AndyO Blog

Friday, February 24, 2006

Chris Mess at the Blue Moon

Tonight, Chris Mess played its inaugural show at the legendary Blue Moon tavern. I'd actually never been to the Blue Moon, and its reputation definitely lives up to the hype. I wasn't sure what to expect. The novelist Tom Robbins once described this bar as "a frenzy of distorted joy spinning just outside the reach of bourgeois horrors."

Everything started off strangely enough. I pulled up on the corner, parked illegally, and started unloading my drums. It wasn't until I looked up at the sign above the door that I realized I was in the wrong bar! Most of my drums were now sitting in The Rainbow (at least they weren't set up yet). Man, did I feel foolish.

I went over to the Blue Moon, where I found Sam setting up her bass and amp. I told her my foolish story of unloading my drums in the wrong place. She did the only thing she could have done: laughed. Then she walked over to The Rainbow to help haul all my drums to the correct venue.

There were more people hanging out in the Blue Moon than I expected. Since I didn't really know any of them, I assumed they were regulars. They were doing one of the following:

  • Drinking beer
  • Working on computers (free Wi-Fi)
  • Hanging out with one of many dogs carousing about
  • Playing pool
  • Reading

After I set up my drum kit, I talked with my brother, who was reading a book in the corner. I thought he'd brought the book, but he actually got it off the shelf. I also talked to my son's teachers and their friends.

A little before 10:00 we hit the stage, blasting through our set. The crowd seemed receptive, and we played well. I had a few technical issues with equipment and drum sticks, but overall it felt good. When Chris introduced me during our song, "Bossa Nova," he said, "Andy just lives a few blocks away from me, so it's easy to rehearse." After the show, people came up and said, "Is that really true about you guys living so close?" It is indeed true.

Afterward, the headliner, "Radioshark" took to the stage to play an eclectic set that included elements of rock, punk, surf, garage, and Bionic Samba. Not only was their music interesting, but they were all great guys. They even invited us to play another show with them in April.

As I watched Radio Shark play their set, I thought about all the bands that had passed through this space. I know my uncle played a show where Robert Cray opened for him. I'd heard Jimi Hendrix played there, but I couldn't confirm it. A friend of Chris's said Hendrix did play The Rainbow next door. Ah, I was now familiar with The Rainbow. Where I'd started my evening.

On to the next show in March at "The Mercury."

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