March 15th, 2011
It was either the Crown Royal or the stout, or perhaps the mixture, the Porterhouse Royale, a shot of Crown in a pint of stout. It took me so long to finish the thing that I didn’t have time to go home and eat before heading to Studio 7 to catch Peace Mercutio so on the way I had McDonalds. Maybe it was the McDonalds. Whatever it was, the stomach was rumbling. I got to the club right at 7:00, right when the show was supposed to start, but the doors were locked. I peered in, nothing. I knocked on the glass,” Uh…hello, McFly?. It’s 7:00.” Nothing. Crickets. Tumbleweeds. Walking around back, I noticed bands carrying equipment in so I figured at least the show wasn’t canceled. Nothing wrong with running a little behind schedule. I belched a mixture of Crown and stout and wondered if I should switch to beer or stick with the whisky and thinking I definitely should have skipped the McDonalds.
Peace Mercutio is a band from Milwaukee that relocated Seattle to escape the non-happenings there. My old Dertoit band played in Milwaukee a couple times so I couldn’t blame them from what I know of the city. It’s a risk to come cross country, but all good things are, and they seem to be up to it so far. The drummer from Out Like Pluto recommended them to me and after listening to the song “Chicago“, I decided they deserved a listen live for, to modify Hamlet slightly, the gig is the thing . Thirty minutes or so later, the club was finally open, the bar was selling drinks, my stomach settled, and Peace Mercutio was about to go on. Things were looking up. The bar is on the second level above the main area which I always found odd for just watching a band, but I found it great for writing. I got a Crown and Coke and a seat by the balcony, leaned back to sip as I looked down on the stage and the audience gathering and for a brief moment felt like I might have been at the opera, that is until the music started.
The drums came in on hi-hat and worked their way to the snare building up a beat. The guitar player in the middle bounded left and right and looked as though he might fall over at any minute but somehow he did not. He started clapping to the beat and the crowd that had filled some in my opera moment started clapping as they fed off his energy. Then bass and guitars pounded out the first three chords of “Chicago”, and Dan Buckley, the non-bounding guitar player, sang, “Chicago feels like an unstable dream that finally came crashing down.” I always laugh to hear that line. It reminds me of my family name and what that and a cow had to do with bringing down parts of Chicago one fiery night a long time ago. The song though is rather about things not working out, sending love and having it come back unopened. The chorus is what hooked me in (did its job thus) when I first heard it, and live it was better, bigger, very Foo Fighters like in the way it steps up, “Will we meet before the end or is this just a wound to mend?” Not quite Shakespeare like the name implies, but that’s always a valid question nonetheless, and the way they sing it, it makes even an guy like me who never dances or shouts want to sing along, “We were almost more. What were you looking for?” The songs hits it’s mark. It upbeat rock with a big chorus that people want shout with.
When that song ended, they went quickly into the next one, the bounding guitar player, Andy Lundman, still full of energy stilled himself for a moment to say, “This next one’s called If Only. Hope you like it.” The song started fast, but I was distracted by a large blond woman who sat next to me. She leaned forward over the balcony, and it was impossible not to notice her jeans hanging down just a little too much in the rear. No, this was definitely not the opera house. I got another Crown to help ease the pain of the crack and tooks notes to the music.
One cool thing about Peace Mercutio, my favorite thing actually, is that the guitars split. Buckly almost always plays higher melodic riffs and chords and notey bits while Lundman concentrates more on the rhythms. It creates a full sound that isn’t cluttered with low end riffs or blistering solos. Melody is important to them. It was good to see. The songs went on. The crack got longer, and more Crown was needed. And Lundman introduced the songs, “This next one’s called Street Lights. Hope you like it.” Those in attendance, myself included, seemed to. “This next one’s called, Things We Couldn’t Say. Hope you like it.” He was stuck on that phrase. Perhaps his manic energy was nervousness, worry, even fear. I hope they like it. I hope they like it. I hope they like it. From experience, I know that sometimes it isn’t easy to step on stage. I hope they like it. I hope they like it.
When the set ended, the blond thankfully left, and I got another Crown to mull over the music. I jotted a few things down, and after a while Lundman and Buckley came up to chat for a bit.
“Thanks for coming,” they said. We shook hands.
“No, problem. I liked it.”
When I left the club, I saw the blond outside, again bending, leaning forward, showing too much of herself. She was holding her friend’s hair. Her friend was puking. No, it was not the opera, and I walked to my car singing that hook, “Will we meet before the end…”
Photos by Christina Feagin
Peace Mercutio: Facebook