Thanks For the Hangovers

February 12, 2006

This is Fred.

Fred owns Frederick’s Music Lounge.

Frederick’s Music Lounge hosted its last ever show last night, featuring Two Cow Garage, The Saps, and Fertilizer Bomb. It was a great night of music and a fitting end to an integral part of the local music scene. Fred’s has always leaned toward booking roots/rock/alt-country bands and this night’s lineup was no exception.

My friends and I got there relatively early, anticipating a capacity crowd. We did not want to be left out in the cold on this one. It was nice to get there early, but I don’t think they ever reached capacity and, frankly, I’m not sure they would have not let anyone in they it reached that point…

Fertilizer Bomb started the night of with a cover of Drive-by Truckers’ “Sink Hole” and set the tone for the entire night. I had an irrational skepticism of the band after they started with such a contempory cover, but they quickly won me and my friends over. They put on a good show and definitely got the crowd worked up, providing the perfect soundtrack for drinking. They closed out their set with Alice Cooper’s “Welcome to My Nightmare” and Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way”, which was, actually, a great way to end their set on the last night at Fred’s.

The Saps, from Chicago, were up next. I had only previously heard of The Saps, but had never heard their music. Their set was, in a word, awesome. Their music truly ocupied the intersection of country and punk, in the place often referred to as alt-country or cowpunk. They reminded me of the Old 97s circa Too Far To Care, with a little more big city grime and a little more punk attitude. Their set started out showcasing the more americana/alt-country side of the band, and progressively got louder, faster and more aggressive as the night wore on and the crowd got rowdier and drunker. If you had walked into Fred’s on The Saps’ last song, you would have been forgiven for thinking The Saps were a Clash-inspired punk rock band.

Finally, Two Cow Garage, who were personally asked by Fred to play at Frederick’s last show, took the stage. For those of you unfamiliar with Two Cow Garage, the best points of reference when describing their music are Slobberbone, Drive-by Truckers, and The Replacements. From those comparisons alone, you should know that they are LOUD. However, this night, bassist Shane Sweeny started the set off quietly, covering a song written by Centro-matic’s Will Johnson for the late, great Slobberbone, and dedicating it to Fred, who made his first appearance of the evening at the end of the song. Sweeny’s one-man-and-his-guitar balladeering was soon laid to rest as the rest of the band took the stage and proceeded rock everybody and their socks, shoes, and underoos off for the rest of the night. It was a typically loud and rowdy show, in which Fred and Frederick’s were clearly the points of affection and attention. The band played The Beatles’ “Don’t Let Me Down” to end their set — an appropriate ending to a great run at an iconoclastic venue. Or it was going to be until, at the end of the song, Fred got on stage, inforing the band that the bartenders had requested ONE MORE SONG – Poison’s “Talk Dirty to me.” And, of course, they obliged. Half way through the song, Fred got onstage and thoroughly tackled Sweeny, sending the two of the crashing to the ground and into the drumset. After tackling as many members of the band as he could reach, the stage was a wreck, people strewn about, and the drums scattered everywhere. Like the true workmen and consumate professionals they are, the band continued and finished the song – the drummer banging on the hi-hat and snare drum where they lay, and Micah attempting his best C.C.DeVille at the bottom of a pile-on. It was a chaotic and beautiful ending to the night.


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