The band that DID come

The band that DID come

So there’s this band…

I first heard about it from my friend who tends bar at a nearby brewery. “They play stuff from the 90s,” and he started listing several bands, making my jaw drop lower with each one.

“You’ve got to book them!” I told him.

A couple months later, he did. I told all my friends.

Then, for whatever reason, the band canceled.

Then they rescheduled. I told all my friends.

The band came! And I had one of the best nights of my life. I remember repeatedly saying, “I am so happy right now.” Plus, I did this: (It’s a slide show, so go quickly and you can almost see me playing! πŸ˜‰ )

Do I know how to play the drums? No.

Did I have permission to climb on stage during a break and play the drums? No.

Did the drummer turn around and say, “Hey, what do you think you’re doing?” Yes. But after the first two words his face went from irritation/borderline anger to a broad smile. I was clearly having fun, for one thing, and I was the one who gave him food, for another. (That would be a separate blog post.)

Then, after applying some subtle pressure, the band got booked for a second time. I told all my friends.

The band got canceled.

The band was booked for a third time to play this past Saturday! I told all my friends.

Then Thursday morning I got a message from the bartender:

“I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but the band isn’t playing Saturday night after all. There was a miscommunication and we double booked.”

Picture me hanging my head.

Then he says, “The band that will be playing instead is a Pearl Jam cover band.”

Now picture me laughing my head off.

Pearl Jam is the band of my youth, my first musical love since age 12 when my big brother handed me their first album and said, “Check this out.” I was instantly hooked.

I told the bartender all was forgiven. I’d be there.

The bartender and me at the brewery on another occasion. When I asked if he’d mind if I put his face on my blog, he said, “I’d be honored.” Stand up guy. Despite the fact that he’s kneeling here.

I had told my mom and sister that the band was returning, so I updated them with the news that instead the performance would be by a cover band for “a particular Seattle 90s grunge band.”

My sister responded, “Nice,” then launched into a series of puns involving PJ song titles. (I love her.)

My mom said, “Is it a country band?”

She could hear me rolling my eyes from across the country.

“Ok. Ok. EV’s band?” EV, as in, Eddie Vedder, Pearl Jam’s singer. Mom’s way cooler than she lets on. Living in Cleveland, my parents sometimes take out-of-town guests to the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame. After one trip, she mailed this to me:

The band last night was amazing. On the way there, my husband speeding because, in his words, “My job is to get you there as fast as I can,” I wondered if they might play my two favorite songs. I decided that would be unlikely, as these two songs are rather obscure: found on the soundtrack of the 90s movie, Singles.

But at one point, the singer said, “I recently rewatched the movie Singles…” and I started punching my husband’s arm.

They played my number two favorite song. “I’ll take what I can get,” I said to myself.

Then in the second half of the show, the singer said, “I think I’ll go back to Singles,” at which point I shook Hubby’s arm violently because I knew I was about to hear my favorite song performed live. It was spectacular. The guy was no EV, but on the whole, they were very good. They even played my third favorite song while I waited in line for the bathroom. At that point, my bartender friend caught my eye, pointed toward the stage with a questioning “Okay?” hand sign.

I gave him a nod and a thumbs up.

Earlier, when Hubby ordered a flight of beer, Bartender gave us an extra. Nothing was said about it, but I suspect it was in reparation for our (mainly my) pain and suffering for the emotional whiplash.

Flight + 1. They were all good. Many were fruit flavored.

The crowd comprised people from their 20s-60s. Some rougher-looking types, a guy in a business suit, and a woman Hubby described as belonging in a country club. A woman with gray hair was actually head banging at one point. An older couple was swing dancing during one song. At other times, the crowd on the floor was so discordant that you’d think they were all at different shows, listening to different songs with different beats. If I weren’t entertained enough by the music, watching the crowd was plenty of fun. But we all had one thing in common, so nothing else mattered.

The band during set up, to get a shot of their banner and drum kit. I used to have a t-shirt with that little guy, which you can’t see clearly. Sorry.
That guy on the far right looked right at home when they slid seamlessly into Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb” just for fun.

