“It seems like people get afraid of a certain music if they can’t pigeonhole it to their satisfaction…
Good music is good music, and that should be enough for anybody.”
My blood pressure was high. I was shaking from the amount of caffeine I had that day that which am still in-denial about when it comes to the quantity I had consumed. Added to the work-day blues many of us know and love all too well, I was having a handful of uncomfortable conversations over texts with friends and family alike. I looked at the calendar to see how many deadlines were coming up at work;
“I need a drink”
I thought that to myself as I looked at the clock and realized that I was expected to be at The Fillmore to see a few bands, Sublime With Rome and Jon Wayne and the Pain, in less than an hour. The bank account was so low that my usual horse, Uber, wasn’t an option that night – and I had made a bold-minded decision to leave my coat at home that morning – I was asking for a bad day, and now a cold walk through downtown Minneapolis.
I took a deep breath as I dropped a bag of tea into a steaming thermos and made some calls to get a ride home arranged before I cleaned out my teacup, then taking next steps towards the Light Rail; And with the sliding of those train doors behind me, I was on my way to my first show at The Fillmore.
For starters – This venue is a must-see if you have not had the chance to venture to this part of the Minneapolis music scene. With a fresh, open-air-feeling environment and romantic chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, there was an uncanny sense of being at the modern-rocked-out version of the home of The Beast from Disney’s Beauty and The Beast. The lighting there is awesome, the bars are conveniently located and staffed by extremely friendly patrons, and (in the case of this night specifically) the concert-goers that evening were all “chill” as hell; Whether that be due to what I smelled in the air outside while walking in, the drinks in their hands, the music that was flowing from on stage, or all of the above…(?) – I had no idea, but it all came together to give me an outstanding remedy to an overwhelming Wednesday.
Jon Wayne and the Pain was already jamming and aiming to party with us, feel the groove, and get us in the mood. As Jon says himself: “When these good vibes arrive on time, it makes me feel so god damn fine.” Damn Fine is definitely how I felt while hearing these guys perform for the first time. Jon Wayne’s vocals were phenomenal, as were the sounds coming from the rest of the tropically sounding band on stage. Their presence as a whole was fantastic, with Chuck Torgerson slappin’ da’ bass with a joyous grin on his face, Weston Schick on the keys and sax, and of course on the drums we had Mark Leblanc. Music was only half the show for me, though, as the hairstyles and fashion of these guys was killer and awesomely unique. “Best Dressed” award for Collin’s Annual Trophy-Less Ceremony goes to these guys, and their music might have to get an award of itself as I found myself buying an album of theirs and in-turn I got the privilege to shake hands and talk with Chuck from the band for a few minutes between sets (10/10 hand-shake form, by the way!). These guys are AWESOME and LOCAL – be sure to check them out HERE.A few minutes later, I found myself walking towards the bar, buying a hard-lemonade and searching for a spot that was (ideally) secluded yet comfortably close to the stage so I could take notes and snag a few Instagram photos for the fans back home. My photos are sub-par, and come byway of the Toaster-Esque-Quality camera on my phone, making me realize yet again that I’ll never be as good as our photographer, Alexa, who was capturing moments throughout the night!
I was awestruck and wid-eyed, staring at the ceiling of the place with my toaster in hand and taking photos of the fog rolling across the venue like a ghostly ocean tide – to be interrupted by an annoyed concert goer. She gave me a look as if to say “I better not see you again” – I was confused… (this will make more sense later! No – it’s not an Ex, I swear) The crowd began to roar, with drinks to the sky and screams of joy as Sublime with Rome took the stage. An oddly nostalgic recording began to blast from the speakers on stage:
She was living in a single room with 3 other individuals; One of them was a male, and the other two – well (chuckles) – the other two were females… God only knows what they were up to in there…
I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to learn that all 4 of them smoked Marijuana Cigarettes…
“Who’s ready to fucking party? How we feeling tonight, Ladies and Gentlemen?” belted Rome Ramirez, lead singer of the reefer gang, and then the crew erupted with “Wrong Way” from the OG Sublime days. It should almost go without saying that (whether it was this song, “What I Got,” “Santeria,” or any other of the well-known hits) the crowd was singing, drinking, and jamming along the entire night from the get-go. These fans were die-hard, and were the most unique out of every other show I’ve covered to date because everyone seemed down-to-Earth and “real” and it was something I will never forget. Good vibes filled the air as “Date Rape” had one of the most Guitar-Hero-Like guitar solos I’ve ever witnessed, with the band going nuts while the stage visuals were on over-drive and lighting up the concert hall. Speaking of lighting up, it smelled like the stage wasn’t the only thing around me practicing that type of “Santeria” that night – but, that’s why we were there, no? To feel like we were flying as high as Eric Wilson, Carlos Verdugo, and Rome… That was just a goal that many were attempting to reach that night. I was realizing the just-mentioned thought just as my Not-An-Ex (I swear, I think?) “friend” from earlier returned – with a scowl that quickly turned into a playful smile.
I didn’t look, as I just kept shuffling back and forth between taking photos and videos on my Toaster.
“Hey, c’mon Man – LIVE IN THE MOMENT, Man!” she said, as she playfully shooed my phone.
The gaze she shot at my phone seemed to grab the device from my hands and gently slide it into my pocket. I let it lay, to then buy another drink, and with that I was able to take the rest of the night in as it came, simply was living in the moment – ya’ know, “Man?”