Chicago, Illinois, The Abbey Pub

We never did talk Kelly Hogan into singing a song with us. We might have been able to; but we didn't fight it, and during soundcheck we tried playing Young without her and it was pretty much a train wreck.

It was still a good show, and a good night. I remember taking a nap that day, so worn out from getting home from Milwaukee at some awful hour, then up early the next morning, I have no idea why I got up so early.... By the time we were through with breakfast, it was time for a nap; and by the time I was through with the nap, it was time to go to the club.

I like the Abbey. It's big but not too big, it sounds good, it's got tables and chairs scattered around. The only other time we've played there was when Tim was at Abbey Road and Andy and I played a last-minute set, opening up for Massive Mouth or something. It was just the two of us - and I'll write about that show some other time, I've been meaning to write about it but I haven't yet, out of fear. At any rate, it's a high stage, you can see well out into the world from the stage; and it's a professional club, run by professionals. Wierd murals on the walls. Sad basement for the bands.

I think this show was the best show we've played in some time. And - oh, now I remember what I wanted to say, I thought of this just a few songs into the set. I always have something sappy to say; I'm always thinking sappy thoughts. A few songs into the set, I realized that we were playing a good show, one of the shows that come up now and then that are good ones, that stand out somehow. I immediately remembered playing at The Cooler in NYC in, I think, 1995, during some music festival - one of the best shows we've played, as I remember it. I believe this photograph is from that show:

Not that it matters. Different show, right? But I'm just saying: I was thinking about that show during this one, and thinking, that show was years ago, seven years ago I know now; and it was good, and it felt good while we were playing it, and I knew it was good. And this show, we were playing it, and it felt good; and I thought, so many years! And here we are, bashing away again, and somehow this same feeling comes back! This feeling like things have come together, like there's some sort of cohesion between us, and in the music we seem to keep on playing, that we can often feel and that we can sometimes express. I was thinking this about three songs in, and somehow it didn't cause me to fuck up, at least that I noticed.

The night ended with Matt and I throwing drums across the stage, transformed, not too shockingly, into giggling fools. Eventually we left the club, went to the studio, and sat languidly watching reruns of one-pocket competitions, preparing for some unknown moment in the future when we will once again have fun.

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