Initially bowing out, but then later caving under pressure, I ended up at the Crossroads for another show. I really had nothing better to do, but am generally persistent in my quest not paying unnecessarily large sums of money for shows in which I am not extremely well acquainted with the work of the artist. I usually regret it.
The price tag to see the Drive-By Truckers along with Son Volt seemed like it might be one of those situations. I had not heard anything recent from either in years. In fact, I think it was the 1990s when I had last heard anything, and could not recall whether I really even cared for it or not.
I did end up going anyway, and really enjoyed the performances by both bands, as well as recalling a few of their tunes. It has been a long time indeed. Son Volt played quite an extended set and while they were good, but a bit slow mode for a Friday night, and I think everyone was anxious for the headliner.
Everyone seemed to enjoy the performance, but many like our little group, left before it was over. The extended set from the opening band, and the Truckers extensive set, along with the general make-up of the venue caused many folks to cut out early.
It is likely folks left early because standing and maintaining balance on wood chips for five or six hours can be challenging, and a little exhausting. It was our cause for leaving early. You can dig yourself out a little spot, but then you are restricted in movement. Our little group discussed this at length. They should rent out lawn chairs and lawn loungers. They could easily make enough to replace any damaged and still make a profit.
This remains one of my more favorite open-air venues in Kansas City. The stage setup and grounds positioned well for day or night shows, and the ground slopes away just enough to ensure good viewing from just about any spot in the place. Folks can generally move about freely and take in any performance from just about any angle.
However, the venue is starting to run down a little. You can only party in your backyard for so long before it starts to look (and smell) a little funky. It is not just that though. There are a couple of things that are a bit silly, and contribute to my feelings about the excessive cost of many of the shows at this venue.
The latest annoyance on the list, water bottle caps. On this visit, I discovered the venue does not permit anyone to keep the cap on their water bottle. Several asked to keep this harmless item, but the attendant dutifully sneered that “policy” required they keep them.
Apparently, his personal policy is to also keep my change and tip himself. As a quick reminder to that little joker, I tip you. You do not tip yourself. That policy of yours will cause you to lose your tip every time and on any future visits.
What the hell is that water bottle cap thing all about though? The venue has policy to take the cap off a new bottle of water and throw it in the trash to save the consumer from what exactly. What are we addressing with this policy? I suspect, only the ability to conserve water and associated costs with the same. There can be no good logical reason for this policy.
The only upside is the cost of $2 per bottle, which is definitely more reasonable than other beverage prices. Indeed, it is much more realistic than any other venue I have been to in the City, where the price of a bottle of water is often as much as a soda or beer.