Aftermath: Robert Earl Keen and His Touchy-Feely-Talky Fans at House of Blues

Aftermath hasn't completely coughed up all his holiday goodwill yet, so we're going to try really hard to keep this review from turning into a rant against the audience that showed up to see Houston's own (by way of Bandera) Robert Earl Keen Monday night. But in order to do that, we need to get some things out of the way first. At this point, we've been to enough House of Blues shows that Aftermath has grown begrudgingly tolerant of crowds who behave like they're at happy hour instead of a concert. We've learned where to stand so their constant conversation is minimally intrusive (hint: it's not at the back of the room). And from a purely sociological standpoint, we find it fascinating that the same people can go from ignoring what's happening onstage altogether to screaming every word to "This Old Porch" right back to their semi-private discussions without skipping a beat. Secondly, Aftermath feels like we should apologize to the people we prevented from getting to the bar quicker than they would have liked. Because we've been to so many shows there, we assumed we were standing well out of the way of HOB's high-traffic zones. But judging by the number of times we were jostled, nudged, bumped and flat-out almost run over by thirsty Keen fans, apparently we weren't. So, you know, our bad. Maybe we were disoriented from all the digital-camera flashes going off or something. And we didn't think we'd ever need to point this out, but it is never, ever appropriate for one dude to grope another dude. Especially someone you don't know, even if they're wearing a Longhorn sweatshirt in a room full of Aggies, and especially not in the face. We probably showered off at least two or three epidermal layers Tuesday morning. Believe it or not, even after all that, Aftermath did manage to enjoy the show. More or less. But you know what? We don't really feel like writing about it now. If you want to know how it was, just ask somebody else who went... there are probably about 1,000 of them scattered over the Houston area. We're sure they'll be happy to tell you all about it. Provided they were paying attention.

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