The Lakeview Lounge--Chicago

August 21, 2004


These guys looked like they had lost their fair share of brain cells over the years. The trio in their late sixties held glassy stares as they marched through covers Saturday night at The Lakeview Lounge in Chicago. Nightwatch, the house band, was exactly what they looked like: men who had grown old and grouchy playing covers and drinking behind a bar. I love grouchy old men. They're so refreshing, so these guys had me from the beginning with their no-nonsense, tough and world-weary attitude. Although the guitarist looked comfortable in the dank and proud divey environs of the lounge, he asked, "What kind of bar is this?" in anger as he passed my table to start the second set.

Maybe too many hipsters like me had invaded the blue collar bar for his taste. Still, I figure if I'm there for the right reason(drinking a lot) and not just to be seen, then we should be able to get along fine. I knew there was a reason I felt uneasy about taking pictures of the band. I was waiting for someone to grab my camera and toss me outside. The bar screamed of 1979 and Budweiser caps with its two-person wall booths, disco ball, and loud, colored Christmas lights, so I think the bar regulars were cool with anyone who was willing to pretend. But, it wouldn't have been that bar if the fu-manchued bassist hadn't said something as I took pictures. I was trying to be nice and not use the flash, but then he drew attention to me, so I hit' em with the flash. Damn, I'm so hardcore!

Yeah, so the stage was actually behind the bar, which was very cool. It looked built in, like from the first day the bar was prime real estate for a David Lynch experience.

The band wasn't the most musically competent outfit, but that wasn't the point. They played well enough, and their range(Patsy Cline to Steely Dan to surf rock) kept them interesting. The guitarist was actually really good. It was surreal to see a silver-haired old man with a tugboat captain hat on shredding.

So, go check these guys out, if you're ever in Chicago. Just don't order anything nimbly-pimbly, and let your inner trash out.

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