Caught the Cracker Acoustic World Tour the other day.
Still feeling new in town, curiosity got the best of me to go out and see what the Gen X’rs are up to on a Tuesday in the Great White North. Turns out my kin are still alive and kicking. It was standing room only in the little bar on the edge of our cozy downtown on a subzero evening.
Just like I find at most of these shows, there’s never a short supply of single guys like me, slow-sipping a beer in the corner, thinking other thoughts of pop-culture geekistry. We don’t go to these show alone. We go to be alone together. We line up, each head tilted just enough to see the stage over the shoulder of the next guy. (Though this feat has proven more challenging as they grow ’em a little taller up here.)
All were accounted for: The reads-too-many-comics guy, the poor fella broken by his attempts to achieve respectability, the dad drafted by responsibility, the trio of guys who sure-as-hell once rocked and whom I would have known had I served my local-bozo* tour-of-duty in 90’s South Dakota instead of 00’s Ohia.
Good to see them all in one room again.
So how was the show? Solid. Like hickory. Solid in the way that says, “We’ve been doing this awhile.” There’s really no substitute for experience. Forget about youthful enthusiasm, energy, vim, vigor, vitality. All so much peacock-plumed tumescence. Bound to pop and fade fast. It’s the Lifetime Achievement Award that my heroes are working for.
Can’t say I was a BIG Cracker fan, but I’ve burned through my share of Camper Van Beethoven cassettes. The skinny goofballs have grown up to resemble the stout men of noble stature that grow like corn on the cob out here on the prairie. Furry and formidable is the new David Lowery. An ever more serious strummer of the six string.
It was good to share the air with him, although I’da paid double to hear “Take The Skinheads Bowling.”
*The actual self-deprecating term of endearment that we used for our fellow musicians was “local ass-clown,” but that seemed a touch offensive. So, instead of writing “local ass-clown” I changed it to “local-bozo” which carries the same meaning, yet without the possibility of distracting my readers with a potentially offensive phrase like “local ass-clown.” You can thank me for my sensitivity anytime.