I had an excellent weekend.
It began with the Tuesdays Robot Album Release Party for their new (duh.) album Peace Sing-a-Long. It was at the 331 Club in Nordeast Mpls - one of my favorite places to see shows because it's big and comfy and if you get there early enough to commandeer a booth you can basically sit and people watch for six hours and be happy as a clam. The night started off with Gabe Barnett... I don't dislike his music, but I don't really rate it higher than background music in a bar. Besides, the first show of the night is for talking over so you can catch up with friends you haven't seen in a while...right? Or perhaps I'm an asshole. Whatever.
Then TR came on. I think it was probably the largest audience I'd ever seen at a TR show, and they all seemed into it. The set was short (at least it felt that way) and sweet, a few songs from the new album, of course, and smattering of much loved songs from the previous Orange album. Rick Robot bounced around onstage in shiny new running shoes with a blue bandana on his head - looking not unlike an aging hippie rockin' out onstage. No matter that Rick is within weeks of his 27th birthday - the man is an old soul.
The last song was an epic (no, really.) medley of "Give Peace a Chance", "The Times They Are A-Changin" and "Hey, Jude". It was brilliantly woven together and ended with a round of the three choruses - everyone in the audience chose their favorite and sang right along. The hipsters were singing their guts out, for the first time that night dropping the perfectly coiffed coolness. I'm perpetually uncool, so I can be judge-y like that.
The evening ended with a sort of ridiculously long set from the Como Avenue Jug Band. I love them. I do. But more often than not, it feels as it they take themselves entirely too seriously, and not nearly seriously enough all at the same time. Considering they've been playing most of those songs for nearly three years, you'd think they'd be a little more polished.
No! No! You don't get it! That's not the jug band way!
Mmmhmm. All I'm saying is, you need to let the audience in on the fun. If we feel like we're watching a super fun band practice that we weren't even invited to play tamborine in we'll check out of the experience and start fiddling with our cellphones and counting the minutes til bar close. Or worse, (if you aren't sticking around to drive the drummer home) they'll leave.
There are always bright spots in the Jug Band shows, though. Claudia Holt is on of the lead singers and she's probably the most polished of the bunch. Girl has an enviable set of lungs on her, and they should showcase her more. Chuck Terhark is normally relegated to the back of the stage with his sweet upright bass made from a honey barrel, but occasionally he's called to the front mic for a song and it's a breath of fresh air. Ken Tyborski does a great job singing the majority of the tunes, but I wouldn't complain he he enunciated a bit more. But then again, I am the child of an elementary school teacher.
All in all, a successful release show for Tuesdays Robot. And as usual, I'm proud of my guys.