i know i've blogged a lot lately about el olio wolof, but i don't mind. they were a great band, and i think have had big impact on the fresno & greater valley indie scene over the last six + years. when i heard they were moving on to other things, i knew i wanted to see them every chance i could get. i saw their last fresno show, and when i talked to r.c. and he told me about their very last show ever, i knew i needed to at least try to be there. there partisan in merced is just a hop, skip, and a jump away, so that and a $5 ticket price assured i'd be there saturday night. for a fan of this band, what was more important than their finale last night? all members, past or present, were going to play as el olio navigated through their entire history and catalog of music (one ex member didn't make it).
i could tell you about the two opening acts, but that's not why i went to the show. i will say that both neal jackson and willy tea were both very interesting and talented musicians. the crowd was especially familiar and responsive to willy tea.
the crowd overall had a very good, friendly vibe. most everyone there knew who el olio is, and was there to send them off in style. of course, there were also people there that didn't know el olio, and there was your handful of annoying people that are there, taking up space, talking loudly, and not paying attention to the show. (sidenote: why pay $5 to get into a concert and not pay attention at all?) but really, it was a very warm feeling in the partisan last night. during some songs you could just feel the energy as people sang along and the floor bounced with movement.
when el olio started, i was sorta in the back of the crowd. but, as people moved in and out of the crowd i was able to move forward, eventually ending up about five feet from the stage. consequentially, i didn't take any videos of their very early on music.
although you don't see it in any of the videos, r.c. sort of narrated the changes in the band through the show, along with some of the people they met along the way. kinda nice to see who they started with, who was added when, and to watch the band literally change on stage to reflect the band changes. but, eventually you had all of the members, past and present, on stage.
there were a lot of photographers, both the fan variety and what seemed like more professional variety there on the night. this is alright, but the "pros" seemed to feel like they had priority on being close to the stage. i often observed photogs weaseling their way to the front, taking up space where people were enjoying the music, to get their shots. i suppose they're doing there job, but i found it a tad annoying trying to watch the show through people's cameras. btw, my videos were all shot while i was leaning on a wall. no one's view was obstructed by my shots. during this third video you'll see a photog enter the frame, take some shots, etc. enjoy looking at his california baseball cap.
i will admit that the flashes from cameras did create a magical, firework-esque effect combined with the house lights.
and now for my favorite el olio song, tree shakers/tree climbers. there was no way that i wouldn't be recording the last ever performance of this song.
sorry about the video on this last one. i forgot that while you can rotate the camera, it stays recording the same way.
what a night. i hope all the best for the members of el olio wolof in their future endeavors. and, if you ever get a chance to go to a show at the partisan, you should.