Road Blog: Thursday September 22, 2022 - Indianapolis, IN
September 22, 2022
Gabriel and I picked up Jacob in the Ann Arbor carpool lot and headed south down US23 t wards the Ohio border sometime after noon. We cranked out some Norcos Y Horchata , Archers of Loaf, and the new The Afghan Whigs as we crossed into Ohio, past the Reverend Guitars Circle R Ranch, and west into Indiana. The drive was mostly uneventful except for some construction between Fort Wayne and Indianapolis, and people generally refusing to go to the front and zipper merge lest they face the scoff of their uneducated fellow travelers who are hopelessly clinging to the archaic and false idea that merging as early as possible, miles before the lane closes, is the quickest way to get through that misery. I’ve gone on a bit of a rant about this at our last couple shows that leads into our song “Zipper Merge,” and people are slowly coming around. I guess we’re a band with a cause now. It’s nice to be making a difference.
We checked into our AirBnB that’s just east of downtown Indy and walked to a local Mexican restaurant called La Parada Indianapolis. Our server Carlos was over the top cool and funny and wasted no time giving us shit for not ordering drinks, so we did. The menu had a botana that looked like the ones I love at Mexican Fiesta- Canton back home, but it was only with seafood and I was lookin’ for some cow so Carlos and I got into some heavy negotiations and I ended up with the Burrito Bandera that was stuffed with yummy yum and had three sauces on top that gloriously recalled the flag of Mexico. The boys and I were quite pleased with our food and Carlos was awesome and we now have a favorite restaurant in Indy!
Around 6:30 we pulled up to the Mel, as it’s called. The Melody Inn, on Illinois Street north of downtown Indianapolis. This is the only place we’ve ever played in Indy – and this was our fifth time. It was great to see Dave, the owner and bartender, and that killer sign out front, and the wall-to-wall, booth-to-booth, floor to ceiling stickers from bands that have been through there for decades for the first time since our last show there in January of 2019. We loaded in and I walked over to an adjacent playground, sat on a bench, and called TrooperGirl22 back home while kids and parents played chase and hide and seek. We got caught up on things and it sounds like she’s doing an ok job holding down the fort.
The Montana Wildhacks went on around 8pm and played a set of well-written and executed originals. They have a rockin’, rootsy sound that reminded me at times of The Bottle-Rockets, Drive-By Truckers, and occasionally The Hold Steady. They had a great crowd and we dug their set. We went on after them to a decent room and played pretty well, fresh off our Canadian run and our show in Detroit (Ferndale) Saturday. The band is tight and well-rehearsed, and the boys are at the top of their game. We got a great response and had a good time. We turned the stage over to Pinky and the Basterds, a trio that played all instrumentals. These guys killed it – fantastic musicians, great sound, songs without lyrics that still managed to tell a story, and a great stage performance on top of it. Really great set that was part hard-rock, part prog, and a bit of some other elements like jazz and funk thrown in just enough to add some flavor. It was a great lineup at the Mel.
After the show we sold some merch, settled up our tab, said goodbye and thanks to Dave and the other bands, and headed back to our AirBnB where we demolished what was left of our Mexican food in the fridge. I crashed out around 1:30am and woke up 5 hours later with a full bladder that I tried to ignore for an hour before I just got up and made myself a cup of coffee.
We couldn’t ask for a better Thursday night show and a better kickoff to this run. Thanks to the Wildhacks for letting use their kit and to the Basterds for letting use their bass rig! All great dudes who were friendly and welcoming, and fantastic bands. Today we’re driving west to Iowa City where we’ll play at Elrays Live&Dive tonight at 9pm on the upstairs stage. We’ve always loved Iowa City and can’t wait to get back – see ya there! xx