After attending countless shows at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City, August 10, 2011 will be my last time at that venue until their current manager Brett Tabisel and his security staff are fired. It pains me to have to write this, but I refuse to stay quiet when I have a bad experience – and readers, I implore you to do the same. The world has gotten as bad as it has become because for too long, people have kept quiet about the injustices done to them. People are finally starting to speak up and change is in the air!
Super-producer Stuart Price is in a band called Zoot Woman and when it was announced they’d be doing a show at New York’s Le Poisson Rouge, I decided to go and check them out. Everything you read about Zoot Woman on the net, from Le Poisson Rouge’s website (of which I have screen shots) to Wikipedia mentions Stuart Price being in the band. Perhaps the crowd was a little smarter than I and on the night of August 10, 2011 – Le Poisson Rouge was the most empty I’ve ever seen. When Zoot Woman took the stage, Stuart Price was nowhere to be seen.
I’VE BEEN DUPED!
After waiting through a few songs, I saw no sign of Stuart and my friend and I decided to go ask for our money back. We asked to speak to the manager of Le Poisson Rouge – Brett Tabisel. A gaggle of security guards who were just standing around kept telling us that the manager was too busy to speak with us and that we’d have to tell them our issue instead. We tried explaining about the misrepresentation to TWO different security guards but they had no clue what we were talking about and refused to do anything.
Well over 15 minutes later, Le Poisson Rouge’s manager Brett Tabisel emerged and for the 3rd time we explained the story. I simply said, I am a frequent customer and I want a refund. He told me there is no mention of Stuart Price on the website, which is not true (see the link above)! I then advised that I will be more than happy to write about this negative experience and name him in the story. He rolled his eyes with the “yeah right” look. Brett Tabisel told us he needed to check on something and scurried away. The security guards advised us Brett would not be coming back and we should go back inside and enjoy the show or leave! The irony is that the tickets for the concert were only $15. It’s not like we were asking for our time back that we obviously wasted at a misrepesented event. No apology was offered either by any member of the staff!
That’s how Le Poisson Rouge treats frequent customers? HOW DARE THEY?!
Nearly shaking, I asked the security guards for their names and at this point they asked me to leave the venue! I was writing something down on a piece of paper and the guard forcefully grabbed the pen and paper out of my hand. I thought I was about to be assulted and I am sure if I would have stayed for another 30 seconds I would have been. Just for asking for my money back?! WHAT!?!?!?
Readers, I am asking you to boycott Le Poisson Rouge until Brett Tabisel and his security team are fired. They will not get away with this. First of all, would you feel safe at a venue when the security guards want to kick you out for rightfully complaining?
I absolutely plan on telling as many bands as I can about this experience so their management will book them at one of the many other venues in New York who treats their patrons right. As this website has a huge international following, the $15 dollars each that my friend and I will not be getting back will be more than accounted for in Google when people look for reviews of the venue.
Please spread the word.
You can see what Brett Tabisel looks like after the jump so you can steer clear of this guy when you are out and about.
UPDATE: I received an email from the venue, not with an apology, but instead with a note saying I should do my homework before attending shows. What is the big deal with saying “I’m sorry” or “Sorry you’ve had a bad experience.” Really unbelievable.
Anna Calvi is great! She returned to New York on July 28, 2011 to make her US television debut on David Letterman. Later in the evening, she performed at Le Poisson Rouge in the West Village. I’ve been listening to her self titled debut album a lot since I saw her in concert a few months ago and the record is surely going to score a spot on my best albums of 2011 list. Anna Calvi was dressed elegantly with her hair slicked back, wearing red lipstick – looking absolutely amazing. Once she picks up her electric guitar, she is ready to rock. Her music has a noir feel to it and her voice is very dramatic with an operatic quality to it that is also as powerful as Siouxsie Sioux!
She performed my favorite songs off the record including “Desire,” “Love Won’t Be Leaving,” “The Devil” and “Suzanne and I.” A video of “Suzanne and I” will be coming soon, so stay tuned. The video will be worth the wait! She also played a pair of covers – Elvis Presley’s “Surrender” and Edith Piaf’s “Jezebel.” In between songs, she was very soft spoken, but told the crowd how happy she was to be back. The crowd returned the love and I am hoping she becomes an even bigger star so I can see her perform regularly. Her album was nominated for the 2011 Mercury Prize in the UK and I wish her the best of luck!
Who doesn’t love an evening out where a concert is sandwiched in between seeing John Waters read from his new book and a late night club performance by diva Martha Wash? A night such as that was on April 27, 2011 when I saw experimental US rock band Battles perform at New York’s Le Poisson Rouge. Most songs were rockin’ instrumentals and the songs that did have vocals were not sung live, but instead delivered via video on screens behind the trio.
Dave Konopka of Battles
The night began with a DJ set by Tanlines. While the music was electronic and groovy, a DJ set to me consists of mixing songs together. If you are just going to play a selection of your favorite tracks, leave an Ipod on the stage and save everyone a bunch of time. It was quite frustrating as the doors opened at 8 and Battles didn’t even hit the stage until 10:30, so there was 2 and a half long hours of waiting around (and Tanlines did not DJ from the stage, so there was nothing to look at. As usual at DJ sets, no one dances because everyone wants to preserve their spot for the main act). I also have to point out that I stood in the front row (not a shock) and I was in front of a photographer who was shooting photos for a website that I really love. Unfortunately, I had to listen to him talk shit about other photographers for the duration of the Tanlines DJ set and when Battles finally came on, this photographer was so unconscious of anyone else in the venue, he must have bumped me with his camera about 20 times before I shot him a look that said “touch me once more and I’m going to shove that camera up your hipster ass!” And as a side note to that photographer (and all photographers who go to these shows), I appreciate that you spent thousands of dollars on a camera, but no matter how many shots you get, you are not photographing the Beatles reunion – so please get over yourselves and PAY ATTENTION to how big your gear is so you stay in your allotted space and not get in other peoples’ way!
John Stanier of Battles
The highlight of the show for me was watching drummer John Stanier. He played the shit out of the drums including a cymbal that was on a 6 foot pole next to the kit. While keeping the beat, you could see sweat pouring off him as if someone had dumped a bucket of water over his head. It was really cool watching energy in motion.
If you are a loyal reader of this site, you’ll know that I really love seeing Francis and the Lights in concert. You never know what to expect at his shows – It could be lead singer Francis Farewell Starlite’s funky dance moves, Francis’ funky dance grooves, all of the above and in this case, a solo piano show where he covered Elton John’s classic “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters.”
Enjoy this cover from a very talented performer I think you are going to be hearing a lot more about.