This evening, I successfully completed a rite of passage for any true music fan.
A Pogues show I had a ticket for was cancelled.
Apparently, Shane injured his leg in Boston three nights ago, and at around 6 p.m. today, it was decided that he couldn't go on with the show. Despite all logical inclinations, I'm kinda willing to believe that story, as I was outside Roseland around 5:30 and heard the band soundchecking ("The Sunny Side of the Street" and "Greenland Whale Fisheries") minus Shane (which I expected...I get the sense Shane isn't really a soundcheck kinda guy). And I saw them after soundcheck, had everybody except James Fearnley sign a "Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash" LP (including Terry Woods and Darryl Hunt, one of whom I forgot wasn't on the record and the other I knew wasn't on the record but took my pen and signed before I could stop him...whoops), and told them I was excited for the show. There were no hints that the show would be cancelled in less than an hour.
So I went to see some dude I went to college with play piano at Barnes & Noble, got some pizza, and came back to Roseland at 7:15 to find the show cancelled. Tickets are still available for tomorrow, but I think I'll pass in favor of getting $54 back in my wallet and take my chances on the "hippies" at NJPAC. If Cavaliere pulls out with a bum leg, I'll be furious.
Another reason why I'm leaning toward believing the whole shady cancellation story is because they're being up front about everything at the Pogues website. And the reason doesn't matter so much as long as the end result (cancellation) is the same.
Based on the soundcheck, though, I kinda wish the Pogues went on with the show minus Shane, or at least gave the option. They sounded damn good with what I think was Spider on vocals, and I would've been pleased enough with that. But maybe I'm in the minority on that one.
UPDATE (11 p.m.): I'm starting to think that the cancellation was worth it for the impressive, ongoing display of vitriol now at the above link. Crazy people never disapppoint. Thank God the Internet gives them a forum. I mean, I suppose I'd be upset if I had rearranged my life and I had never had a chance to see the Pogues before. But I think with any Shane Macgowan show, you pay your money, you take your chances.