Gidget Goes To Lovehammers (an atmospheric trip to the HOB)

With how many do you get eggroll?

What does double get us? Double trouble?

2 writers walk into a bar….

No seriously. Cheryl and I both went to see Lovehammers on Saturday the 10th of May. We both could do a review. We technically could. Except, I am not much of a review writer. Cheryl also took the pics as her Nikon is a wee bit better than mine! Ha.. No she had the photo pass. And I’m sure I could have done one too, but since this was my first Lovehammers show I wanted to be an active participant in the show and not the work.

So as I sat there trying to decide whether to write anything about my going I came up with a plan..

I’m gonna write alright.. But do it in a true Gidget sense of the way and not review the show itself. I’ll write about the “Show”. An atmospheric piece.

Basically a blog saying I went.

 

Back-story:

I’m not big on going to shows anymore. I used to go to shows 6-7 nights a week in my youth and sometimes 2 a night. I wrote reviews and also worked a few in the bars mostly as a cigarette girl. Shows lost the oomph for me as I got older. Bands were not earning their due. I felt ripped off more than once.

Then I developed anxiety. I’m ok in small shows… But sold out shows with too many people kinda place me on the edge a bit. So I just don’t go.

In the old days if you wanted new music you went out and looked for it. You saw bands and you had local and college radio.

Today you have over priced concerts and play on demand internet.

It’s why woody radio is so important.

Seriously.. Stations like woody and other Indies work hard to make sure the bands that aren’t getting play on demand and those huge over priced concerts get heard.

Woody Radio does not have a budget that allows for DJ’s to see bands. In fact we don’t pay the DJ’s we all do this for the music. When we see a band it’s not for sucking up to a band. It’s cause we scraped and saved and wanted to see the band.. For our own amusement.

We live and love the music.

We are a family of music lovers. A cult of Woodiness.

 

So Cheryl knows a few bands and works hard at reviews and interviews for other sites other than just Woody. When we met last year at a Foxy Shazam show we just knew we were like long lost sisters and we were so much alike the bond was instant and we start brainstorming a trip together to do this. In the aspect where I hate to go out she can do this all for me and I can live vicariously through her.

Lovehammers was to be the band. She has worked with and met them before so it was a good show to get me out for.

A bonus is neither of us are Chicago people. She does however do the Grand Rapids trip to Chi more than I do and I am actually closer.

She scored the VIP tickets and we set it up. Then of course had months to finish up winter in our states with something to look forward to in spring.

I had heard of the Lovehammers through the “Secret Weapon” …”Boris” has sent “Trees” and it became and instant fave and ringtone for my phone and play on my own shows as well. He had seen the band in it’s early years as the Swinging Lovehammers before they had dropped the swinging out of the name. They have been a fave of his for years since. Later in the years “Into the Insane” was added when it came out and it held a special place in my heart… I needed a song like that.. Personally it hit me in the gut. I had issues I was going through after the death of my best friend and songs about insanity and drugs help.

 

Finally May 10th arrived and I set out to Dearborn St. To pick up Cheryl and enjoy our freedom. She is very understanding that a radio station owner also suffers from intense anxiety in enclosed places. She was calm and just happy this was to be my big “out”

We parked in a hotel garage as there was no way in hell I was parking in the garage next to the House of Blues. It’s round and tall and umm circular. Very freaky to look at… What if the cars roll off????

I do have a legit excuse on that one. Most people who grew up in earthquake areas look at tall garages like that and really don’t want to spend time in them.

We go inside and make small talk with the security. Some reason security people love us.

Then the night starts.

We get our T-shirts and autographed laminates that came with the VIP package. Then go to the stage where the band plays us a few songs and talks a bit. They did a great cover of “I’m only happy when it rains” by Garbage.

After they played on stage for a few we got a chance for a group shot. My flash didn’t go off but the pic is ok none the less. Both Cheryl and I in it!

Cheryl got better ones of course.

We checked on the price of buying a stool to sit in and then found a free table upstairs where we could stay till the opening bands were over. Which seemed to take forever.

