Quelle bummer! On Friday night I'd just enjoyed a lovely meal with a group of friends at the Sunset Junction French bistro Cafe Stella (I had the duck; I recommend it), and we were in high spirits, all set to continue the froggy revelry at El Cid, where the faux French pop band Nous Non Plus was scheduled to play at 11pm. But when the eight of us arrived a few minutes past 11, some holding tickets, some (like moi) on the guest list, we came up against a depressingly long line of frustrated would-be concert goers who had been waiting too long in the unseasonably cold night. They told us that the one line was the line for everyone, ticket holders or not, and when we walked up to the front to check out the situation for ourselves (as is my inclination as an inquisitive, i.e. pushy, journalist), some of said line waiters became very angry, mumbling threats about burning us with cigarettes (I'm not kidding). Among my party was Pink Frankenstein, producer of the Bardot-A-Go-Go events in San Francisco and director of the French '60s pop documentary of the same name, and he tried mightily to wield his honorary French medal of honor or whatever doing all that tres Francais stuff gets him, but they would only let him in sans us. The bouncers told us that the venue was at capacity (which is 130), and that we would be let in on a one-in, one-out basis. But when a group of six left, nobody was let in. And El Cid's courtyard, which was in clear, taunting sight of the line-waiters, was virtually empty. Around this time the angry masses started descending the steps, making threatening remarks about "no way in hell anybody gettin' in before me." And then the bouncers made the announcement that nobody would be let in for the rest of the night, it was over, finis, and we should all just go home. Huh? With bad vibes emanating from almost all directions, we did decide that the best option was, unfortunately, to hit le road. So, with a couple other friends who'd also been turned away, we walked next door to the appropriately named MALO where we made a swift switcheroo to Margaritas and the Buzzcocks. I'd love to claim that the story I wrote about Nous Non Plus in the current issue of the Weekly was responsible for the mass turnout, but I can't really take credit for the fact that the band is somewhat shockingly in the #6 position on the CMJ charts and is getting play on Indie 103.1. According to the Fold event producer Scott Sterling, the promoter of the show, "The root of the problem was that we had miscounted how many walk-up customers we could allow in. I had left word with the door staff that anyone who had advance tickets would get in. That for some reason didn't happen." He also said that those who stuck it out for 20-30 minutes did eventually get in. And if you want to know what he's gonna do about it now, Sterling is offering refunds to anyone with a ticket who was denied entrance and allowing them to come to the Nous Non Plus show at Tangier next Sunday for free. It sucked, but what's a good French band without a little scandale? I said it once and I'll say it again: Vive Le Rock!
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