Growing up, I recall digging through my mom's "forty-fives" and asking her about her small collection of 60s music. She was mostly into do-wop and soul, and scribbled on the labels was "Rosie y David por vida". David was her high school boyfriend, who was tragically killed before they graduated. She never went into the details of the relationship, mostly just the music. "That's when songs meant something."
In that vein, I went to Neilfest V at O'Connell's, with people mostly my mom's age, who love Neil's music and they could be transported back to their younger days, "when songs really meant something." By the size of the crowd and their passion for the music, you would've thought Neil Young himself was going to be there. At $15 a pop, every seat was full, including rows of chairs set in front of the stage.
I arrived during the Coyote Problem's set. They really did sound awesome, and while few can copy that Neil voice, the band owned the stage. The format was to have each performer play two Neil Young songs and two originals that capture Neil's spirit. The band's did a great job at doing just that.
After Coyote Problem, there was a brief intermission where I chatted with a couple people outside and it was funny how when I mentioned I handle the locals only column at CityBeat, warnings of "just don't be like Ken Leighton" came into play. It's a shame really, that someone who has such access and exposure can be so scorned by the very scene he covers. I got some great stories about him screwing over bands or club owners over the years, and well, at least he's consistent, even going so far as writing shit about people, then sending letters to them via a lawyer essentially saying that he'd sue them if they kicked his ass. What a sad life.
Back in the venue, Gregory Page took the stage and played his four songs. His voice still gets me the way it did the first time I saw him when I was a junior in high school and became a fan. Funny that he's my neighbor now, so I see him frequently and we chatted a little before and after his set.
Lisa Sanders finished up my night, though I think there were still a couple more performers after her. Lisa has a great voice and this was my first time seeing her in probably close to 10 years, but she also had some friends there who were a little obnoxious and clapping along with songs and screaming out to the stage from the back of the room. Poor Lisa couldn't make her friends chill, so I was outta there. Still, Neilfest was a good time. I only wonder in 10 or 20 years, what the songs to define my time and generation will be. What music that I listen to today will stand the test of time?
A couple of my friends were at Nunu's, where Tuesdays are $2 wells all night long. Yikes. Maybe poor decision making on my part because I should've been getting rest for the long day of work ahead, but it was fun, so I can't complain too much. I even made it to the Ken for last call and to check in on a few friends there, before officially calling it a night.
By the way, I didn't take any pictures of Neilfest. They had their own photogs and videographers, so I sat quietly at the bar just enjoying the music, and it was nice to do so. And, for those curious, the new bathrooms aren't anything fancy, but they're new and clean and there are now two stalls in the ladies room, which definitely means I might just head back there for the right show.