As I write this, on a flight to Minnesota at 8:30am on Saturday 3/14/09, I’ve officially passed the halfway mark: 50 straight days of live music. Yipee. And lucky for me, a crew of friends joined me for the 50th show. Along for the ride was Eric, Charlie, Josh, Scott, Matt, Dan, James, his friend and Eugenie, his wife. “At least you know you have people that love you,” said Scott. True. That’s always good to know. Thanks everyone for making it out.
Wow, I’ve never done anything 50 days in a row, apart from eat, sleep, shit and breath. But now I’ve seen 50 consecutive days of music, and 73 bands within that time. Yes, I know this project is called 100 Bands in 100 Days, but as I’ve said before, that’s just more or less a better sounding name than the reality. Obviously, I will have seen 100+ bands after the 100 days. This is about going to see at least one band a day, every day.
Tonight was exciting. I definitely felt a sense of accomplishment. Mostly because I had a bunch of friends telling me they were proud of me. And I was proud of me, too. I guess. But while I was excited for the show, and happy so many people made it out, I couldn’t completely enjoy the show, unfortunately. I had something else on my mind.
My grandma Katie.
I couldn’t stop thinking about how I had to get up at 5:30am to catch a quick flight to the homeland. My 82-year old grandmother has been pretty sick lately, bouncing back and forth between ICU and a rehab facility. And while I’ve been getting frequent updates by phone, email and text for the past few weeks, I felt like I needed to get back and see her while I can.
Despite her weakened state, she’s still as stubborn as ever. When I told her I was going to come see her, she said, “What about your music?” I said, “Don’t worry grandma, I’m going to see a band while I’m there.” To which she replied, “It’s not like I’m going to die. I’m too stubborn to do that.” I couldn’t help but laugh, because she’s right. She is. But she wasn’t done taking the piss out of her situation. I said, “I wanted to tell you I was coming. I didn’t want it to be a surprise.” She said, “You just don’t want me to drop dead.”
That’s my grandma.
But before I could get back to see her, I had to get through my 50th show: The Rosewood Thieves @ Pianos.
I told everyone to meet at the venue around 10:30, and like a scene out of some movie, we all walked up at the same time. Seriously, it was weird. First, Eric, Charlie and me. Then Josh and Matt. Then Dan a second later. Scott, James and Eugenie were already inside. We went in, grabbed drinks, headed toward the back room and within 10 minutes or so, The Rosewood Thieves were on, pretty much on time. Weird for a Friday night.
They sounded really great. One of the best sounding bands I’ve heard in the Pianos room. If not the best (doesn’t mean the best “show” mind you). Their sound was almost too big for the room. The Thieves are a 6-piece band with a really well-balanced guitar/keyboard sound. They are a bit derivative, but I don’t mind it because they borrow from all the right places: Bob Dylan, Revolver-era Beatles and a touch of psych rock. There’s even a bit of Spoon and Supergrass in there.
“Supergrass, yes. But more earnest,” said James. Well put.
They cranked out almost a dozen songs as the room continued to fill up. When they announced their last song, a cover titled “Live Till You Die,” I took a peek at their set list. It said they had one more “encore” song after that – but must not have felt up to it. Or run out of time.
I introduced myself to Eric (singer/vox) who I had corresponded with over email leading up to the show. I told him the show was great. Thanked him for the guest list spot. And then split for a quick nightcap before calling it an early night – and an even earlier morning.
50 days down. 50 days to go.
Random sighting after walking out of Pianos: Los Campesinos! singer Gareth, strutting down Ludlow.