Road Blog: Thursday September 23, 2021 - Fort Wayne, IN
Thursday, September 23, 2021
Fort Wayne, Indiana
I dropped my pal Jim off at the airport after a quick visit over Wednesday night to see Bob Mould at Saint Andrew’s Hall. It was nice to see him and get caught up in person for the first time since the summer of 2019, and Bob was fantastic, as always. He headed into the North Terminal at DTW and I headed south on I-275 towards Ohio in a steady, miserable rain that had been present for going on three days. As I drove through Toledo, then Maumee, and west towards Indiana, I listened to The Eddie Trunk Show on Sirius XM where an always entertaining and animated Sebastian Bach slowed down enough to break character and get a bit overcome with emotion, explaining to Eddie the value of the distraction that his show provided while the world (and rock and roll) was in complete isolation. It was a great moment and helped pass the time as the farms and fields flew by beneath grey, angry skies.
I pulled into Fort Wayne and headed towards my AirBB where I met my host Tony, who seems like the kinda fella that might pour you a perfect double-shot skim latte with light foam one day and take down a 12-point buck with a home-made crossbow in the next. The apartment is small, but clean and well appointed, plenty fine for my 16 hours in Fort Wayne. I grabbed some Chinese carry-out from a questionable establishment in the area, ate it back at the apartment, brushed my teeth and headed towards the venue.
I went into this show with very low expectations. Late last week the promoter severed ties with the venue, or the other way around, and I learned via a friend who saw an Instagram story that it was cancelled. After a couple harsh words with the promoter (shit happens, but were ya gonna let me know dude?) turns out he did make some, sideways effort to contact me, the show was eventually on, through the venue itself, not the promoter, but who knew who was gonna show up or play or pay or get paid? I decided not to bail on it because a) I never cancel a show and b) I wanted to get on the road and c) I wanted to get a warmup set in for the next couple nights this weekend.
The Ruin is a dive-bar music venue sitting just on the other side of the St. Marys River near downtown Fort Wayne. It looked a bit familiar, but I was surprised to learn that it was formerly Skeletunes, but before that The Berlin, where The Tucos had played a rough show in 2014. The sound guy Eric was really friendly and we talked a lot about those old places. The Ruin was looking good and sounding nice, and there were some people there, so things were looking up. Still, no one really knew what was going on – who was playing and all that, so I talked to Jack Welty, who was the guy on the poster who did show up, and we now had a plan. I recognized a new, familiar face behind the bar and said hello to Tom McSod, who I met when The Tucos played The Brass Rail in 2018.
I went on a bit after 8 to a thin but not-unrespectable Thursday night crowd. Most of them hung back near the bar but seemed to keep an ear towards the stage with some friendly applause after the songs. Jack went on a 9 to a small but rowdy group of friends and played a really nice set. He’s got a strong voice and good songs. The sound on stage was a bit boomy and muddy, but out front it sounded really, really nice. We split up the meager door earnings and headed our own ways. It wasn’t a great, memorable show, but it was better than I’d expected after the drama. I won’t rule out a return visit to The Ruin by any means.
Back at the AirBB I had some leftover wonton-noodle soup, called home and got caught up with TrooperGirl22, watched “@Hour of the Gun” – a 1967 western with James Garner and Jason Robards, and crashed out pretty early, still a bit wiped from the Bob Mould concert back in Detroit.
It’s a crisp morning in Fort Wayne with temps in the mid-upper 40s, but the skies are blue and the shining sun is very welcome after the stretch of grey days behind us. I stepped out onto the balcony to breathe in the autumn air and talked myself out of, then back into going out for a quick run and it was a good choice. I got I a couple quick miles around a park and a reservoir where I made friends with a couple uninterested Canadian geese and a paranoid vocal duck. I gobbled down some leftover Chinese, hoping it lands well, packed up, and am now heading northwest for a couple Chicago-area shows.
Tonight I’m at the The Law Office Pub & Music Hall where I’ll be part of a proper rock show with Matt Derda & The High Watts and The Embryos, and the first of two shows with my pal Nick Leet from the great Minneapolis band High on Stress. If you’re anywhere near, come on down – music starts at 8 sharp and it’s gonna be a blast! Xx