We made floor stool friend who showed me the world was truly a small place as I think I knew the brother of the one I was talking too from my SF club days. She also had Doc Martins that I had in high school.. We all posed with our shoes on the table!

Bands one and three did not appeal to me at all.. But band 2 was called Simple Simon and I sought them out after and made sure to ask them to consider Woody. They had a Faith No More and Rage against the machine Vibe going.. If this had been Seattle 1995 they would be huge.. But no….Sub Pop would have loved them.. Then they started a cover of Seattle darlings The Posies. “Dream All Day” It blew me away it was such an amazing cover… They OWNED it.

Cheryl had to go down to the front pit for pics for the first three songs of each band so I made friends with the security people once again.

Now OK I am either a bitch or a person who worked in clubs along time.

While she was down there I hung out and talked with the security guys.. They were awesome.

But there were these people that were sooooo irritating. I hate when the fans of a band ruin things for other fans. I tell myself that these people are just here for maybe one song or they got in free and don’t know the band?

We were in the top floor next to the balconies. In front of us was the non working aults. (lighting) they were blocked off with a metal bar. I was between the lights and the stools next to them and a walkway in a table in front of the bar. The people were in the walkway and wearing all white. The one girl with her perfect hair looked like Jenny McCarthy. White skinny jeans, shiny sequined pumps and a tank top that matched that. Her friends were pretty much dressed the same. They had a guy with them who dressed like the type that dresses up for a golf course.. White shorts and off-white button up shirt. Maybe in his late fifties. Or older. The kicker was the sunglasses on the head. It was nighttime and we were inside… I hate that shit.

So first up the jenny chick climbed over the railing to stand next to the ault. Then he did… they were with other clones of them all in white. Then they started playing with the light trying to figure out why it wasn’t working and swinging it around. Thank god it wasn’t working right???

But the best was he was fucking whistling!

Fingers in his mouth whistling and cat calls from the balcony.

Then he climbed over. Security had to get on them a few times… It was funny as hell. They might have possibly been the worst people at a concert ever!

Seriously whistling???? Were we at an all day outdoor festival in the eighties???

 

I personally do not want to call people out on their stupidness when they are supporting a band I love. I do honestly feel bad that I am doing that.. But whistling… really…

 

When band three was done playing we headed down to the stage… But not before getting stalked for our table by the family in white. You know when someone wants your table how they hover close to make you feel uncomfortable so you get up and leave? Yeah… Well we stayed a few minutes longer for that reason. And yes they bitched about us.

Half of the fun of going to shows is people watching though so I was very amused. If I just wanted to see a band live I’d watch on your tube right? I’d have nothing to write about if it was a room full of well behaved people!

 

So we wandered down to the stage. Saw our shoe friends and waved then Cheryl headed into the photo pit!

I very carefully worked into the crowd.

I immediately stood by three women who looked so much alike I had to ask.. Yes three sisters. A wee older than me. Huge Marty Casey Fans and they see him ever chance they get. They were from the suburbs… Downers Grove. They posed for a pic and we all were talking.. I told them I don’t do floors anymore and they said I was safe with them and sort of adopted me. They kept me close for the rest of the show! The one sister had not been to a lovehammers show so I was with her on the newness of it all. Marty has a lot of women fans my age. It was very sweet.

I felt very safe with my new family while Cheryl was up shooting. They were all on their phones texting each other when I got up there. They couldn’t hear anything so when they had to say something to the other it was sent via text. They had two friends with them so the five of them all had their phones out. My phone was almost dead! But I pulled it out and got a pic.. And a few more during the show!

I reminded myself I was not there working.. Cheryl was… I was not there as one of the owners of Woody. I was there as a fan! And for the next hour and half I enjoyed one of the best live shows ever.

People sang along.. And people had fun!

Now the people next to me and the DG sisters were very unique.. Every show has the one random drunk guy we all remember with each show we have been too. At a Nouvelle Vague show in 2010 I had a guy screaming “France” over and over again. He was French so that didn’t make too much sense to me. This time it was a group of drunken women in their early thirties.4 of them. About two songs in they brought a friend who must have thought it was a poison reunion show. He had the long permed hair and a Coors light. He was dancing and it kept spilling everywhere. They took up a huge amount of space and they all had drinks they I clearly did not see gone down in size expect when they spilled. At one point he went and got five shots for them all.