There wasn’t a single song I didn’t know and love. Even Hubby was singing along to a few. It took me ten years to turn him into a fan, during which time I watched his slow progression from subtle toe tapping, to humming along, to singing along, when I knew I’d finally converted him.

The bartender and I saluted each other on the way out.

That night was a job well done.

But I’m still looking forward to the other band returning. πŸ˜›

Would you have enjoyed this night? What band, or cover band, would you most like to see perform live?

73 responses »

  1. I’m not a Pearl Jam fan, but that evening sounds like a blast! Plus, the beer flight looks and sounds delish! I would just about kill to see the Barenaked Ladies in person, but only if Steven Page came back to sing. I’d go see any U2 cover band, as they’re my all-time fave.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oooh, good choice. You should put that in your will! I just hope no one plays, Beautiful Day at my funeral. Actually, I would enjoy the irony of that. πŸ™‚
      Thanks for approving of our wedding song choice. πŸ™‚


  2. Betsy, great story. Yes, you played the drums, you just did not claim to play them well. You probably sound like I would. I am reminded of a line from The Temptations “Ball of Confusion,” which is “and the band played on.” Well done. Keith

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I asked my husband, “Hey, when was the last time we heard live music?” We stared at each other, clueless. How fun, Betsy, and I love the slide show of you at the drums. Ha ha. You are daring, missy. It sounds like a great time. πŸ˜€

    Liked by 2 people

    • The singer asked how many of us hadn’t heard live music since the pandemic started. He thanked us so much for coming out and staying late, “Especially since we all got used to going to bed at 8:00.” Haha. He was joking, but only sort of.

      I would not have done the drum thing at this show. With the other band, it was a much smaller crowd, and I had already developed a mini rapport, so it felt less dangerous. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Heck yeah! We’ve enjoyed some great cover bands over the years. Pink Floyd, Neil Young, Beatles vs. Rolling Stones. It’s like almost-seeing your favorite band for about 1/20 of the cost.

    But you’ve left me hanging here. Obviously, your favorite two PJ songs are “Breath” and “State of Love and Trust.” But in which order?! I know how I’d rank ’em, but I want to hear your answer!

    Liked by 2 people

    • First of all, PROPS for knowing the songs! Second of all, State of L & T is the best, but Breath is a close second. Not that you asked, but without having put any thought into it, I decided Corduroy was my third favorite. But it’s debatable, really. So many good songs!

      If they had continued the Pink Floyd songs, I would’ve died if they had done Wish You Were Here. No offense to my beloved PJ, but that is my all-time favorite song. They also did a bit of Another Brick in the Wall as a bit of a mash-up with Daughter.

      Liked by 1 person

      • “Singles” is one of my all-time favorite movies. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen it, and Tara and I even stopped by the apartment building in Seattle once. We were wandering around star struck, but I’m sure nobody else had any idea why. 25 years after a semi-obscure movie, it just looked like a sorta-crummy apartment complex, lol. Anyway. That guitar melody from “Breath” is SO good. That and “Release” are my two fave PJ songs, though all the ones you mentioned are great.

        We saw the Pink Floyd cover band perform “Dark Side of the Moon” while “The Wizard of Oz” played on a giant projector behind them. I mean, you can just imagine how awesome that was!! And also what a contact high we got that evening, lol.

        Liked by 2 people

      • “Release” was the other one I thought of that would’ve been great to hear, possibly my fave from 10, but I didn’t want to quibble. I’m still kicking myself that I didn’t record a bit of them playing Oceans. Such a great song, but I couldn’t reach for my phone for every one. Still, missed opp. there. They hit nearly every one from 10.

        Your Pink Floyd night sounds amazing!

        Liked by 1 person

      • She won major cool points from me when she texted me: “Sorry to hear about Chris Cornell.” I hadn’t heard he’d died. She knew before me and remembered I liked him. I remember she and I debating who had a better voice, him or EV, when I was in high school.

