No Depression Blog: Boston

By Kevin Russell
October 7, 2011

Boston in their heart break over the Red Sox collapse came out to dance and sing those blues away. We navigated our way through highly sophisticated traffic circles to Johnny D's in Somerville, an intimate pub serving good will, good food and good beer to the jovial and downhearted alike. It was challenging in the way these big city gigs are with parking, difficult load-in, questionable green room and small stage. But, it was a thousand times better for the soul than that joint the night before. Why? Because they made us feel welcome and appreciated. Oh and because we made good damn money there. We knew going in it would be a squeeze play with Sweansteen, us and an all-star honk fest kick off party at the end. We had two hours to do what we normally do in 5.

We had just enough time to set up, but no real sound check. Dead cases were stacked in the corner of the kitchen. The food looked all right so I sat at the bar and ordered a cheese burger with peppers and bacon and cheese, oh yeah. There was something that seemed a little tough for my teeth. I had gotten poblano peppers on there and bacon. My theory was that they were somehow conspiring together to create an impermeable barrier to my burger biting. I removed the pepper, they seemed a bit waxy. Next bite, same thing. I removed the bacon, next bite same. I dug deeper into this mystery burger and found to my disappointment half of a piece of paper used to separate cheese slices. The last half of my burger seemed to just melt between my teeth. And hey that's good fiber for a burger.

There was some sort of "Go Green" social group gathered there in the bar eating happy hour buffet food from big foil tubs warmed with sterno logs. That part didn't seem too green. But they all probably walked or rode their bikes there or something like that. Good for them, good for Earth. Now if we could just convince the other 6 billion to do what they do, we'd be in good shape. Though I'm not sure we'd have enough sterno, foil servers or mini- egg rolls.

By the time we reached the stage the place was packed full of adoring Gourds fans. This was a pleasant surprise for us. Boston has never been a very good town for us. We always loved the city, but never had much success here. The venues in the past too were dreary affairs of darkness, stale beer and testosterone. The Ratskeller comes to mind. TT The Bears, ugh. Harpers Ferry was always functional at best. So God bless Johnny D's and Somerville, Mass.

Note: Audio, video, and set list from this show can be found here.

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