Road Blog: Friday May 12, 2017 - Minneapolis, MN
Friday May 12, 2017
We left our comfortable Air B&B around 11 and stopped in to George Webb for breakfast. It's a Milwaukee greasy-spoon diner chain that was about the only decent option we had between the pad and the freeway. We each got eggs and agreed that it was a notch or 2 above serviceable (one of Gabe's favorite food ratings) and headed west towards Minnesota. I was Han Solo, with Patty being Chewbacca and Gabe was Ben Kenobi in the back. We listened to Grand Funk Railroad live in Florida 1971, Fleetwood Mac – Rumours (thanks for planting that seed Shane), a very early southern field/gospel collection, Jawbreaker, and a couple others as we passed sod and dairy farms, Madison and the Wisconsin Dells, and eventually the Mississippi river into the land of 10,000 lakes. Some dude in a van flipped me off at some point, and I'm not quite sure what I did to deserve it, but I he probably had a good reason.
We checked into the Motel 6 Mpls. Airport/Mall of America, negotiated $5 off our rooms, and settled in for an hour and a half of downtime. Patty and I room together and we watched some news, bitched a bit about the orange idiot, got caught up on some emails, and got ready to head into the city. We had dinner at a place called the Cafe Racer. It is a small, hipstery joint with mostly Latino dishes. I went with the chicken empanada and fried plantains. They pretty much ruled. The boys seemed pleased with their dishes as well.
We got to Hexagon Bar Minneapolis just before 9pm and met Nick Danger, a great dude who helped us get this show. The Hexagon is a great dive bar that reminded me a bit of the old Elbow Room in Ypsilanti, but with a way better stage and sound. The bands play in the back room, there is no cover, and they have a decent beer selection. There were plenty of characters milling about – drunk old men, bikers, punks, you name it. We felt right at home. Soon we met Adam from The Right Here (the headliners) and loaded in our gear and merch. Patty and I got in an argument when I was bitching about guys wearing flip-flops in pubic, and Patty said I shouldn't be so judgmental. I didn't like it, but I had to agree so I decided from that moment I would be less judgmental. It was a theme that would carry the night (and has continued into today). Soon after that, 2 of my favorite people and best friends, Mr & Mrs Burk ceremoniously arrived with hands full of pull-tabs and semi-fabricated stories of some of our recent conversations about music, turntables, and life. After a while, our dear friend Krickie showed up and we hadn't seen her since our last show in Minneapolis in July 2016. She has a huge heart and a great smile and it was really nice to see her and get caught up. I wish I'd had more time to chat!
The Anchor Windlass went on around 10:30 to a good room. They played a great set of melodic, high-energy punk. They had dueling Sovtek guitar amps that sounded great, though the lead guitarist was having some issues with his rig. I loved their stuff and look forward to hearing it recorded some day! Next up was Class of 86 who played a heavier set of punk/metal. These guys had some serious riffs and heavy chunks, but delivered it with a light-hearted performance. Super fun. We played next to a good crowd and had a great time. We swapped out our whiskey-soaked ballad and one of our more rockabilly-like tunes for some higher energy stuff and kept it fast. I felt pretty good about our set, save a couple flubs and whiskey-induced voice cracks. Gabe and Patty were a little less pleased with themselves, but we tend to be our harshest critics and I thought it was a good set. The Right Here was on after us and they were closer to us stylistically than the other 2 bands with a little (just a little) less punk and a little more twang and pop. They were one of the best bands we've played with in some time, and super nice guys, and I can't wait to hook up with them again.
After the show we sold some merch, had a nightcap, loaded out, said some sad goodbyes to our old friends (Krickie and The Burks) and our new friends (the 3 bands and bar staff that shared their night with us) and headed back to the motel. We stopped at a SuperAmerica for some 3am snackage and the dude gave us about ¾ of a Dominos pizza he got a bit earlier. It was mostly inhaled before we got back to the motel. 3:45am and lights out.
This morning Patty and I were milling about our room when we heard a crack and thud outside our window. We watched in horror as a man was having a severe seizure about 2 feet in front of us. He'd taken a bad spill over some rocky landscaping and landed hard on the sidewalk. I've seen a couple seizures before but nothing this intense. I seriously thought he might die. There were a couple dudes trying to help, and a woman who turned out to be his wife/girlfriend oddly darted off in the middle of it all. Eventually he came around and sat up but he was clearly disoriented and not receptive to help. By now the police and 2 ambulances had arrived and he was getting some care. The woman was back now, with a child in tow. It was surreal.
We headed into the city and hit Treehouse Records, which is always a must-stop. They're closing at the end of the year so we couldn't miss it this time. We did a little damage to our wallets and met up with Krickie and Burk for breakfast at a café across the street. I got the crab-cakes benedict which were amazing. I realized after breakfast I'd been drinking decaf, which sucked. From there we said goodbye to Burk and walked down to the Prince mural for a photo-op and to pay respects to the purple one. We said goodbye to Kricke back at the van and drove by The Replacements – Let It Be house on our way out of town. Patty wasn't impressed. It's sacred to me though.
We're on US169 now, heading south towards Mankato where we'll play 3 sets at the Pub 500 tonight. This has been a great 20 hours in Minneapolis of friends, music, beer and food and it always sucks to leave. Thanks to everyone who was a part of it! Xo