On Saturday, we went out with the neighbors to Durty Nellies. It's a fairly popular restaurant\bar in the suburbs known for live music. The last time we went out with the neighbors was really fun. It was a local micro-brewery. Seeing a pattern?
We piled in to our neighbors' Sequioa (I don't remember what the model was, it is freaking huge though....they're obviously not members of the Green Party), and headed out. At Durty Nellies, we got seated on the upper level, right above the stage. Then we made a crucial mistake. We let the ladies determine the seating arrangement.
Women along one side, men along the other. So that meant the ladies couldn't effectively talk about knitting or Yahtzee! or whatever it is was on their minds. And it made it tougher to talk sports and beer and whatever other nonsense the men would have talked too. But on the other hand, I got to know a little more about the neighbor sitting across form me. She is about the nicest person I've ever met. She's so happy it is almost annoying. Always. Smiling.
The first time I met her, I pegged her going from HS Cheerleader directly to Sorority to marriage...turns out I was more than a little wrong. She is a (hair) metal band fan, and had a distaste for sororities. She wasn't in the mood for beer, so she ordered a White Zinfandel while her husband was busy experimenting with beer. This became a small problem later when he was asking for the odder beers (Nosferatu). At one point I overheard him and our waitress yelling back and forth
him: "do you have 90?"
him: "oh, do you have the 60?"
him: "ok, I'll take that."
me: "I think you just ordered goat's ass beer."
him: "I hope it's good."
As I finished up my amazing pot roast, the first band was just about ready to come on stage. We were there to see two cover bands. Before I tell you who they were, let me just say the band names are incredibly original. You'll never guess what kind of music they play by the name of the band.
The first band was "Alternative Nation." They opened with a cover of Bush's "breathe in breathe out" song. They followed up with about 10 more songs all of which were the equivalent of 3 foot puts. They were pretty good. I mean, how do you compliment a cover band? "they were great mimics."
They brought up some chicks on stage (their website has a section called cleavage cam, so this is common). It was a 27 year old dressed in leg warmers, a very odd blue dress that always seemed to be this close to falling down, and some of their pals. Which reminds me...have you ever seen the picture gallery of the 'horror of crystal meth?' One of her friends was about half way through that trek.
We all thoroughly enjoyed reliving the 90's for about 45 minutes. Then the next band came on. "Sixteen Candles." An 80's cover band. I'm no music snob, so the fact that much of the music that came from that decade sucked doesn't stop me from loving it. But then the band came on to play. The keyboard had a poster of "Dirty Dancing" in front of it.
The drummer was the only non-embarrassing non-freak in the bunch. He was wearing a pac-man T-Shirt, which I guess was required for an 80's band. I expect he has a T-Shirt with a Nintendo controller on it in the laundry. The bass player looked like he had just lost an audition for Lurch for being too overweight. The guitar player evidently had won that audition. Then there was the lead singer.
One word. FLAMING. I know this is going to sound ironic considering the 80's gave us Wham, Hair Bands, Erasure, the Communards, etc., but it ruined the stage show. I spent most of the time watching his feet praying that he would trip as he spun madly in circles flailing his arms. I want you to picture Wil Wheaton about Wesley Crusher era. Then take off some weight and height. And then infuse the Jack character from "Will and Grace." That would have about half as gay as this guy seemed.
Again, this band was all about easy appeasement. They played all 80's main stays like "Hungry Like the Wolf". If I had a pencil handy, their rendition of "Big Country" might have made me voluntarily give up my sense of hearing.
I had stayed sober, so my neighbor asked me if I'd mind driving. "No problem. But just so you know. I drive really fucking fast." He stared at me for 2 seconds, then smiled "ha, it's your license pal."
Then the band started up with "Vacation." The lead singer's voice was about 2 octives higher than Belinda Carlisle ever could achieve. We left. It didn't seem like we were there that long, but it was already 12:45 (3.75 hours past our bed time).
As we gathered by the cars, we recapped the evening. "Did you notice the mom out there on stage with her white wine?" "Ha it was more like white zinfandel." I followed non-cheerleader home since she knew the way home (my geography is alarmingly inaccurate). Let me tell you, it was a bitch keeping up with her at first, she's a fast driver. But it was an uneventful trip home. The only excitement was when I told them that the ding in their garage was my fault...
At the end of every night like this, it seems like someone has to say "we should do this again" or "we should do this more often." I don't, because that's french for 'I sorta liked this, but not enough to schedule my life around a repeat performance." But this time, I said it and meant it....