Five Iron Frenzy
with the W’s
Carpenter’s Home Church, Lakeland, FL • October 9, 1999
As we approached our desired exit off I-4, we saw a sign indicating that we were headed toward some sort of Frank Lloyd Wright architectural site. This got me a little excited, to say the least. I could only assume that FIF were going to be performing in a building designed by the greatest architect who ever lived. Whee! When we met up with the rest of our party and headed to the venue, I realized that this building must have been a Wright masterpiece, since it was shaped so strangely! We parked in the expertly designed parking lot (absolutely no problem parking, plenty of room, something you’d NEVER expect at a rock club). I must admit that I was quite shocked and almost astral projected when we went into the club. It was ENORMOUS…CAVERNOUS. For one thing, the ceiling was extremely high, and seemed to peak somewhere in the middle. Obviously, this was not exactly built for average people to watch a rock show in. The air-conditioning was very efficient, another rarity in a rock club. The evening took a turn towards downright confusing when we took our seats, and realized that the floor (or pit, as it is often called…the area just in front of the stage) was actually HIGHER than our seats. This presented a serious problem; there is no way to see the bands unless you’re in the back of the room (or in the pit, which presented more problems, which I will mention soon), since the floor sloped slowly upwards from the middle of the room. I brushed this bizarre design as just some wacky Frank Lloyd Wright trick which would sort itself out as soon as the bands hit the stage. It didn’t.
The pit, I soon found out, was actually designed on stairs. Yeah, steps. This wasn’t flattering to the skanking and swing-dancing that went on for the rest of the night. Nor did it help the security guards keep the audience and band separate; the stage was actually just the top step. Like some kind of ziggurat. As the bands played (they were FABULOUS, especially Five Iron Frenzy, I must add), it became more and more apparent that the rest of the audience was just as confused as I was; several kids raised their hands (some more frustrated souls raised BOTH) to ask about this bizarre design. Unfortunately, the bands ignored their inquiries and kept playing.
Just a quick observation: I noticed that a lot of the kids in the audience were Christian. Could this have something to do with the area we were in?
By the end of the night, it became obvious that this rock club was definitely not the work of Frank Lloyd Wright. The form just didn’t follow the function.