Minneapolis, MN – “Beer, Beer, Beer” – The Cabooze – May 14, 1999

I must admit, I had my concerns when we approached the Cabooze. If the name of the gig didn’t give the vibe away, in front of the venue was a deck of motorcycles lined up like metal middle fingers asking for a fight. A deck of hairy-looking Harleymen stood guard around their bikes with crossed arms and leather faces. I tried to envision these burly dudes swaying in unison to Tomboy Bride. Humm, unlikely.

If I’d held out any hopes about what we might find inside the venue, they were shattered upon entry. Pinball machines, fluorescent lights flashing “beer,” “beer,” “beer,” and a line of faceplanted barflies balanced on barstools. I felt a little out of my element. But I misjudged the place.

Our opener, Linda Robert’s Band, delivered a heartfelt performance that concluded around eleven o’clock. We took the stage half an hour later, under the shadow of my earlier apprehension. But it’s funny, just when you brace for a nosedive, life has a way of surprising you by lifting you up. By the time we got on stage, the burly crowd had thinned out, vacating the premise for a presumably rougher establishment with more grissle on the bone. In their place, a new crowd flooded in. They danced and cheered, clapped and whistled. They shouted words of encouragement and brought their audience A game. A night I was sure would end in a bar brawl ended up with an extra enchor! It just goes to show you can’t judge a show by its cover.

On a different note, our supply of Tomboy Bride CDs is running startlingly low. We hit the road with only a hundred left. I wasn’t expecting them to go so fast on our last tour. Before leaving Boulder I placed a rushed reorder but we won’t see new stock for at least two weeks, a detail which makes me both giddy and worried as proceeds are covering most of the band’s salery.

Exhaustion hijacked us when we got to the hotel at three in the morning. Drifting off against the tail end of “Car Wash” on TV, we succumbed to sleep. Before I knew it, the front desk was calling. Leave it to Dellucci to keep us on target. He’d set a wake-up call for 9am leaving us 10 minutes to vacate our rooms and 5 to raid the complimentary continental breakfast downstairs. We slipped Captain Crunch mini cereal cartons into our coat packets and doctored to-go coffees with Carnation instant powdered milk. By 9:15 we were at our stations back in Moby, ready for a solid six hours behind the wheel.
Can’t wait!