism. At least one of the concertgoers was a former Onyx employee who wore a familiar starter Al Jourgenson Goth cowboy getup. I was surprised to see them at the comparatively happy Benders and even more surprised to see them attending a Christian rock concert.

But that’s precisely what was happening. The scene was the people--the tiny shot girl with the pink, wool bunny ear cap and an unsettling, vampiric smile; the cocktail waitress with the exaggerated, cat’s eye granny glasses; the cocktail waitress with what looked to be tatts covering her entire torso and arms. Scattered throughout was a smattering of people like me: jeans and sweaters type people who looked more out of place than the guy with plugs in his earlobes.

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