Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Riot Fest This Weekend...

We will be traveling this weekend and taking our concert going expertise to Chicago for a music festival called Riot Fest. It's going to be a pretty easy event (other that the fact you have to bring your own rocks to a rock concert in the big city) because it's within walking distance from Katie and Peter's house. I don't know most of the bands that are playing (maybe my punk friends can tip me on what not to miss) but we will see the band that named this blog GoGol Bordello. 

Cathy was quick to catch on to this band. They are a diverse bunch playing gypsy/punk/world music with roots of orgin in Ukraine. We have seen them many times in New Orleans, Austin, and Dallas in the smaller venues like Tip's, Emos, Stubb's and the Grenada. Places where you can get up and close except for the time I was recovering from the detached retina and did not mix it up in the front of the stage melee. Places where you get to stand around and talk to the band a little after the show, see them walking down the street at SXSW or get onstage with them to dance as Cathy did one time at Tip's in N.O. 
Hard to believe that photo was about a decade ago. I think despite the passing years she could still do it. She might not because I think she jumped up there because she liked the old bass player. Sadly he's not with the band anymore. But things change and the band goes on to $100 rock and roll haircuts and bigger venues.
We shall see if they are as much fun in the big time as they were in the good old days. 

Reminds me of the 80s and the big blues scare with Stevie Ray Vaughn. It was pretty easy seeing SRV in a Texas road house for a $3 cover. I remember sitting on time at a table in a club and a guitar tech dude (biker looking type) came out, sat at the next table with the famous #1 stratocaster , clipped the strings off across the pickups with pliers, restrung, SRV walked by, grabbed it and took the stage. It all happened as fast as I could write this. SRV went to hanging with Bowie and Jagger and I saw him in a big concert hall from the balcony crowded in with 10,000 people. It was not the same. SRV soon died in a copter crash. That guitar is worth a million bucks. I bet nobody touches it with pliers anymore. As I say, things change. 

One thing that has not changed is Cathy's collection of GoGol art. These are posters that were pulled from utility poles and marquee boards at various venues. Some are hand drawn. They hang in the record room at my house. 

This band is named after the Ukrainian writer Nikolai GoGol. Gogol's writings attempted to smuggle Ukrainian culture into Russian society. The band is smuggling eastern European gypsy music into the English speaking world. I hope I have some luck smuggling my rocks into the festival. After all, the older you will get...

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