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What the Almost Middle-Aged Do on the Internet

May 30, 2007

Attention all you cool, iPod-rocking, MP3-blogging, underground clubs-going, DIY dance party-forming, kinda/sorta unironically pop-friendly, clever T-shirt-devising, electronics circuit-bending, noise-funneling, social-networking young people out there. Don’t want to spoil all your getting-ready-to-be-in-Spin fun, but enjoy the ride while it lasts. You, too, will one day be over 30 and then almost 40–aka the new dead–and absolutely irrelevant to what makes things go buzz on the world-whine internets. And while you, too, will dig whatever new ass-moving, no-showering, spunky funky clunky chunky monkey rock made by ecstatic middle-class kids living Please Kill Me hand-to-mouth in some basementwarehouse in Anywhere, USA, what will really make your Top 8 is something totally bong-hit pedestrian.

Take, for instance, Wolfgang’s Vault, the sort of tie-dyed site overrun with all those things that eventually end up “classic rock”: posters, T-shirts, photos, vintage ticket stubs (note to self to remember the next time you pass through: large amounts of no-no substances as a teen makes it hard to remember if the Theater Gallery even had ticket stubs to every show you saw from 1985-’88). But for everybody who isn’t looking for a $44 retro Who T-shirt or $10 Whodini ticket stub there is also Wolfgangs Vault, an assortment of live shows featuring acts familiar to anybody whose earliest live-rock experiences were listening to the King Biscuit Flower Hour through a single-speaker hand radio. (Registration is free.)

As such, you know what you’re gonna find here: plenty of Allman Brothers, the Band, Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, King Crimson, and other such boomer fare at hallowed venues from Fillmore West to Winterland, and dating primarily from the very late 1960s through the mid-1980s. Strewn among this expansive list are four concerts recorded in the Baltimore region:

Hall and Oates at the Baltimore Civic Center, June 24, 1977.

Hall and Oates in Baltimore, April 23, 1982.

Freaking Autograph at Hammerjacks, April 3, 1986.

And a Bon Scott-fronted AC/DC at Towson State College—now Towson University—Oct. 16, 1979.

Die-hards will notice that this date means that not only is the show from the Highway to Hell tour but also a couple of months before Scott quite literally partied himself to death. The set’s a scorcher—11 songs, including “Highway to Hell” and 10+-minute medley versions of “Whole Lotta Rosie/Rocker” and “If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It).”

With sites such as Wolfgang’s Vault, and the pure joy found at 7 Inch Punk and Honey, Where You Been So Long?, this here interweb thingymabop actually does serve a use, even if it’s become practically impossible to contact local bands without a MySpace page. Now, could somebody please start posting back-in-the-day live sets from the likes of Bow Wow Wow, the Au Pairs, Fun Boy Three, Pylon, UT, Bush Tetras, Circle X, &tc.?