Saturday, February 2, 2008

Mardi Blah

Posted By on Sat, Feb 2, 2008 at 12:30 AM

Like a lot of people last night, I had my plans ruined by a parade that never took place. Or at least that’s what Republic would have me believe.

Sometime Wednesday afternoon, word leaked out that the Warehouse District music venue/dancehall had canceled its Thursday evening rock show, a highly anticipated triple bill featuring the Fiery Furnaces, Super Furry Animals and Holy F**k. Despite being the club’s only notable booking for January — not to mention arguably New Orleans’ top indie-rock concert of the month — the show was canceled because, in their words, a “parade route surrounds Republic and there was concern that people wouldn’t be able to get [here].”

Let’s backpedal. We’re supposed to swallow that someone scheduled a high-profile concert for the week before Mardi Gras and then canceled it 24 hours out because of an annual parade? It’s immaterial (aside from ironic value, of course) that said parade ended up being postponed due to inclement weather, or that the skies had cleared by 7:30 p.m., when the first band was to have taken the stage. Republic’s reasoning is dubious at best, unprofessional at worst, and considering the difficulty clubs have had convincing quality artists to stop in the city post-Katrina, it's really kind of embarrassing. (It bears mentioning here that no cancellation orders were issued for “Models and Bottles,” the DJ’d red-carpet event to follow Thursday’s concert, nor for Republic’s scheduled events for tonight and Monday.)

I’ve had no personal contact with the Fiery Furnaces, Super Furry Animals or Holy F**k, mind you, but I’d imagine their reaction was something similar to the latter. “We’re looking into the possibility of rescheduling,” the club’s emailed response continued. This, too, seems highly unlikely. Both the Furnaces (Brooklyn) and Holy F**k (Toronto) — two rising, in-demand acts — reside on the East Coast. But Super Furry Animals, two-decade vets of international touring, are from Wales. Their stateside itinerary wraps at the end of this month in New York City. Exactly when will they be returning?

Perhaps a better question, after Republic’s no-notice no-show: Why?

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