        Liked by 1 person

    • One more thing, re: cover bands. The straight-out-of-the-60s guitarist, who was barefoot to complete the look, handed out tickets to their next show downtown at a place called The Music Box. When I looked it up, I found several other cover bands on the venue’s calendar incl. Pink Froyd, Yachtley Crew (with the band members wearing nautical outfits, LOL), and A Perfect Tool – A Perfect Circle & Tool Tribute. I wish I lived closer to downtown.

      When this band, Oceans, plays again, it will be with fake Alice in Chains and The Black Crowes. This is totally the way to go. I mean, real Eddie would be better, but the other guys played flawlessly. And, TBH, Eddie’s old Johnny Cash voice now makes me kind of sad. This younger singer made the 90s songs (only pulled from the first three albums, but one from the fourth) sound a little more like the original than possibly Eddie might, at this point.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yachtley Crew?! Ha!

        We got to see the real Alice in Chains in Portland. Well, minus Layne Staley, of course. But their Filipino singer is seriously good and practically his sonic twin anyway.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s super neat! I didn’t realize they were still playing.

        This singer kept referring to the guitarist (the other guitarist) as (whatever his first name is) McCready, which was apt.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Not sure how I feel about you going to a PJ concert when they were in their prime and not knowing what a gem that was, Andrew! Only time I saw them in concert, the singer had a stomach bug, so he left after maybe two songs. 😦 And for that I got the worst sunburn of my life.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This would have been an AMAZING night for me! I am/was also a huge Pearl Jam fan (Nirvana, Soundgarden, Mud Honey, Alice in Chains, Mother Love Bone) as I grew up near Seattle in the 80’s. I would have been on my feet dancing to every song!
    I’m glad the band showed up and that you had a great evening! Man I miss live music!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Shoes! You’re awesome! I love those bands too. You’re such a lucky girl growing up then and there!
      Fly to San Diego for the next show July 22nd! I’ll meet you there! There will also be an AIC cover band playing with them. You almost listed my fave bands in order, but you forgot Smashing Pumpkins. πŸ™‚ (And I still gotta give it up for Hole. Live through This was a great album.)


  6. I don’t know how to reply to this post without you losing all faith in me. So…..

    Looks like you had a fantastic time AND were responsible for many others to have a great time!!!! Rock on!!!!!! πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I am in awe of the fact that you were somewhere that wasn’t at home. We’ve yet to go anywhere except stores shopping for supplies. I’m glad you had some fun, and that the beer was good, and that your mother asked: β€œIs it a country band?” All of it sounds so… normal.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. A fun and interesting post, Betsy. I could feel the music and your excitement leaping from the page. You describe it well about the mixed crowd, yet everyone had one thing in common. Your comment on Pink Floyd brought a flash back. I was lucky to see them in Vancouver in the 70’s. I had a boyfriend who would get free tickets to many bands that came to Vancouver. Much more difficult to get tickets now. I am glad to hear you had a great night out. πŸ˜€

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Since I’m a child of the 60’s and 70’s I probably would not have known most of the songs – although I’m sure my daughters would have. I would have been more for the Beach Boys or the Rolling Stones. And not a band but I would have loved Billy Joel or Ray Charles.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Wow! Sounds like you had a super blast! (and props to your husband for allowing himself to be converted πŸ˜€ ) I remember when those bands became “household names”, but I couldn’t name any particular song I know they did. If I heard one, I’d probaby recognize it. I tend to be behind the times. In high school (80s (and yes, I know I’m dating myself) I thought the Beach Boys was THE band. They were the last live concert I saw (MN state fair, at the Grandstand). These days, Imagine Dragons and The Grassroots, with some U2 and The Piano Guys tossed in. Um, yeah. I think they call that eclectic. πŸ˜€

    Liked by 2 people

    • The Grassroots is the only band I haven’t heard of and enjoy among your list. I’d probably like them, though. Paul likes 80s too, and I have a decent enough passing knowledge to enjoy it with him in the garage while we play pool. I think it must fuel him. He nearly always beats me. Maybe I should try to throw him off with some 90s instead. πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: The night the band came. Again. | parentingisfunny

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