I Got the Pistol, So I’ll Keep the Pesos. Yeah, and That Seems Fair

The night of our anniversary, we went out to see Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers.  Not only are they great musicians, they have that gift of showmanship to build up the crowd and feed off their energy.  It’s a mixture of knowing how to play with the crowd, sharing drinks, that sort of thing, and more subtle building of enthusiasm by transitioning through multiple favorites without pause.  They also know their fans, and don’t fall into the trap of only playing their first hits or the most recent album; it’s always a good mixture of their work.

Of course, having seen them before, this was what I have come to expect from them on tour. What blew my mind was the cover of The Violent Femmes‘ Kiss Off.   They’re not a band that seems to really do covers, and I was certainly expecting that particular cover, though it brought a smile to my face.

Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers (and a fog machine!)

The concert was at my favorite music venue (which I’d like to believe would be my favorite even if I didn’t know the current owners and hadn’t been involved when they were looking at it in the first place): The State Room.  It’s a nice size, it’s comfortable and just offbeat enough (e.g. they replaced the seats stolen by the previous tenants with old church pews).

Plus, you know, booze.   The State Room opened an upper level bar at the back of the auditorium to help relieve the pressure on the main bar downstairs; how do you not love a small intimate venue with two bars?  I don’t think they’d installed the disco ball the last time we were inside, but regardless, Clyne seemed decidedly pleased it was there.  At the end of the show, he requested the lower all lights but the spots on the ball.

Disco Ball, and you can see the dude with the light up sombrero in front of stage right

It’s been long enough that I can’t remember the whole set list, but I do remember it included over half of Fizzy, Fuzzy, Big and Buzzy along with generous helpings of all the other albums.  There was also something on this tour with sombreros that puzzled me.  I swear no one wore them the last time they were in town, but there were a number of people wearing hats with assorted detritus stuck on top.  One concert-goer had rigged up a battery-powered color shifting lighting band on his. Band members borrowed a couple of the more elaborate hats during numbers.

Clyne Borrowed a Sombrero

Last time the Peacemakers came through, it was mid-week; this year’s Friday night concert was packed. I would not be surprised if the show was sold out, honestly. I’m always happy to see energized crowds like this.

Unfortunately, there was one serious sour note between the wonderful opening act, Buffalo Jones, and Roger Clyne. I took advantage of the break to stop into the restroom. Standing very near the door was a man who I just ignored because I assumed he was waiting for someone. But as I opened the door, I and a woman visible from the door were harassed. He was no more than three feet behind me at the time.

I cried in the bathroom stall, feeling so creeped out and threatened that I felt trapped. I worried he would be there when I tried to leave. It took me several minutes to pull myself together and brave opening that door again. (He wasn’t there anymore, thankfully.) It wasn’t for a song or two that I really even started to enjoy myself again.

It was a few days later that I realized this was the second anniversary in a row I faced harassment or assault. That is a deeply depressing thought. I just wanted to go out and have a good time with my spouse. And I did have a good time, but it was so much less joyful than I was hoping.

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