Checking Out Boston Gigs: WhiteShoeBrownShoe

April 2, 2009 at 5:05 AM (Friends, Goals, Happenings) (, , , )

My buddy Nez is yet another musician I’ve befriended who happens to work with Danny at that nifty little coffee shop across the street.  In addition to being a generally awesome dude, he’s a drummer in two bands: WhiteShoeBrownShoe, an original rock group backed by Heavy Rotation Records, and Eclipse, a Pink Floyd tribute band.  After finally turning a new leaf and catching one of Love In Stockholm’s gigs – and loving it, I might add – I was stoked to find that Nez had a few of his own gigs coming up.  Two consecutive nights two days after Love In Stockholm, to be precise.  “Golly,” you might think, “that’s an awful lot of time spent out at night in a short period of time!”  My response?

“Yes.  And?”  I had a mission, and there was no way that I was going to deviate.  That, and I desperately needed a break from studies and job-hunting.

You may recall that Friday night was my Love In Stockholm adventure.  If you don’t, consider yourself reminded.  On Saturday, I worked a double-shift, working for 13 hours or so.  I opened at work on Sunday morning.  Nez’s gig with WhiteShoeBrownShoe was late Sunday night at Middle East Upstairs in Central Square, Cambridge.  By 10.45 A.M. on Sunday, I was a zombie, and although Central Square is geographically close to me, getting there via public transportation is time-consuming.  The thought of trying to grab a bus or train after 10.00 in the evening to get to an event that was slotted to get started at 11.00, then likely having to pay for a cab home and having to work again the next morning was almost enough to make me consider taking a rain check on Nez’s show.


Determined to continue with my resolution to make it out to my friends’ events when I could, I survived the rest of my Sunday shift, which finally finished up around 2.00, went home, and promptly passed out for the remainder of the afternoon.  Several hours and a healthy nap later, I felt marginally more capable of sojourning out to Cambridge to witness the borderline-legendary awesomeness that was WhiteShoeBrownShoe.

Having not had much of a life for the last few years, Middle East was yet another mysterious new destination for me.  This time I wasn’t lucky enough to have a friend accompany me to my destination, but I’d texted Danny earlier to make sure he was going. Although I was determined to make an appearance that evening, I wasn’t stupid: I was visiting unfamiliar territory, and being the quasi-petite lass I am, I doubt I’d stand much of a chance if I had to fight off an average-sized male, and, well, I didn’t want to have to worry about warding off sketchballs by myself.

I walked inside and broke with habit at the bar by ordering a Corona, mostly because I would have felt silly drinking anything else in a Corona tee shirt, and it wasn’t long before I heard from Danny, inviting me to head inside to the performance venue.  Upon entering the “Upstairs” of Middle East, which, from what I recall, is ground-level, I realised two things: 1.) I didn’t see anyone I recognised, and 2.) that I hate walking into strange places and not seeing anyone I recognise.  I stopped hyperventilating quickly enough when I realised the third thing: 3.) the venue wasn’t that big.  Finding Danny and Nez couldn’t be that difficult.

Sure enough, after I’d walked across the room, I found them chatting about five feet away from me: Danny stood between Nez and me, with his back to me, blocking Nez’s sight of me.  Being the mental 6-year-old I am, I immediately saw an opportunity to startle one or two people, and proceeded to walk up to Danny’s shoulder, and stare at him.

And stare at him.

And stare at him.

Eventually I grew bored.

“Psst.”  Both guys turned to see who had interrupted their conversation, and although neither jumped, seeing their eyes widen a smidgen upon recognising me was satisfying enough for me when paired with surprised greetings and welcoming hugs.

Once I had proof of not being alone standing next to me, I relaxed.  Nez had to run off to do whatever it is he does before a show, leaving Danny and me to enjoy our respective beverages in anticipation of what I assumed would be a good show.

Ladies and gentlemen, I was not disappointed.  Admittedly, I’d given WSBS a quick listen on their MySpace page, and while it certainly wasn’t bad, I don’t think I would have made an effort to see a live show. Now, my opinion has changed substantially, and “Park Drive” has been stuck in my head on and off for the last couple of days.  These guys had a contagious energy about themselves, and, at least to a musically uneducated audience member, it looked like they had their stuff together.  Middle East wasn’t packed at all, but everyone who was in attendence was definitely hooked.

For me, though, the highlight of the evening was seeing Nez lost in his drums.  A while ago, I was sharing a conversation with him that I’d had with someone about my spiritual beliefs.  The relevant summary was that someone had asked  me “Why?” until I no longer had an answer, and realising that I wasn’t completely certain of my own beliefs deeply disturbed me.  Nez emphasised by telling me how he found himself in a somewhat similar conversation once, only pertaining to his involvement with playing the drums.  Initially I was ever-so-slightly put off at the concept of drum-playing being compared to spirituality, but I got over it quickly enough and forgot about it. A few months later, when I actually witnessed my friend on his drums, I recalled the conversation all over again, and this time, it was easy for me to see that this guy truly valued his music as much as one may value one’s religious belief.  As everyone continued to rock out, I thought about how thrilled I was to be able to witness one of my friends in his element, and I could only hope that I will eventually find something that makes me just as happy.

Tonight’s Tunes
“Lovely Rita,” The Beatles
“Atlantia,” Secret Garden
“Diamond Dogs,” David Bowie
“Lost Without U,” Robin Thicke
“Park Drive,” WhiteShoeBrownShoe
“Off To the Races,” WhiteShoeBrownShoe
“I Saw It All,” WhiteShoeBrownShoe
“We Are Your Friends,” WhiteShoeBrownShoe
“Ride Slow,” WhiteShoeBrownShoe
“Your Time Is Gonna Come,” Led Zeppelin
“Black Mountain Side,” Led Zeppelin
“Communication Breakdown,” Led Zeppelin
“Whole Lotta Love,” Led Zeppelin
“The Lemon Song,” Led Zeppelin
“Living Loving Maid (She’s Just a Woman),” Led Zeppelin
“Good Vibrations,” The Beach Boys
“Flying High,” Jem
“Let’s Live It Up,” Brian Setzer Orchestra
“Zoo Gang,” Wings
“Dreamworld,” Robin Thicke

1 Comment

  1. Checking Out Boston Gigs: Eclipse (Getting There, Or Part I) « And Here, We Have My Musings said,

    […] talent.  I mentioned earlier that my friend Nez was in a couple bands: WhiteShoeBrownShoe, which I checked out a little over a week ago, and Eclipse, a Pink Floyd tribute band.  Last night’s headliner was the latter.  […]

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