Idiotic traffic and driving rain notwithstanding, we ended up in Eugene last Saturday. This marked our return to John Henry's, a club your humble narrator visited obscenely often whilst living in the confines of that town. Last time there we nearly sold the place out along with four other bands. Going on at 1am and having 200+ people staying is a rewarding experience.
This time 'round we brought along Blondage and The Romanes. Pre-show, having a smoke by the backdoor (since indoor smoking has now been banned there), I get to younger guys asking if they can go in. I tell 'em it doesn't matter to me and they figure I don't work there, so they ask me what band I'm in. Upon my response they both get wide-eyed and there's that dawning grin of pleasure: "Dude! You're who we're here to see!" That always feels just damn good.
The service downtown still sux except, of course, at JH. We had a couple pre-show heavies at the Rogue brewery across the way from the venue. I overheard our idiotic waiter saying that he'd worked at McMenamin's prior to Rogue in Eugene. You will find no worse service in the continental U.S. than in McMenamin's in Eugene. Having lived there 10 years I understand this all too well, having lived through it extensively and, almost, exclusively. If someone living there didn't believe me, that I received horrible service pretty much anywhere I went, I'd invite them out with me to witness it for themselves. Everyone that went through this had to afterward admit to my correctness. Amazing - maybe it's the hippies, maybe it's the college town, maybe it's the combo there, I dunno. But the waiter at Rogue was up to the challenge of being a horrible waiter and an asshole to boot. I sat with a broken beer for at least :15 min. in a place with maybe a dozen people in it. We were even close by the bar itself. Foil's burger order took nearly an hour - for a cheeseburger and for a hungry Misfat, that just ain't cool. I call for a local boycott of that place until that retard is replaced (tall bearded asshole waiter - he should be easy to identify) there. Rogue's beer is far superior to McMenamin's anyway and it deserves to be served by respectable, responsible adults.
That said, the service at JH gets special commendation - they take care of everyone quite well, regardless of band membership or not. We happened to just take a seat at the bar during Blondage's soundcheck and they served us while setting up. That alone is the mark of quality of a bar/bartender - it's not an inconvenience to them, they put the customer first. I especially like that.
Speaking of Blondage's sound can I just say, "Wow!"? The previous time we'd played together was the first time I'd heard them. It was also their first after not playing for a few months. They sounded very solid and spot-on then; this past Saturday? It's like they pulled out all the stops. They sounded incredible, not just in the "tribute band" sense but also in the musicianship sense. Tremendous ability and showmanship there. It prompted my comment from the stage during our set, "We'll now take a brief break from the musical ability of the evening to bring you The Misfats."
The Romanes brought it long and hard, much to the pure enjoyment of the remaining crowd. "Joey" even had to go to work at 7am so they were all headed back that evening, after their set started around 12:30am. I still feel bad and would have had them go on 2nd instead of us - I just wish I would've known sooner! But that didn't stop them from giving the crowd two encores, either. Again, many thanks and mucho appreciation to those guys.
Our set? Man, I was in pain but in a good way. I even cut "Buffet Zombies" off accidentally, forgetting the second verse. The best thing is that we've been playing together long enough now, in varying degrees of sobriety, that the rest of the band can recover from my screwup instantly. That, too, is completely rewarding. The rest of our set went well, tho', and we charged through in proper order. I even got some good digs in on skinny bands (probably 90% of those in our audience met that description) and they gave it back in good order, too. Jocularity ensued and we had a ball.
Afterward, as I'm recuperating in the back "green room," I get two nervous guys just wanting to meet me and get numerous pix. The drunker of the two had a killer tattoo of the devillocked skull on his arm so they were long-time 'fits fans. And, now, they were just fawning over us. Again, that's humbling and rewarding all in the same shot. The lack of musicianship of The Misfats is more than compensated by the fan appreciation and the fun everyone (including us) has at our shows. Word.
Of course, I forgot again that the new black greasepaint isn't good on my eyes. My right eye reacts like I've been stabbed with a meaty finger soaked in pinkeye serum. It stays that way for a couple days, too, giving opportunities for long stares from co-workers and lots of avoidance. I can appreciate those moments, tho', and try to rub my eye and then touch lots of stuff in the breakroom in front of them. Nice, no? That's me making lemonade outta lemons, baby!
!Next show! !Next show! !Next show!
Saturday Feb 4th
Stay Tuned (Seattle)
@ Monkey Pub
5305 Roosevelt Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105
Doors 9pm, $5, 21+
(Of note, in the user reviews of that spot, is this: "if you want to hang out, have a beer, smoke a cigarette and shoot pool in a nearly frat-free atmosphere in the U-District, Monkey Pub can't be beat.")