A+ A-

Dead Milkmen Grilling

On September 16th, I saw the Dead Milkmen at Jergel's Rhythm Grille. I wasn't originally going to go but I decided to only a few weeks before. It seems like that wasn't actually uncommon. It sold out for a while, but more tickets were added towards the end. I was able to snag one and so were some of my friends.

Since Jergel's is way outside the city, we carpooled together. We ended up missing the opener, Red Locust. I was disappointed about missing them, especially because I sort of know one of the members of that band. Nobody was really excited to go to Jergel's. It seemed like a Hard Rock Cafe and, it has a funny name that I secretly kind of like for the camp factor.

I was surprised when we got there - Jergel's had a HUGE parking lot, like as big as the parking lots at some malls. Interestingly, the actual Rhythm Grille was not that large, smaller than Cleveland's House of Blue where I saw The Damned. It was about the same as Pittsburgh's Hard Rock Cafe, where I have only been to see Guitar Wolf, but the layout was strange. There are two floors with an open, recessed area in the middle. It seems kind of interesting that you could be eating and watch the band, but being in that pit felt a bit claustrophobic. It wasn't really bad, though.

The Dead Milkmen played a good show. They were energetic and played some cool songs including that one everybody knows. It was cute that the singer tried to entertain a little girl that was brought to the show with presumably a parent, and he even brought her onstage to play the keyboard. He also talked a lot about Charlie Daniels, the singer of "The Devil Went Down to Georgia", and about Ted Cruz's porn scandal. It was basically what I expected.

We drove home, thinking the Rhythm Grille was not so bad. Everything was, again, pretty much what I expected. The venue was fine and the band was good. There isn't much to report. These big, more corporate events, create that kind of feeling. I won't say "it isn't rock 'n' roll" or whatever because obviously there is a point to playing well and having a good crowd, but it is sort of like going through the motions when attending something like this.

This asks the question though, "is rock 'n' roll (or musick in general) about the spectacle? Does there need to be a desperation, a chance of failure?" I don't know if there needs to be but it certainly makes a more heroic story, a fantasy world, to see someone making something amazing, perhaps something that seems difficult or impossible or risky, when everything could fall apart at any moment. Musick is a mythologizing force in our world. The modern world is not a world of mythical gods and monsters. We have musicians and celebrities to fill that niche, and we live through them and their actions. We can see ourselves, even just a bit, in our favorite actress or rockstar, and I think seeing something that just works does not give us the sense of accomplishment that we may otherwise obtain.