Friday, June 07, 2019

Dive Bars and Rock 'n Roll

My favorite musical moments happen in dive bars. That's a strange statement coming from a veteran of 12-step groups, but it's true. I've seen concerts in cavernous hockey arenas. I've been to multi-day outdoor festivals, where bands like the Rolling Stones were up on stage somewhere, the size of ants, and I could watch the antics on a jumbotron screen if I chose to do so. I've been penned in the old Cleveland Stadium with 100,000 people, too crushed to move as stoned/drunk/tripping people staggered around and peed on me (true story). You know what? Give me an unknown band just hitting its stride in a little dive bar.

This video sets the scene perfectly. First, it's set in a dive bar in Columbus, Ohio. I know. I've been there. Second, these are dive bar people. They probably catch bands at dive bars 3 or 4 times per month. They love the music, and actually, they're crazy about this band, but they don't want to be too demonstrative about it. A head bob here and there is as effusive as it gets. Third, this band is terrific. They, and a thousand unknown others, are the reason you go to dive bars. Because sometimes stuff like this happens, and you're ten feet away, and you don't need a jumbotron screen, and it's magical every time.

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