|Crocodiles Crimes of Passion cover re imagined in the style of the Obama Hope poster.|
Crocodiles @ Casbah
I saw the guy who works the back bar for the Casbah before the Crocodiles set and I said, "Man- I saw all the people here and I went back there to get a drink and it was closed!" And he was all, "I know, I don't why it wasn't scheduled." And I said, "Well, probably because of low advance ticket sales." And he said, "Yeah- look at the walk up." That conversation made sense because every time I go the Casbah I go to the back bar and sit down and talk to him about how tickets sell at the Casbah- advance sale vs. walk up.
It's an interesting question, and while I've been firmly focused on the pre-sale side of the equation, the Crocodiles show last night at the Casbah was a strong example of walk up. Based on my knowledge of the pre sale situation the walk up/guest list was in excess of 100, meaning there were probably 150ish people there last night. It's not knocking it out of the ballpark, but it's not a dismal failure, either.
I'll admit the low pre sale figures had me concerned, but the performance last night, and specifically the relationship I observed between the Crocodiles and their fans, left me firmly convinced that Crocodiles have what it takes to continue to exist as a rock band, and a reasonable hope of a succesful future where success is defined by generating five figures of income a month and six figures of income a year (low five figures, low six figures.)
That's not flying on private jets, buying Manhattan condo money, but it is buy a house, have a family money, and shouldn't that be good enough in this era of diminished expectations. Perhaps Crocodiles are not destined to grow fat and decadent on the earnings from their art, but if I were them I would feel confident for planning for a continued existence.
From my perspective, I see a band with a solid work ethic, a small but enthusiastic fan base with good coverage in the top 10 US/UK/EU markets and uneven fab base outside those markets, a band that has shed it's early confidence issues which caused them to hide craft under noise, a band that is forming an emotional connection with a specific Audience over time.
And sure, it's not all positives. Crocodiles aren't booking huge US festivals, they have trouble drawing 50 people on a Tuesday night in Nashville, they've never won a Best New Music designation on Pitchfork, they haven't always had the same connection with the Audience they had last night, so it's possible they could revert to that former state at any time for whatever reason. It's not a sure thing and it never will be. Failure lurks behind every wrong decision, and they don't know what decision was "right" or "wrong" for years after making the choice. But in my mind, from the perspective of a detached observer and not a business partner, I see the right path being taken now. Since roughly March of this year.
Right now I can see a path to growing viability for Crocodiles, perhaps for the first time ever.