austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

We were victims of the night

Months ago Walk The Moon announced they'd be coming through the Detroit area on their tour, and bunny_hugger bought tickets because it's Walk The Moon. We've been listening intently to them since the summer of 2012, when she discovered them on Conan O'Brien's show. We'd caught them on earlier tours when they were still opening for other acts but enjoying that surge of popularity making them maybe bigger than the headliner, or when they were touring small venues. This time they were to play the Saint Andrews Hall in Detroit, a location bunny_hugger hated driving to because she's not fond of driving through the hearts of cities. But they sold out the hall maybe too quickly because they relocated to a larger venue, the Fillmore Detroit, formerly the State Theater, much closer to downtown.

The spot, in fact, is almost across the street from Comerica Park, where the Tigers play baseball. It's also right near a crescent of roads where major state-spanning roads like Grand River Avenue converge. I don't know that it was ever the Mile Zero marker for Michigan but it seems like it ought to have been. It's also the closest I've been to Canada; if we had got lost we might have gone through the tunnel under the river and it turns out there's a tunnel under the river into Canada. I honestly had no idea.

The area is possibly Detroit's best-preserved area, between the ballpark (which has so many statues of tigers holding baseballs crawling over it that it kind of stops being funny and becomes grand), football field, and the grand old movie palaces, including the Fox and the former State. We parked in an underground garage, beneath a park that smelled of 1960s concrete modernity (a rain shelter looked to me like a metal structure of tulip leaves, but that might just be me), with stuff like the Wurlitzer building visible past the opera house. Even though it was a drizzly sort of day, and the street by the Fillmore was torn up for construction, it was a great-looking part of town.

Trivia: On 22 April 1932 Howard Aiken presented his plans for a general-purpose calculating machine to the Monroe Calculating Company, the United States's largest manufacturer of calculators. The Board of Directors declined but director of research George C Chase introduced Aiken to IBM. Source: Jacquard's Web: How A Hand-Loom Led To The Birth Of The Information Age, James Essinger.

Currently Reading: Games Without Rules: The Often Interrupted History of Afghanistan, Tamim Ansary.


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