While Sam Steffen and I sat under the registration tent to keep out of the rain, we compared ‘silly’ and ‘absurd’ to describe this gig.
We were asked to play a set for this Voters’ Registration event a block away on the Greenway by a couple of friends. I knew that my daughter Rosalie had signed up for it, and it was a chance to share the stage with Sam.
We eventually got on after 2:30, later than I had expected. There were wrinkles in the sound system, only a drunk standing right in front of us, singing along with what ever were playing. Sam and I looked at each other. This is it. Hometown democrats and leftist folkies. and a chance of big storms on the way. I thought silly was appropriate.
The band before us was a trip. It was a larger group of 20ish Hispanic singers and players. The leader and lead male vocalist had worked out stuff with keys, guitar, bass, drums and two female back up singers. The songs were tight and he had a good grip on what they were doing.
There was the lead guitar player. His volume, his busy licks were a workshop on how not to accompany this vocal group. He had his guitar above the vocals, noodled behind every thing. He was a very good guitar player with lots of chops but didn’t get it. Even when the lead singer said, “Bring it down.” he kept on playing. And then, when the leader really said, “Bring it down,” he stopped playing and got out his cell phone to take video of everyone else. Actually several of the band members got out their cell phones and took selfies on stage.
Amazing, but also understandable in today’s culture. Not surprising, but surreal and quite a bit absurd.
I packed up and headed off to Tom Walz’s birthday party in the pouring rain.