As I prefaced last week, my brother was in town with his band for a gig at a local tavern. The wife and I got a nap in the afternoon, then dropped the boys off with her mother for the night, had dinner with my mom and brogrit, and eventually wound up at a bar at 10:00 pm. That’s right — we were out for a night at a bar. With my mom. Yeah, things were gonna get happenin’! I don’t know what, but something. Probably.
By the time the band took the stage, two of Cowgrit’s friends had joined us at our table. Yeah, while the rock star was workin’ on stage, I was hangin’ with the ladies. And two of them weren’t even related to me. Don’t hate the playa.
The band blasted the 80s rock and metal; the crowd sang and drank, and danced and drank, and flirted and drank. I don’t know what was more entertaining the watching the band or watching the crowd.
None of the pics I took do justice to the scene. The tavern is shaped like a square doughnut, with four bars in the “hole.” So the crowd wound from the front of the stage, back to where I took the above photo, then around to my left, to circle around back up to the side of the stage. No one shot could capture the whole crowd.
The layering effect of the crowd was interesting. Right up in front of the stage were the women, (“women” — pshaw; college girls.) Behind them was a layer of men, (college boys). Further back was the mingling layer, where couples were hooking up. Then the far rear layer, was the older, (read: over 24), section. Later in the night, the ladies and I made our way up to the stage-front layer.
The ladies danced, my mom threw up the rock-horns, (after my instructions on how to make the sign), and I hung back a bit out the direct line of the brain-scramble zone of the speakers. Then a little after midnight, it was time to take my ladies home.
After getting my ladies safely in the quiet of our home, I headed back out to the bar. There, by myself, I was the proverbial fly on the wall. I got a kick out of just watching everyone “having a good time.” Folks drinking, flirting, dancing, singing, generally enjoying themselves and entertaining me.
Way back when, before I met my wife, and during our dating years, I did the club scene on a regular basis. So this wasn’t nearly the first time I’ve been in it. But it’s been right many years, and this was one of the very few times when I was so disconnected from it while being in it. Even when I worked in a bar, I was involved in the scene, just from a different point of view. This Saturday night, I was really just a spectator.
At 2:00 a.m., the show ended. The band left the stage, the lighting changed, and last call was announced. I hung out with brogrit “backstage” for a bit as the crowd started slowly dispersing over the next half hour. I met the rest of the band, and a friend from brogrit’s and my hometown who had come up with a couple of her friends to see the show. (Hi Jennifer!)
The tavern staff had already started cleaning up before the last of the crowd had vacated. Once the place was mostly clear, the hometown friend and I helped brogrit pack up his drum kit and gear.
A bar after the crowd is gone is a completely different place. I experienced this change over many times when I worked at a saloon for a stint in 89-90.
The building was mostly quiet except for the scrape of tables and chairs being moved across the wood floors, and the clink of glasses being picked up and put away. My head was numb and there was a constant ringing in my ears, and my body had that tingle of having gone too long without sleep, but I was enjoying seeing the behind the scenes action. Once we got the drums all packed up, brogrit and I headed out.
We arrived at my house at 3:00, where the only sound was that constant ringing in my ears. I ate a couple of brownies in the kitchen before heading upstairs for bed. Since our boys were having their sleepover at Cowgrit’s mom’s house, my mom was asleep in Calfgrit6’s bed, and brogrit took Calfgrit10’s bed. I joined my sleeping beauty in our room. It took me almost 30 seconds to fall into a solid, deep sleep.