While most people this winter caught the flu or a cold from some lame co-worker who is too cheap to take a sick day rather than infecting their entire office, Riley Freeman (AKA Young Jeezy, Wild Bill, Banjo-a-saurus) and I caught the concert bug (side effects include: empty wallets and hangovers within 24 hours). Following a couple of stellar sets by MMJ to finish off 2008, ’09 got kicked off with some blues. We could think of no finer venue than the House that shares its name, right down in the heart of Chicago. The performer of record was 27-years young Jonny Lang, with opening act Jason Eskridge.
We started off the evening w/ beer, nachos, and tequila (oh tequila!) at the Elephant & Castle and then picked up a shoe shine on the LaSalle Street bridge on our way to the show. Inside, a good time was had by (most) all. Jason Eskridge was a little too mellow as an opener, but he has a great voice and he sat in on a number of songs w/ Jonny Lang, one time filling the large, horrible shoes of Mr. Michael McDonald, who was on the album version of ‘Thankful’. Jonny Lang’s set was heavy with material off his 2006 release, Turn Around, but he included some of his older stuff too. He’s got a good rhythm section filled with pros who allowed Jonny to take a solo whenever the crowd got a little rowdy. Bill and I were both severely hurtboxed the following day and attempted to relay the prior night’s happenings to Evan via electronic mail. The following is a summation of our story. In tribute to the blues music we heard, the re-telling of our tale will be done call-and-response style, via archived correspondence:
The Run-up, Pre-show chatter:
Riley Freeman: DK where you want to meet tonight before this show?
Dank: There's a joint right near me on Lake called Mid-Town that I've been meaning to check out for awhile, but that might be kind of a hike for you. Where's your office? I'm at Washington/Wacker.
RF: Im at Dearborn and Madison, MidTown sounds fine, they got grub there, burger or sliders would be nice before the show to accompany my guiness
DK: Looks a little fancier than I had previously imagined. Here's the menu, grub is on pg 2. We could always go back to Elephant & Castle where we went before MMJ, don't matter to me.
RF: elephants and castles works
DK: Tits, say around 6-ish? I'm probably on the clock until 5:30 or so over here. Doors open at 7:30 at the H.O.B. but Mr. Lang won't start til probably 9. There's an opener, but if we want to get relatively close to the stage, it's wise to get there sooner rather than later.
DK: Hey buddy, just meet at the bar at E&C and then we can put a name in for a table or something. Beer is more important than food anyways. And you can quote me on that.
It’s on. Just willingly suspend disbelief and believe me when I tell you we had a good pre-party and a great time at the show. We got up real close to the stage, Jonny Lang made his patented “O-Face” the entire night and tore it up on the guit-fiddle. Let’s jump ahead to the next day for the recap:
*editorial note: Evan had gone to the Kings of Leon show the previous night in NYC.
Evan Nielsen: keeek ace show. Sorry I missed you guys for a post concert round-up. I got the message. Wasn’t really in any shape to converse. How was the HOB?
DK: HOB was solid, bill got roadblocked from hitting on this broad by an old man who would not move. Decent show, that guy is pretty sick on the guit-fiddle. Got in a little Lie to Me for an encore. Met up with Vern-ography afterwards b/c she was out in bucktown. Got smashed. Nothing too crazy though. You get my text about the metal? I made myself laugh on that one.
things I learned:
I like Chicks with dagger tatoos on their ankles
NO METAL in the HOB including Metallica
CDs are not frisbees
O Bombs are never a good idea
JOHNNY LANG CAN PLAY THE GUITAR
EN: Wait wait wait. I got the text, but I honestly didn’t know exactly what happened. So, Bill got frisked and security found the Metallica CD’s and told him ‘No Metal’. Is that right? That’s f-ing hilarious but not sure I have that correct.
DK: That's correct soldier, no metal objects permitted in the HOB. Or frisbees. But he got through anyways, and your cds are safe.
RF: It was more I got frisked, and the detector wand was going nuts on my jacket. the guy said NO METAL, I said even mettallica? and he didnt really get my joke so he was like "what do you have? lets see it!" and got all serious
He looks at the cds and says you better not use these as frisbees...
cant really joked with those guys
we also each got 20 dollar shoe shines before the shoe
EN: Bill your spelling is on fire this morning. Please proofread that email and get back to me.
RF: thats because my gmail is fed up and the cursor is like 5 characters behined and the most recent letters dont show up...among other things like dyslexia
EN: Also, please fill in the details on $20 shoe shines. WTF? Was that a drunk decision?
DK: 20 dollar shoe shines were pretty much forced upon us by a street entrepreneur. He poured some gunk that looked like super glue on our shoes and told us it would last for a year. Then he told us "that'll be 8 bucks a shoe. And most people tip me 4 dollars". Dude has got his routine down.
DK: Just remembered another detail from last night. Remember that girl next to me who asked me to stop moving around so much we were packed on the floor in front of the stage? She was chirping me before they even took the stage and I said "It's gonna get worse once the show starts, I still move. Get ready for it." She moved. I hate other people.
RF: Yeh she was the worst...
forgot we ran into Mr. Fitzpatrick too....as I talk to him Dan runs out of bathroom yelling "lets go get fucked up"
alrighty then...good to see you Mr. Fitzpatrick as you can tell I have business to attend to, say hi to the family..."
Couldn’t find a proper set list yet on the interwebs, I’ll post an update if one turns up.