Nothing like the promise of free booze to bring the kids out on a hot Thursday night, and boy howdy, were they out! When my compatriot and I walked in the door of MOTR shortly before 10pm, we found ourselves 10 minutes shy of the end of open bar and it was complete pandemonium. Four deep at the bar. We elbowed our way to the front only to be told, “no more free drinks”. I ordered anyway, paid for two beers and we immediately took off for the back patio. Nearly missing being punched/kissed/thrown up on by a myriad of drunken hipsters within 10 feet, I was already stressed out and in need of a cigarette.
The patio was as packed as the bar, and it was at least twenty degrees hotter. As I scanned the crowd, I can safely and respectfully say that this event brought out just about every scenester in Cincinnati. It was kind of amazing. On a Thursday no less. We mingled and drank and became antsy as we were promised music. Aside from the Harlequins, two other bands were set to perform, Sacred Spirits and The Weakness, but I saw them neither playing nor setting up. But our anticipation was soon answered when the Harlequins finally went on shortly after eleven. It felt like the crowd had thinned once the free alcohol ran out, but upon reentering the building, it was a pleasant surprise to find quite the packed house still, and The Harlequins giving the crazed rock and roll fans exactly what they came out for.
The thing about the Harlequins is that they are consistent – as in they consistently put on a good show. Cincinnati has a lot of great bands, but some perhaps spend too much time on the extracurriculars of rock and roll preventing them from giving a satisfactory performance on a regular basis. The Harlequins never disappoint. I have seen them play in some strange locations and over some rough sound systems, and they still manage to take it to town every single time. They figure out a way to use these variables to their advantage, and make it part of the show. The enthusiasm they have for their own music is contagious, and it is difficult to resist the groove.
Corporate sponsorship of shows in becoming unavoidable [the Vitamin Water branding was everywhere last night], but this time it was merely more than a small annoyance against the backdrop of a really great Summer party. Sure, it was packed and hot, and sure, there were quite a few people who had obviously been over served during the open bar portion of the night, but the music was loud and rocking, and people were in high spirits. The city of Cincinnati was well represented, and Vice Magazine chose the right band to do it.
by Adrienne Panveno