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Night was as downtown should be
A girl stumbles out onto the sidewalk.
It's late, or early depending on the perspective, and she's clearly been unimpressed with the night. She yells an explitive, decries Fresno for some unseen crime, grabs her friends and leaves.
By comparison, I thought the Fierce Creature's CD release party at Franks Place was a great night for the city.
The show, which got a lot of hype, harkened my old-man heart to the hey-day of Greytank Records/Gardenside circa 2004. Pre-sale tickets were completely gone and there was a steady crowd paying at the door. The place was full — but only because it's a big venue. Put this crowd anywhere else and you'd call it packed and it would be sweaty and good on a whole other level. The bands — which included Achievement House and Albatross the Musical — were on point and people were dancing — or else making out heavily— and the vibe was easy and relaxed with just the right mix of scenster-ism. That's not such a bad thing.
I want to find a picture on someone's Facebook page and tag it “Downtown Fresno as it should be.”
To keep track: I walked, walked, to Frank's Place and was greeted by a crowd that was full and diverse. There were hipsters and artists and bloggers and a lot of people who fell well outside the list of usual supects for this type of thing. There were known and unknown faces.
That would be a bonus, even in the Tower, but this was downtown, a place that's a graveyard after dark. That's a cliche and also totally true. The day-timers pack up at five and head for the hills.
But some of them — or their spawn at least — came back down on a Tuesday night to see Fierce Creatures and hang out on Fulton Street, and damn if it wasn't inspiring. Here was a tiny section of town that was vibrant and alive and walkable, walkable, though plenty of people came on bikes. The rack next to KNYO studios was full-up with fixies and cruisers.
I'm not obnoxious enough to think that one show, at one venue, on one night, constitutes some kind of grand re-emergance for downtown. I've felt this sensation before and there is some shame in having to celebrate these small victories. This one lasted four or so hours, and a lot of people are probably going to remember some girl yelling “F Fresno.”
But if we've got to start someplace, this might be it.