Wishek Rock Weekend

Holy Rock Shit

Well, last weekend was great — total rock weekend. [Rock Photos]

Friday :: Chicago
We played the Underground Lounge on Friday with our good friends, Wishek. We managed to enjoy ourselves and have a great time despite the fact that the Underground sucks and they shafted us on money and offered us no free/discounted beer all night.

First up were Kyle Mann Combo – pretty boring and a little self indulgent, but their parents liked it just fine. The drummer looked like he was made of wax, which was kinda weird. Then came Lindbergh – they took way too long to get set up; they tried pretty hard to rock and look good; they were ok; they kinda rocked and looked good.

We were up third. My guitar didn’t work; turned out to be bad cables; Ike (Wishek) came to the rescue. Start playing; within a song or two Bill breaks a string; Ike comes to the rescue again; I say this Ike Turner is better than the other Ike Turner. Couple more songs; Bill breaks another string; one of the fine fellas in Lindbergh run up with a guitar. Few more songs; Bill breaks another string; we say fuck it, cut to last song and rock out minus one string. I think (and people agreed) that we rocked shit’s ass despite the technical troubles .

Last but far from least, Wishek were after us and were super great. Three guitars, cool songs and it looked like they were really having fun. In fact, Ike later told me it was one of their best shows. Luckily even though they were last there was still a decent crowd out.

Saturday :: Kalamazoo
We got a little bit of a late start on saturday. Everyone was a little lit friday night and Nate, Mark and I were even drinking on the train home from the club (after standing on the platform for a half hour, we met up with some “bro’s” and bummed a few beers out of their 12-pack). But the next morning, all of us were up at the space to load up only a little late. Except Bill and Liz who were very late, rolling up to get the gear 2 and a half hours later than we had planned. Slow start.

Nevertheless, timing and traffic weren’t too bad and we rolled into Kalamazoo around 7ish. We pulled right up to the BBQ at Ike’s where he, his bandmates and his extended family were all hanging out. Beers were doled out, burgers were just coming off the grill and some ‘nitrate-free’ weiners were just being started. Everyone at Ike’s were all top-notch folks and we really had a great pre-show get-together.

The KraftBrau Brewery was pretty cool. Don’t know much about Kalamazoo, but the brewery was right near some train tracks in this old (train station?) building. They brewed their own beer (hence the name) and gave us a deal on those beers. They were all delicious though I tended to stick with the pale ale.

Up first were Crash City Saints. They were dreamy shoegazer noise pop. With a girl up front and 3 guys on guitars (2 6-string and 1 4-string) they kept the beat and some atmospheric sounds on a disc or something (sampler, sequencer, gadget thing?). They were good and they were nice folks to boot.

We were second and came well prepared this time. I think we brought like 6 guitars — after the previous night, with all the string breaking and technical difficulties, we felt we needed to stock up. I had the great pleasure of playing Al’s ‘Reverend‘ — wow, what a sweet guitar. There was nothing wrong with my guitar, I just thought his was super cool and he said I could use it. Bill brought his Jazzmaster, which he played that evening — sounded great as well. The night had no tech troubles and we were on fire. The club was great, the sound was great, the crowd was great. Everything came together pretty well.

Wishek played after us again. K-zoo is there hometown and they seemed pretty comfortable up on this stage. Things were tight, they seemed to be having a ton of fun and they rocked pretty hard.

The end of the night came and we were planning on just grabbing a hotel nearby. As we leave, all these cop cars scream by. We were supposed to be following Ike — Al and Mike were, but Bill, Liz, Nate and I were in Bill’s car, following someone else. Turns out, we were following Aaron from Wishek and he was kind enough to take us where we needed to go. First we turned around as to not get involved with all the cop action ahead. And then when we got to the hotel it was all booked up, so we met up with Mike and Al at a great restaurant (the name escapes me) where they were patiently waiting for us. We had a great meal and decided to just drive a little and stop for a hotel outside of town. So we do. And it is booked as well. We go a little further. Again, no rooms for us. We do it again and again and again. (Turns out there is a conference in the area and a triathalon or something.) So, now it is about 5am, and we are still looking for a hotel when Mike and Al call us from their car. Al remembers his old friend has a family cabin near the Indiana Dunes. He was just there a couple weekends ago and knows where the key is stashed.

So off we go down some dirt road into the woods and soon we pull up to this cool ass cabin. They have plenty of beds and I dive into the nearest one. In the morning, I wake up to a wall of windows overlooking a thick forest – much better than a hotel. One by one, we all pop up rubbing our eyes and shaking off last night’s buzz. We pick up some bagels and coffee and whatnot and head on home.

Great Rock Weekend. Here’s Proof!