The World’s First Compare and Contrast Concert Review of
Britney Spears and Clem Snide
During a whirlwind two-week period in the month of April, I had the rather unique privilege of attending live performances by two distinctly different recording artists on the road in America in support of their latest musical releases. Clem Snide, led by the enigmatic and prolific singer songwriter Eef Barzelay, is a three-piece indie rock group known for their catchy tunes and thought-provoking lyrics. As for Britney Spears, I’m sure you’ve heard enough about her. Who hasn’t, right?
Now, before I launch into a point by point exercise in compare and contrast, I would like to share with you the two most frequently asked questions about my attending these two shows. Inevitably and without fail, when I would tell someone of my concert plans, they would ask me “Who?” in regards to Clem and “Why?” about going to see Britney. I would mumble something along the lines of, “If you have to ask…”, for the first one and then I’d steer them to the band’s wikipedia page. As for the other question, the only thing I felt comfortable saying was that I was merely accompanying Fehmeen but I had a sneaking suspicion that they would break out my iPod and bust me for my five song Britney playlist. (Just an fyi here, but I easily have three times as many Clem tunes on the very same player, thank you very much).
Anyway, thanks for reading and enjoy the reviews.
Ticket Price and Availability: Tickets for the sold out Britney show were not only expensive, they were fairly difficult to come by as well. We had to take out a second mortgage on the house in addition to raiding Emma’s college fund (think scholarship, my little Bug). Fehmeen was also verbally brow-beaten by a Ticketmaster agent on the phone about my “handicap” and the potential ramifications if we were lying about my “disability” in order to score our seats. As far as acquiring tickets for the Clem show, all it took was one email to Bruce at the band’s record label (remember my review of the new album a few months ago) and I was on the guest list. That was it. Edge: Clem
Venue Cache: While it’s fun to witness the spectacle of a ginormous arena show at a venue like Oracle, there is nothing cooler than catching a band in a small club like The Bottom of the Hill. Edge: Clem
Parking: Arriving early landed us a primo spot on the street about a hundred feet from the front door of the club and that was a good thing. Parking behind a currently occupied RV and stepping in dried up dog crap as I exited the vehicle, not so good. On the other hand, was it worth the twenty-five sheckels it cost to park in the handicap/luxury box lot at the arena? Hell yeah, considering it took us all of ten seconds to leave the lot when the show ended. Edge: Britney
Handicap Accessibility: I’ve got three words for you: Red Carpet Treatment. The second we had our tickets scanned at Oracle, we were partnered up with an employee who not only escorted us to our seats but verbally swept the path clear for me and my wheelchair. At the Bottom of the Hill, it was more along the lines of, “Have fun, dude.” Edge: Britney
Quality of Seats: While it was amazing to be on the floor of the club, approximately thirty feet from the stage, it quickly turned annoying as row after row of upright adults stood in front of me. As for the Britney show, our visually unobstructed seats were located on the lip of the luxury box level. Edge: Britney
Souvenirs and Swag: Where else could you purchase four CDs and a tour shirt for fifty bucks AND get to laugh at your friend named Parker as he actually wears the shirt during the show? Not at the Britney concert, that’s for sure. The closest I got to a merch booth at Oracle was the guys selling bootleg Britney t-shirts on Heggenberger Rd as we drove in. Edge: Clem
Hanging with the Peeps: Either I am out of the loop fashion-wise or someone dosed my coke with no ice but apparently in order to be an in-style urban hipster at the Clem show, you had to be a dude wearing skinny jeans, sporting a fully cultivated and impeccably manicured beard. As for the Britney show, you were ‘in’ if you were a twenty-something woman or a gay man who liked to dance. Edge: N/A
Inappropriate Behavior: If you are in a non-crowded club and you have full use of your legs, please do not stand directly in front of the guy sitting in the wheelchair. It’s effin’ rude. If you have tickets in the luxury box section for a concert at Oracle and you yourself are not or you are not with someone who is handicapped in any way, do not move yourself into the row reserved for people with special needs. It’s disrespectful and distasteful. Edge: Neither
This Concert is Brought to You by: Practically everywhere you looked before the show on stage and between acts on screen at Britney, there were ads for Virgin Mobile. Even if I could talk or text, I would boycott their services on principle. As for Clem, it was as pure as the driven snow, baby. No ads. Edge: Clem
Opening Act: As far as openers go, Pepi Ginsburg (attired in her satin blue jacket with the embroidered butterfly on the back) was a little rough around the edges but the Heligoats were hella cool (I bought their CD) at the Clem show. At the Britney show, there were four too many Pussycat Dolls prowling around the stage. Who would’ve thought that I could ever be bored watching five ‘hot’ women in knee-high boots shaking their moneymakers? Edge: Clem
Headliner: Here’s the dilemma: How do I choose between a pop singer with an ultra-elaborate stage show who lip-synched the entire concert or a musical genius who sleepwalked his way through his show?
The Final Analysis: In the end, I suppose it all boils down to how much fun I had and how I felt as I exited each show. Based on the numbers, Clem won more categories but Britney won my heart. Winner: Britney