Thursday July 3rd, 1997 at The Patio in Indianapolis, IN
The 40 Gallon Baptists,
Old Pike &
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
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
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.