Last night was, for me, vintage Cleveland. It was a somewhat quiet evening, seeming like everyone was saving their big energy for today and tonight. That's fine with me. After a quick visit to Tremont to check out the opening of Asterisk's annual "19" exhibition (which you can also see on Tremont Art Walk night this Friday), it was off to the First Annual Matt Chasney BBQ at the Beachland. There were a handful of local bands on the bill, with a few more performing a floor show in the ballroom. I was virginal when it came to most of these bands, but one of them - The Hot Rails - is consistently a favorite local act, so I figured that was enough reason to check the event out. Plus, as you know, I love the Beachland. Plus, going there gave me another chance to try my luck at collecting all 15 Dunny Endangered Species toys. Plus, I love grilled meats. Plus, I love anything billed as "First Annual" - it means the organizers are either funny or have high hopes and won't waste your time and money.
A day later, I still don't know if the "First Annual" part was irony or ambition, but I can tell you this - the burger I had was fucking awesome. The dude that plays guitar in The Hot Rails and Good Touch Bad Touch made it, and he did an excellent job. I'll admit, I was starting to cast a skeptical eye on the grill as it seemed like the burger was gonna be charred to shit when he finally took it off, but when I chomped out bite #1 it was heavenly. So, my apologies for doubting you, guitar dude. You were right, I was wrong.
The music was also enjoyable. I got to the venue in time to catch Adam Taylor, a dude fronting a small band on tour and en route to Milwaukee from their hometown of Lancaster, PA. As a semi-interesting personal Cleveland Bachelor side-note, my family took at least one vacation to Lancaster, PA, when I was a kid. What kind of family does that? The kind that think Covered Bridge Festivals and Colonial Living History villages are exciting. Personally, I think it is tantamount to child abuse, and for that reason I was not inclined to appreciate the performance of Mr. Taylor and company. Mid-way through his set, though, I was starting to come around. By the end of it, though, I was bored with the performance and more entertained by the notion that certain songs should be renamed "Piggly Wiggly" than I was actually listening to the songs.
After the Taylor performance, I went next door to catch The Guile, a band I didn't previously know of, but was assured by a friend in the know that they were good - "tight vocals over pop punk" as she described them. A good description it turns out, and I listened happily for a song or two, before the wafting scents of the grill outside got my attention and the burger made its siren call. By the time I came back in, they were finished playing, so I hopped over to the ballroom to catch Craig Ramsey and the Nice People. I'd been hearing a lot of positive things about this dude and band, and the 2-3 songs I heard were catchy and good. By the time my burger was consumed, though, I could hear the gravelly stage garble of Ken Janssen next door and new it was time to catch the Hot Rails set. The show was good, a little more rushed than usual, but they played some new tunes as a teaser of their new album due out later in the year. Ken also chucked out a ton of free drink chips, which more than makes up for any pacing issues, which were only minor anyway.
By the time these dudes were done, I was full and a bit tired. I stuck around to catch The Volta Sound, though they had some sound system issues and the whole thing was a bit more Iron Butterfly than I usually dig. Still, I had a friend in the band and it always makes a band a bit more likeable when you have someone you know in it. I guess that's how parents feel when they go to shitty junior high jazz choir performances. But The Volta Sound were way better than any shitty junior high jazz choir I know of, so before feelings are hurt, let me be clear - I'd go see these guys again, just not at 1 AM and with a full belly of grilled goodness.
3 weeks ago