Last weekend at around this time I headed off to see one of my favorite bands perform a concert in the most mysterious building in town. Yes, I went to see Luluc play at the Cincinnati Masonic Center (a building I’ve wanted to see the inside of for almost 20 years). I drove downtown, found my usual parking space on Sentinel, and then got in the long line outside the building.
I eventually got in and found a good seat in the auditorium. I was at the end of the aisle up near the front and had a clear, unimpeded view of the stage. Luluc came on at 7:30. Some New York radio DJ interviewed them for a couple minutes and then they began their set.
Luluc was just as good as I remembered them and sounded great in the large auditorium. The audience was quiet during the performance and generous with the between-song cheering. Unfortunately, Luluc was the first of three performers on the bill, so they were only able to play an eight song, 40 minute set. They performed seven songs from Passerby (my #1 album of 2014) and “Little Suitcase” from Dear Hamlyn. The whole set was wonderful, but the highlights for me were “Reverie on Norfolk,” “Small Window,” and “Tangled Heart”.
Here’s the setlist:
Setlist: Winter Is Passing / Reverie on Norfolk / Little Suitcase / Without a Face / Small Window / Senja / Tangled Heart / Star
The next performer was Sam Amidon. I listened to two of his songs, but it soon became apparent that the building was more interesting than he was. I got up to wander around. The first thing I saw out in the main hall was a confounded-looking usher eyeing a fresh splatter of pungent vomit soaking into the masonic carpet. I sidestepped that and explored the parts of the building open to the public. It’s a splendid place that seemed like a combination of a labyrinth and the Nazi castle from Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade.
I later headed back toward the auditorium to catch the first song of the Punch Brothers’ headlining performance. I lost my taste for it almost immediately when a green-faced hipster wannabe walked by and proceeded to collapse to his knees and vomit a watery puke all over the carpet. He went on and on and on. Whatever the Punch Brothers were doing onstage couldn’t drown out the sound of the vomit splashes playing on repeat in my mind. I went home and watched Elementary.
Bonus interior shots!