Last night, The Joans
played a set in a 4-band lineup at The Note
in Bucktown. The offer came up rather suddenly, and we weren't 100 percent sure we were going to do it until yesterday. At first, I was less than excited, because we were fourth in the lineup and were scheduled to start at 11:30PM. Yes. 11:30PM on a school night! And often with multiple-band lineups, not every band starts right at their scheduled time--there's set-up and tear-down time to figure in, too. I was looking at getting home around 2:30AM, and I had a feeling I'd be dragging this morning, so I told my bosses that I might be in after 9:00 (I didn't say HOW long after--my usual start time is 8:30).
I drove to work and then afterwards went to Taylor's house to pick up my drums, and totally scaring the shit out of Kenny, his visiting friend who was doing laundry in the basement. I got the drums loaded in pretty good time, though, and got down to Bucktown within 25 minutes (not bad for rush hour). I found a parking spot right on Milwaukee Ave. about a half block away from The Note. I noticed other bands starting to load in, so when the others got there a few minutes later, we started taking our stuff in. I'd never been inside before--it's a pretty nice place!
By the time we got all set up and I was taking everything in, started getting more excited. The Note has a terrific stage, and a great
sound system. The sound check went smoothly and the sound guy was really meticulous and painstaking. The only problem I ever noticed was that it was hard at times to hear some of the vocals during the performances, but that was due to the high volume of the music, I think. And those other kids rock harder than we old Joans do!
The bands were The Start
, a nifty electro-rock band with an intense sound, and Misfortune 500
, a rock band out of Athens, GA whose lead singer/guitarist had a very Bono-esque quality to his voice. It was all very enjoyable to listen to (when I wasn't outside smoking and biting my nails--I really should pick one
bad habit and stick to that, shouldn't I?)
One of the bands didn't show up, so Misfortune 500 and The Start played slightly longer sets and we went on right at 11:30 (I was truly expecting it to be more like midnight). I had looked around the room at the audience earlier, saw their 20-something and early 30-something heterosexual faces and thought, "Why, these guys aren't going to get all the Joan references!" But when we got onstage, they were quite appreciative. David and Jennifer sold the songs so well that the attitude pretty much transcended whatever gaps there might have been in the audience's awareness of Joan. They were just funny and fierce on their own! Ed did a terrific job as Carol Ann, and his keyboard playing just gets better all the time...I watched him during sound check, and could tell it's becoming natural to him. It really fills out the sound, too! Taylor was terrific as always.
We finished about 12:10 or so, and started taking stuff down and David chatted to several enthusiastic youngsters who really enjoyed the set. We finally left about 12:50AM. There was hardly any traffic on Damen Ave., and I got to Taylor's within 20 minutes and he and I got the drums back in the basement. I went home turned on the air, showered (because I was drenched
with sweat--dear Lord), checked my e-mail and went to bed at 2:30.
And you know the funny part? I was up at my regular time and at work by 8:30...
This Friday, I'm going to see one of my favorite local bands, The Handcuffs
, play at Abbey Pub. Another place I've never been! (As much as I drink, it's amazing how many bars I've actually not
been to in Chicago...)