- 485 Days
- 3 Jobs
- 2 Cars
- One 15 lb roller coaster body weight in an out of shutdowns
- One camera system switch (hello mirrorless)
- That’s how long it’s been since my last show (Glass Animals at the Fine Line)
My work schedule stood in the way of being at First Avenue for the Suburbs show but by a stroke of luck I finished just in time to return to one of my favorite small venues – The Icehouse to see Ready Freddie: A Queen Experience.
Opening was Theo Langason, a local artist. His set was quiet, simple and memorable. Langason called the feeling on stage momentous. Being able to perform, being indoors, seeing music with friends and being able to hug them. All those things we took for granted at the start of 2020 now took on a special feeling. I enjoyed his music, caught some interesting lyrics and was not alone in that. As he gathered his gear to load out, he got a “mini walking ovation” from the crowd.
Ready Freddie was a complete 180 – no make that a 540 I’m sure there was an extra spin in it – from the opener. From the moment the first bars of “Fat Bottom Girls” blasted the Icehouse everyone got lost in time. We all know the music……..I mean everyone in the audience knew most of the words, and they were not shy about singing along, not one bit. “Bohemian Rhapsody” was pretty much a giant sing along. The call and response to the “Ay-Ohs” (go look up a Queen live video on YouTube kids) was enthusiastic to say the least.
Ready Freddie is a tribute band, and they acquitted themselves quite well. They may not look like Queen but boy, they sure got the vibe going. And the musicians had as much of a blast as the audience. They were smiling and grinning while drinking from their water bottles. Frontman Michael Hanna was fun to watch, engaging and as over the top as his inspiration. The rest of the band (Mark Moehlenbrock— Guitar, Paul DeLong – Bass, Jay DeHut — Drums, Chelsie Newhard and Caroline Innerbichler— Vocals) kept up nicely.
Watching the audience was almost as interesting as what was going on on stage. The pent up energy of the crowd was feeding Ready Freddie and got channeled right back. I had been telling myself that I did not miss live music all that much, that I did not missing capturing those moments with my camera, the challenges of dark venues, fast moving performers and stage lights that care about what the audience sees and not what some photographer wants (as they should, that’s part of the fun for me). Whatever delusions I had, Ready Freddie was the cure. I am so ready for my next show :).