I’d decided to see them play live after receiving a 12″ EP for “Local Music Showcase” consideration. They were good back then, a proverbial “diamond in the rough.” In fact, one of the guitar riffs on the EP–chunky, angular, and awesome–has stayed with me through today (though admittedly I couldn’t tell you the name of the song it’s from).
The night they played the Bottle, I got there early and grabbed the best seat in the house, towards the eastern most wall in the back of the club, directly facing the stage. Turns out, getting there early wasn’t really necessary. I was one of maybe 15 people in the room, a figure that aggressively includes the bar staff. I remember the band apologizing for the turnout. It didn’t bug me at all.
Waiting for the band to take the stage, I was reminded of one of the true pleasures of being a music fan: the thrill of discovery.
In these post-web 2.0 days of hyper-advanced social networking and niche marketing, our opinions are largely shaped and informed by digital peers. And while getting “turned on” to new music by a digital pal is swell and all, there’s nothing like that feeling of being there first. It’s this exact sensation that drives overprotective fans to scream bloody murder when their little secrets become the talk on everyone else’s lips.
Sitting there at the Empty Bottle that night, rocking solo to the New Rob Robbies, I felt empowered. The band was good, not great…but it didn’t matter. I was in the moment, savoring the thrill of discovery.
90s in 90 Days
Over the course of 90 days (not consecutive, though I’ll try), I’ll be offering up a capsule look at something about Chicago music from the 90s. It could be a radio memory. Thoughts on a song, show, band, or album. Maybe a review aided by hindsight. Whatever it is, it’ll be original content just for this site, and not found in my book.