Concerts are where I go to meditate. Some people just need peace and quiet. I am not that kind of person.  I just want to be alone in my thoughts with those sweet waves of amplified tunage rolling past my body.

I saw the Sadies once before over in Lafayette, Indiana – in a warehouse area above Lafayette Brewing Company. After the show we walked straight up to these personable musicians and shook hands and thanked them for the great entertainment.

I don’t imagine these Canadians roll through the Midwest very often, so I was thrilled they were coming to the Castle Theater in Bloomington, Illinois, which is only about an hour from where I live, and where I see a ¬†majority of shows these days.

The Castle Theater

The Sadies to me, are a conglomeration of a bunch of musical styles I love (Punk, Surf, Honky Tonk, Rock), with a smattering of things which I don’t love (Country) thrown in. I like this kind of mix because it makes me expand my tastes. We should never get stuck in a rut if we can help it.

The Sadies are one of those bands where if they ever come through town, I will definitely go to see them. They are a blast to watch live, so much more than what you can capture on record. They are supporting their latest album “Northern Passages” on this tour, and of the 4 albums I have from them, it is at the top.

Hard to tell from the pictures, but it’s the little things in concerts that I love – like Dallas Good’s name inlaid on the neck of his guitar in mother of pearl, and his brother Travis’s custom strap with his name embossed on it.

 

The Sadies

 

Speaking of getting stuck in a rut, it also helps that The Sadies have excellent taste in picking collaborations. They’ve worked with artists like Neko Case, John Doe (of X) and on this tour, they are backing up the son of country legend Steve Earle, Justin Townes Earle.

My friends that I went to the show with are huge Justin Townes Earle fans, having grown up drinking from the cup of alternative fuck-the-system Nashville honky tonk and country twang. If there’s an alternative to the government cheese of popular country music, then I feel the need to support it.

I definitely have a bit of a hard time getting into country, but seeing anything live (well, almost anything) will make me a believer. There are so many bands and artists that I just don’t get until I see them on stage. In these post file-sharing days when recorded music is cheap, the only thing left of value for a musician is their personality. And I do love some personality on stage.

Justin’s and the Sadies played a smooth tight set with some great steel guitar and organ thrown in. Very enjoyable.

 

Justin Townes Earle

 

One thing I love to take pictures of at a show is the equipment. It’s like it just sits there holding energy like a stick of dynamite, waiting for someone to come over and light the fuse and blow it all up.

 

The Gear