Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Strumming their All at Union Hall
"Is it just me, or are that couple rocking matching plaid?"
"Shh, they're right there."
"Whatever. It's not like they don't know what they're wearing..."
It was a beer-on-an-empty belly night, and the nudging got started when the first act was still doing her sweet southern thing. The his-n-hers hipster lumberjacks were seated in the row in front of us, and were putting on a good sideshow of nuzzling and head-leans. Chris, plectrum still warm from his sixth guitar lesson, was providing a helpful running commentary on the chord changes.
"That's G. I can do that one... and there's D. It actually looks like quite an easy song... see, now she's moving into A7..."
Up on stage, the blond kept on playing away, blissfully unaware of the backseat strummer down in the cheap seats. When she started singing a song that rhymed "clean" and "Aberdeen" ("I have to admit, I've never been to Scotland") we started a brutal round of thumb wars.
During the break between sets I visited the unisex bathrooms and managed to drench my top with scalding water from the faucet. But by the time I returned Chris had exciting news to distract me from the spreading dampness.
"Matching plaid girl... she's in the band!"
"I knew it! And don't you think she looks just like..."
We both nodded.
"Yeah, that's what I thought when I first saw her."
The bassist, as she turned out to be, was wearing a flannel dress, and not a shirt as I'd first assumed. She didn't scream rock star, but her ankle-boots certainly did. I coveted hard, and decided for the hundredth time to start a band, or at least to wear my ankle-boots more often.
When the group was announced they were presented as a blond and her backing band. The plaid-clad bassist was stood at the back, next to a guy who made drumming look like occupational therapy for the mentally challenged. But that didn't stop her beau. Throughout the entire set he balanced a camera on his knee, angled towards stage left. In his director's cut of the gig, his partner in plaid had a spotlight shining right on her. She was the stand-out star of the show.
When I reached for Chris' hand to point out this boyfriendly devotion he mistook my gesture. Pinning my small thumb down with his supersize one he whispered: "Ha. That was almost too easy."