The Second Saturday was a day that we had a painful choice to make. It was a good day at Summerfest, with the likes of Brett Newski and Trapper Schoepp; or it was long time Zombie faves and friends Free Hot Lunch in Madison at the estimable Barrymore Theater (which served Patron shots for the event!)
In the end, we figured that we deserved the ability to, for one night, deem the Barrymore as the “Summerfest Western Stage” and do it up right. And we did.
We met many good friends at a brew pub near State Street, and had many brews. then we moved to the theater, where we got really good seats and started drinking in earnest.
for those who are not familiar with my enthusiasm for this band. They are tremendously gifted folk-adjacent musicians from Madison who are fucking hilarious on stage -my first meeting with them involved us being incredibly drunk and heckling them, and they SHUT US THE FUCK Down – not to mention gifted musicians and songwriters and just generally nice fucking guys….
We knew they were going to do two sets -hence the hotel and letting someone else drive us- and there have been mentions by the band members that this may be the last reunion for the last time. So there was basically no choice….
Good lord, they played everything, except the best songs you wanted to hear. But there was a new CD, from their first recorded show (“before we were funny”) and a new box set featuring re-mastered first few albums in a cute little box. I bought a shirt that I am positive will not fit me after the first laundering.
There was tequila. There was beer. There was silly white person dancing. I sent mocking photos to Kyle, who was of course, not attending.
In the aisle queue after the show, John Corning told us “it was so amazing seeing you all – you don’t know what it meant to us – I walked out on stage to you guys and it made me tear up” and we said, “we felt the same way”. Old friends being in the way where we see each other again…
It is probably more significant to me, in that the last time we’ve seen them, was n the opposite side of my existential Event. that time, it was not necessarily the last time. Except, for me, without the tremendous efforts of a world class hospital, it would,d have been, and we never would have known.
So this time, the band has pretty much signified that without silly stupid interventions, this is pretty much it.
I do respect that an artist decides that ‘this is the time to bow out.’ Sometimes….