Maybe it was because I had so much pumpkin pie coursing through my veins, but Saturday night at the Southgate House felt like something special to me. Simply put, it was the best night of music I’ve seen this year. I’m writing this on Monday and I’m still kind of buzzing from it.
I got to the venue about 40 minutes early. I staked out my spot and then headed for the merch table. I’d just bought two CDs and a poster when Peter Buck strolled out of the dressing room and asked if anybody wanted anything signed. I was the only person there, so he grabbed my poster and started scribbling his name on it. He looked up at me and said, “I think I’ve seen you before.” I told him I’d seen him earlier in the year at the Triple Door, but before I could confess that we’d never actually met, he jumped in with a, “Yeah, I thought I recognized you.” Of course, there’s no way Peter Buck would recognize me. I think that’s just what he says because he runs into so many people who claim to know him. Anyway, talking to rock stars is hard, so I has happy when two women ran up for a picture and I was able to lurk back into the shadows.
Although this show was billed as the Minus 5 with the Baseball Project & the Steve Wynn IV, it was really just one band with four members (Scott McCaughey, Steve Wynn, Linda Pitmon, Peter Buck). The name of the band changed depending upon whose song they were playing at any given moment. Throughout the course of the evening, they not only became the billed bands, but managed to morph into the Dream Syndicate, Gutterball, and even Neil Young. I don’t think ripping the hell out of “Revolution Blues” really transformed them into Neil, though.
Regardless of what you called them, the band played two sets of rock and roll. Highlights from the first set included a new Baseball Project song about Reggie Jackson called “The Straw That Stirs the Drink”, a version of “Tell Me When it’s Over” by Steve Wynn’s old band, and the greatest of all the baseball songs, “Ted Fucking Williams”. I’m usually very laid back and quiet at concerts, but I must admit I was shouting out the chorus to that last song. If I’m given the chance to cuss in public in a socially accepted manner, then I’m going to take it every time. Goshdarnit.
Here are the songs from the first set:
- Past Time (Baseball Project)
- Sometimes I Dream of Willie Mays (Baseball Project)
- Out There on the Maroon (Minus 5)
- I’m Not Bitter (Minus 5)
- That’s What You Always Say (Dream Syndicate)
- Wait Til I Get to Know You (Steve Wynn)
- Hotel Senator (Minus 5)
- The Straw That Stirs the Drink (Baseball Project)
- It Won’t Do You Any Good (Minus 5)
- The Lurking Barrister (Minus 5)
- Vintage Violet (Minus 5)
- Fernando (Baseball Project)
- The Yankee Flipper (Baseball Project)
- Tell Me When It’s Over (Dream Syndicate)
- The Medicine Show (Dream Syndicate)
- Lies of the Living Dead (Minus 5)
- Ted Fucking Williams (Baseball Project)
I’m not usually an autograph man, but Peter Buck had already signed my poster, so I went down to the merch table in between the sets and got the other three musicians’ signatures. I figured if I already had Peter Buck down, I might as well get the rest. I’m glad I did this as it gave Scott McCaughey a chance to compliment me on my shirt (the Red Light find with the tiny flowers on it that look like strawberries). Scott McCaughey is my rock and roll hero and just about the coolest guy around, so a compliment from him made me sort of float a tiny bit. I wish I’d brought him a piece of pie.
The second set came and it was as good as the first. Scott McCaughey rocked so hard that one of his trademark Chucks fell off. He played the rest of the show in one shoe. He didn’t even bother to put it on when he went offstage before the encore.
The highlights of the second set included new Baseball Project songs about Pete Rose and Ichiro, the previously mentioned Neil Young cover, the Dream Syndicate’s “Days of Wine and Roses”, and the Minus 5’s “Aw Shit Man”. Once again, I cussed along to the final song.
Here are the songs from the second set:
- Ambulance Dancehall (Minus 5)
- Satchel Paige Said (Baseball Project)
- The Death of Big Ed Delahanty (Baseball Project)
- Long Before My Time (Baseball Project)
- Tonight You’re Buying Me a Drink, Bub (Minus 5)
- Pete Rose Way (Baseball Project)
- Harvey Haddix (Baseball Project)
- Cindy, It Was Always You (Steve Wynn)
- Twilight Distillery (Minus 5)
- Broken Man (Baseball Project)
- Trial Separation Blues (Gutterball)
- Ichiro Goes to the Moon (Baseball Project)
- Revolution Blues (Neil Young)
- The Days of Wine and Roses (Dream Syndicate)
- Teenage Head (Flamin’ Groovies)
- Aw Shit Man (Minus 5)
The band left the stage for about 25 seconds and then came back for a four song encore.
- The Girl I Never Met (Minus 5)
- Dark Hand of Contagion (Minus 5)
- The Closer (Baseball Project)
- Amphetamine (Steve Wynn)
The show finally ended and I drove on home. I ate some more pie, listened to my new copy of Butcher Covered, got some setlist help from GoogleGirl, and then went to bed at about 3:00 in the morning.