I feel sorry for the Canadian trio NoMeansNo. Backstage at Bottom of the Hill, which is outside where everyone was smoking, I sipped a beer and met a group of folks who are big fans of the band. They were all lamenting about the horrible technical problems NoMeansNo was having on this tour. Last night in Oakland, Bassist Rob Wright’s amp went out right at the top of the show. They took a 15 minute break to try to fix the problem. The story of drummer John Wright’s problem followed, which was a busted drum that had to be replaced for the night by an opening band’s piece. That happened in Oakland too.
I tried to encourage these big fans that maybe the show tonight in San Francisco would be perfect. No problems at all. An unease settled across several faces, and the subject changed. Before going into the opening number, Rob told the audience that “the gods are testing us!” Sure enough, his bass amp started going out at the beginning of the set. Frustration set in as they finally got the first song going on the third try. The aptly placed song was “Old,” which is what all the band’s equipment was feeling like at the current moment.
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