Thursday July 3rd, 1997 at The Patio in Indianapolis, IN

The 40 Gallon Baptists, Old Pike & Chamberlain

Ben Adrian and I loaded into his van and headed up to Broadripple to check out "The Lip" around 8pm. Already you could hear explosions and see the flashes of light provided by Indiana's liberal firework laws, so it was kinda festive. Then again it was kinda like Beirut too. Go figure. Anyway we got there way too early and after IDs were checked and we got bored of sitting on the couches in the smokey club we went out to get something to drink at Kroger.

When we came back 40 Gallon Baptists were getting ready to play. There was a guy with guitar and vocals, a bass player, a drummer (the same one from Old Pike who used to be in Neneh Foundry), 3 backup singers and someone on steel pedal guitar. They were terribly interesting doing a twangy true country thing into honky tonk and even converting the songs of Tom Waits to their twisted hillbilly vision. Everyone seemed really receptive to the band and they had their shit together. Definitely would have been more interesting to see this band open up for "The Lip" 7 years ago. I think they would have been hit with black Vans hurled up from the 15 year old crowd.

Speaking of that 15 year old crowd of 8 years ago, a lot of them were at the show. All of the Reality Crew really (well no Reece). So many familiar faces, though this time they were all in line to get a beer and all smoking. It really bothered me on some levels. I mean I have always understood on an intellectual level that straight-edge was all about a social group and friends however its just sad to see it so profoundly demonstrated. How do you kids who once so firmly believed in sXe and all the things it stood for and fought for it and downed those who weren't justify your new lifestyle?

We caught the first couple of Old Pike songs and then split to find some food. Old Pike are sounding more and more Indiana roots rock. It isn't bad, in fact the song writing was pretty good and the stage show was nice. I'm not sure if they've always been but they are vocals/guitar, guitar, bass, drums and keyboards.

I was sitting out in front of Ben & Jerry's eating some wafers from Walgreens with Ben and drinking my Gatorade when John Zeps walked by. We determined John wasn't into Old Pike because he used to be in Blatherskite where he would have used their guts for guitar strings. Just a thought though, we have no confirmation.

Anyway time for Chamberlain to play and I was right up front until the aforementioned crowed for 15 now 22 year old grrls pushed their way in front of me to get closer to the band. Some things never change. Chamberlain however is not one of them.

Everyone in the band wore black button up shirts and black pants and boots. Dave was the most stylish of them all with just the middle two buttons on his shirt buttoned, a belt buckle big enough to eat off of and the best shit kickin' cowboy boots this side of Texas. Only Curtis T looked the same with Clay having grown out his hair in what can best be described as a baby afro. Lord help us all. I remember when his favourite band was Godflesh.

The set was scary. Looking at their very true set list (World Don't Want, Infinity, Stars in the Street, Last to Know, Magnetic 62nd, The South, Racing Cincinnati, 5 yr. Dairy, & Go Down) you'll see only one song from Fates... The rest were new and largely roots rockers. Quite honestly and without exaggeration they sounded like Counting Crows or Hootie and the Blowfish. I guess too much time down in the Bloomington college town.

Adam's solos were so radically different, and watching him play harmonica and strum and acoustic made me wonder how "Soul Kill" was ever born. That acoustic got other action as Dave played it on a song or two while doing some softer Americana numbers. The songs were filled with open chords never heard (or probably known) at a Split Lip show.

Dave's banter between songs was interesting and best summed up with (and I paraphrase) "We'd like to think our parents who have come tonight. We started doing this when we were pre-pubescent and they could come out and stay as long as they could and leave with ringing ears. Finally they can come out and enjoy it". And he's right. Your parents will enjoy this. The insightful lyrics, well constructed songs and there is still some of the passion there, but nothing can match the passion of youth.

Unless it is of course my memories of that youthful passion.