Ah, there's that band you've wanted to see. Tickets are reasonable and there's an opening act that might prove interesting. And the club says "Doors 8. Show 9."
"Doors 8. Show 9." But what does that really mean in New Orleans' music and club culture?
Recently I went to see X and CC Adcock and the Lafayette Marquis at One Eyed Jacks. Strolled up to the club at 8:50 p.m. But there seemed to have been some ticketing snafu; the club wasn't open yet, 50 minutes late, and there was a long line for people to have ID checked, then a place for them to have their tickets retrieved at a desk and wristbands applied. Finally, there was a line going in the other direction for those with wristbands waiting to get in. I'm not sure what time that line started moving, but it was well after 9 p.m.
The opener started well after 10 p.m. Finally the headliners went on at 11:25 p.m. on a Sunday night; we got out of there around 12:45 a.m. on Monday.
Two nights later, the situation repeated itself at Santos Bar: "Doors 8. Show 9." This time there were two opening acts before the headliner (the 188.8.131.52's) and the first, Guitar Lightnin' Lee, didn't go on until 10-ish. And he played a full set.
Though the Santos Bar is a great place just to hang out, particularly upstairs, my old ass was tired. When I bailed at 11:19 p.m., the second opener (The Royal Pendletons) hadn't even taken the stage, so I imagine the 184.108.40.206's finally began their set well past midnight.
This would not be a problem if I was 25 again. Many things would not be a problem if I was 25 again.
At a venue like the Orpheum or the Civic, shows tend to be reasonably prompt, but every smaller club seems to have its own interpretation. And then there's an outlier like Chickie Wah Wah, which has carved out a niche for Cranky Old People Who Have to Get Up in the Morning with shows that start at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.
So I don't know what "Doors 8. Show 9." means in New Orleans. I posed the question to New Orleans Twitter, which as we all know has Opinions on Things — and I asked people to indicate their relative level of geezer-dom. These were some of the answers I got.
Note: After this article appeared, One Eyed Jacks contacted me to say that the starting time for the X show had been changed online before the event:
I want the show to be on time or predictably late. I know if I'm going to Tips that the show will start 1-1.5 hours late and that's fine because I know it isn't starting on time. I just don't like unpredictably waiting. Mid 30's geezer.— Rickface (@richardbeu) September 13, 2018
In NOLA, 11:30.London? 9:45 https://t.co/CpQUqRGli9— Larry (@LarryLarmeu) September 13, 2018
Do you want to see opener? Then 930. Do you not want to see opener? Then 1030.— chelsea brasted (@cabrasted) September 12, 2018
Show at 9 with an opener... The main act wouldn't start until 10:30. 10 is optimistic.Level of geezerdom: 👵🏼— Susan Whelan (@nolamaven) September 12, 2018
The few shows I’ve been to down here, more mainstream venues have always had opening act within 10-15 minutes of the door, smaller venues it’s a crap shoot.— Scott Colesby (@ScottColesby) September 12, 2018
Last night’s Neko Case show was like that but door at 7, show at 8. Opener started exactly at 8, played till 8:40. Neko started at 9:10, finished at around 10:45. Home by 11:15. Perfect.— just randy (@rsassaly) September 12, 2018
Headliner at 10;30 if you're lucky and the headliner is also a geezer.— Shecky (@Adrastosno) September 12, 2018
75 minus average audience age equals how many minutes late the show starts.— Richard Machlin (@richmach) September 12, 2018
During the week or a weekend will make a difference. But, headliner should take the stage by 11 pm. And, yeah, I'm old (59).— Paul McMahon (@PaulMcRambles) September 12, 2018
If it’s the Maple Leaf pack some snacks. It’s gonna be a while 😆— Just Gumbo (@nolagumbo63) September 12, 2018
Too damned late for this geezer.— cheryl greer (@tarsier_jungle) September 12, 2018
9:22— Basin Street Records (@BasinStRecords) September 13, 2018
10:20. Certified geezer; master level concert goer— Cheryl Lewing (@Ivegottamini) September 13, 2018
Show at 10 but it does depend on the venue 😂— James Caan’t (@AccidentalCajun) September 13, 2018
10 but later if venue is a place where reefer is smoked openly. Geezer status - still under 50— JazzLunatique (@JazzLunatique) September 13, 2018
The Radiators 9 pm show always starts at 11:11— John G R Wilson (@JohnGRWilson) September 13, 2018
11-12. If things are really running tight. 145 years old/ extreme geezer.— NO Athletic Club (@TheNOAC) September 13, 2018
10:30p— cShoe Productions (@CarolNChalmette) September 13, 2018
Opener at 8:30 show at 10— Natalie K. Mitchell (@natkmitchell) September 13, 2018