Now remember this does not reflect on the band at all.

I just had to share this story.

In between all kissing each other the tallest one was wearing a long halter style maxi dress.

I cannot make shit up this good.

She was barefoot… Her purse kept bumping in to me so I turned around to see her hiking up her dress and checking stuff out down there. She had no bra on and no panty lines so I assume this was an all commando checkpoint.

The only one of them that annoyed me was the drunken guy and his beer.. I was really just amused for the whole show. I think only one of the girls was wearing a bra and they sang along to every song… So it was all good.

I did say this was an atmospheric review.

I had to tell this story.

 

The band was amazing live.. They didn’t get the fun I was having with the commando group and the sisters that kept me safe from drunks harm!

Marty did wander in the audience a bit.. And I had t wonder how much he was groped on the floor. It was 80 person women in the middle.

He had a fabulous rapport with everyone with his stories on stage and at one point covered “Frozen” the movie’s hit song “Let it go” which almost made me ok with the movie for about five seconds!

Then they played a song for a military man in the audience that everyone clapped and hollered for.. He told a story of meeting this wonderful man that had served our country and gave them a coin that had belonged to a friend of his who had been killed over there.

People were tearing up over that.

But the highlight of course was yet to come.

His beautiful girlfriend joined him on stage for an amazing cover of “Ring of Fire”. After the song was over he told everyone his father had laid the cement for the foundation of the club we were in in 1958. He also told everyone how much he loved his girlfriend and how her family was there tonight too. He told the girlfriend that he is a much better man because of her. And then told her she was going to be the greatest mother in the world. Then proposed..

People definitely blurred at that point.. I was teary right along with the sisters.

It was amazing

They took a few minutes backstage to enjoy the moment…

I was posting it on facecrack at that moment when he came back out to play some more wonderful music.

I saw Tammy’s (my late best friend) pic on her twin sister’s page at that very moment and wrote Tracey (her sister) something.

At that moment Marty played a song for the lost friends and family that have gone on. It was magical for me. He spoke of how they are still with us… Almost like he knew.

It was truly magical for me… I left the front to go back during “trees” which is one of my all time fave songs. I was sort of getting more booze splashed on me. One of them didn’t want to move for me to get out. So I had to go around her. But I was safe and the sisters made my night.. Hugged me goodbye and everything.

 

After the show we went up to the very underwhelming after party.

Then decided to leave.

The security people said goodbye to us and the one guy gave me a huge hug. Said bar people stick together…

Then we saw the guitar player on the way out and I told him how much I enjoyed my first Lovehammers show. I also told him of the weird Tammy connection that had just happened and how the secret Weapon has been playing them since we started the show, and how I used the song “Into the insane” to deal with my anxiety over her death. He was clearly humbled and wonderful about it all and thanked me and the secret weapon for our support. He knew Cheryl so she didn’t have to fit everything she needed to say into a very quick one minute conversation. HA! We hugged him goodbye and headed back out.

 

It had been a long long night… I was exhausted. Getting home in between taxi cabs and prom goers proved to be a real bitch. I DID NOT run anyone over but almost turned up a wrong way street trying to avoid the horse drawn carriages!

I’m glad I went.

This wasn’t just about me and getting over my anxiety of going to large venues. My fear of drunken people. Or any strangeness otherwise.

It was about seeing a band I love.. A band that started out in my heart when I started up the Secret Weapon with Boris. He plays the bands that deserve to be heard. And some of them I really really dig.

I really really dig the Lovehammers.

They are one of the most honest and humble bands I have seen play live.

 

None of these videos are mine

 

Here is Marty’s proposal to Daniella

 

Lovehammers “Let it go”

 

the shoes party!

20140510_183445

 

 

And here are the sisters from Downers Grove!

 

20140510_222332 20140510_222238

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