Roger Clyne &
I canít believe I forgot all of my "Schubaís Rules" when I went to see Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers. Rule #1 Ė If you want a good spot, get there early. I didnít. Rule #2 Ė Wear comfortable shoes because youíll be standing a while. I need new shoes. Rule #3 Ė Leave your coat in the car because itís gonna get warm. I wore my coat. And then there was the camera thing. Schubaís usually has crappy lighting so Iím usually not too excited about getting to shoot pictures there, and if I donít get there early, well, I usually just scrap the idea because combined with no light, I hate pushing my way through the crowd and pissing off a lot of people just to waste a couple of roles of film on pictures that donít turn out. I figured the same this night, and getting there late and seeing low light on the opening band, I just stuck to my spot in the back. Then Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers came out and it was almost like daylight on the stage. Late, bad shoes, with my coat, and good lighting. Nothing was going right. But enough of my troubles Ė It was Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers, playing to a sold-out Schubaís crowd, and it was great.
Way back when there was a band called The Refreshments. I barely caught them one night opening for, hmm, Seven Mary Three I think, and totally liked them. Then I got their CD, saw them headline, got their other CD, and totally liked them more. Then they broke up, and I was sad. Then I heard Roger started a new band, The Peacemakers, and I was happy. I kept telling myself that there was my reason to get out of the cold and visit Arizona on a business trip Ė to review the new band, and then Roger goes and does something silly, well, not really silly, but he brings the boys of the band to Chicago in winter. So much for my business trip. It was a late Saturday night show, and I was in the big city for Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers touring in support of their most excellent CD, "Honky Tonk Union." And it was a night where if you didnít know what was on the CD, well, they played every song off of it, tossed in some Refreshments classics, played a new song, and even spotlighted some Who and Johnny Cash. What more can you ask for? Iíll tell you what Ė a show without Chatty Cathys and Carls standing in front of you. But thatís my own fault because I decided to take a nap before driving to the show.
Iíll be honest, when I got to Schubaís I didnít expect a sold-out crowd. I figured most people, at least in the Midwest, forgot about The Refreshments, let alone Roger Clyne, and thought I might be the only one to know the songs off of "Honky Tonk Union." Much to my surprise I was totally wrong. Every song was a sing-a-long, the crowd knew their parts, like the "whole damn night" from "Jack vs. Jose," and whereas some shows are about being theatrical, some shows are about being sensitive, Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers' show was all about having a good time. You had Roger belting out songs like "Beautiful Disaster" and "Tow Chain" like they were old favorites, you had a band that does shots on stage, you had a tequila bottle making its way around the crowd, you had songs by request, and you had a totally solid band that my mom would probably say are pretty talented but need haircuts.
Highlights, this night, there were many. I loved the crowd solo during "Bandito," was surprised to hear "Teenage Wasteland" (yea, I know itís really called "Baba OíRiley", I just prefer to call it "Teenage Wasteland." Phhhbbbttt!), loved the cover of "Orange Blossom Special," (Dude note: Some sites said I was wrong, that it wasn't "Orange Blossom Special" that was played, but a different Johnny Cash song. Maybe I was wrong, but I wasn't drinking so this is my review and I'm sticking to it) and love the fact that Roger opted to not leave and do a normal encore, rather just keep playing (the last person I saw do that move was Dick Dale Ė itís as cool a move, if not cooler, than the encore). They sort of did do an encore after all, although I donít think it was really planned, coming back after closing the night with "Mekong" and finishing with one of my favoritist songs, highlighting most of the Spanish I remember (as well as find important), in the likes of "Una Soda" Ė a killer version with Roger starting it solo and the band rushing to join him, and with that my night was complete, even if I was really hot, my feet hurt, had to deal with Chatty Cathys and Carls all night, and stupidly didnít try to take pictures.
It was great to see Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers, as much fun if not more than The Refreshments. Theyíre such a fun band and I highly recommend them to anyone looking for, well, a fun band. I do have one question for Roger, though, and I suppose if I ever interview them Iíll ask him, but "What the hell are you doing, raised in Arizona donícha know, playing in Chicago in the winter time?"
So, my one reason for visiting Arizona is now gone Ė to see Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers, but Iím glad they made it to The Windy City. And I have to thank Roger and the boys for doing the "Una Soda" encore because on my way back home there was a traffic accident which looked as if it happened about five minutes earlier. That would have been a way crappy way to end a great night. With that itís TWO "GREAT TO SEE HIM BACK ON THE ROAD" THUMBS UP! for Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers.
Thatís it for this one! Iím The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!