We’ve got a house party coming up and me and my boys in our band Rope are going to, once everyone has had enough alcohol, rock out some cover songs. Then it’ll be time for karaoke with the other partygoers with us providing the music.
There’s a nanobrewery/restaurant that has an open mic night every Sunday. You get a 10-15 minute slot to play/sing whatever you want. They have tons of music equipment already up on the stage, including a drum set, cajons, guitars, a PA system, mics, a mixer. Pretty impressive for such a small place.
I’ve been meaning for a while to check it out, because it combines two of my loves: craft beer and music. Decided to go last night as a “warm up” for the party.
Started out with a “abbey quad” beer. A quad is an experience. A Belgian-style beer most often associated with the trappist breweries maintained by monks in Europe. A good intro to this style of beer would be an “abbey dubbel”. Then try a “abbey tripel.” When you’re ready, go for the quad. Each one has a successively higher content of alcohol, with the quad sometimes reaching 12% or higher. That’s like having 4 Coors Lights, for you beer (water) drinkers (Yes, I’m a beer snob and I know it and embrace it).
The quad I had last night was 10%. Drinking it at the pace of a “normal” beer, I got comfortable pretty quick.
A few other guys went on while I was waiting. All acoustic guitar and singing with no other accompaniment. Two played covers and one originals. Enjoyed it. Staff were really cool and supportive.
Then it was my turn. Decided to just do some simple songs that I love to play and are in my (very limited) vocal range. Opened with Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here”. Then covered Johnny Cash covering the Nine Inch Nails’ song “Hurt.” Next was Elvis Costello covering the Nick Lowe song “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding).” Closed the set with Foo Fighters’ “Everlong.” I just had to in honor of Dave Grohl. Last month he was on stage performing. During the second song he fell off the stage and broke his leg (The song was “Monkey Wrench,” which I guess is fitting). He went to the hospital for x-rays and a cast, and then……… he came back and finished the show! Now that’s a rock star.
Couple of fun facts from last night’s “gig:”
During “Everlong,” a random guy jumped up on stage with me, grabbed a second mic and started singing the song with me. He knew about half the lyrics and had a decent voice. I could have stopped playing and asked him to move, but I figured, what the hell. Let him have his fun. And anyway…. I was playing a song by a “grunge” band. Grunge fans jump up on the stage all the time. Most often to then stage dive and crowd surf. But hey……….
Then, there was the “Pink Floyd guy” (PFG). I came back to the bar after my set. He was sitting with his wife near me. Here’s how the conversation went:
PFG: Good set. You sounded really good.
PFG’s wife: Yeah, you did.
Me: Thanks so much. Really appreciate it.
PFG: While you were playing Pink Floyd, I was tempted to come on stage, grab a guitar, and play the other guitar part.
Me: Yeah, the intro really is a two-guitar part. Thanks. I was gonna try and play both parts simultaneously, but I thought I’d keep it simple.
PFG: I remember the last time I saw Pink Floyd in concert.
Me: Wow, that must have been amazing.
PFG: Yeah, it was. 1992. Both visually and sonically amazing.
PFG: Probably helped that I was out of my mind on acid and weed.