Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Day After Deutschtown

Coming down off of the Deutschtown Music Festival, which happened all day yesterday in the Deutschtown neighborhood on the North Side. Before I go any further, I want to make sure that folks know that I am appreciative that the Love Letters were able to play the event. There were about 125 bands that performed yesterday, and it was cool to be part of that. It was also nice that there was a "green room" set up in one of the venues where the bands were fed. And fed mighty well.

That being said, it feels frustrating when the band that immediately precedes you draws such a big crowd that you can't even see them (in a tiny venue) and as soon as they're done, the majority of those people standing there are gone, gone, gone like roaches in the light. I mean, sure some of them are going to leave. But don't a handful of them want to see what the next band is like? Catch a few of their songs?

We had just 15 minutes between bands for the last group to break down and for us to set up. Grand Piano - the group that played the great set before us - was off stage in record time and we were ready to jump on and hit the downbeat right at 3:00 pm. The set went pretty well, although Mike broke a string in the middle of his song that has a pretty significant guitar showcase. Then he accidentally restrung it with the wrong string and had to redo it. But things flowed pretty well.

There were a few who hung around to see us. A few of Erin's Timbeleza bandmates showed up too. And the owner of the James Street Gastropub, where we played, complimented me after our set, and seemed genuine about it. But it would have been cool to have a person or two from the audience ask about the record or when we were playing next.

It's hard with a festival set-up like this. All these bands, all these venues, spread throughout the neighborhood. There were a few outdoor stages but most of the shows were inside, in our case on the bottom floor of the venue, which was actually a great idea because it felt in a way like playing a basement party, to me tha'ts sort of the ideal setting in which to see a band.

The band took off in different directions after our set. We kind of hung around to see the next band, the John Tremaine Show, who were pretty cool. But then we had to get our equipment out of there and it only made sense to take it back home.

Later that night, I returned to the North Side to check out City Steps, who had Pam Hanlin from Dumplings as a guest bassist filling in for regular guy, Ross.

The Modern Cafe (or was it Cafe Modern) wasn't  really built for live music. Tile floors, high ceilings for the sound to bounce off of. And three big screen tvs to flank the band, on those walls alone. But they played a spirited set, Pam playing like she's been in the band for months. Michael was animated too. Apparently, Weird Paul's set earlier in the evening didn't go over well. He was told he was too loud, which was surprising because the band right before City Steps was REALLY LOUD. Thank God for my earplugs.

Today it's back to reality. And work.

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