So I’m driving north on 60th St. from Western Ave. Wednesday night and notice that the street lights are out. I turn on the brights and glance at the houses flying by and see that they’re dark as well. Power outages are commonplace in my neighborhood. At least once a week I come home from work and all the digital clocks on the appliances are blinking. It’s the price you pay for living in an old neighborhood with lots of trees.
The lights stayed out all the way to Maple St. Every venue was dark, but I knew that it would take more than an outage to close these bars. Burke’s Pub, where Kyle Harvey’s CD release show was scheduled, was candle-lit and packed to the gills, too packed to get in. A couple smokers outside said that Kyle had already played (it was only 10:30), and now the Black Squirrels were playing in front of the bar. They didn’t need power; they’re a bluegrass band ferchrissake. I never stepped foot inside Burke’s though. It looked too packed, and I knew that even if I could get in that getting a Rolling Rock would be a real challenge.
So I walked down to The Barley St. (The Waiting Room looked dark and vacant from across the street). Landon Hedges was behind the candle-lit bar and handed me a Rock. Emergency lighting glowed in the music room. It took about 15 minutes, but Matt Whipkey found an acoustic guitar (lent to him by Kat of the Black Squirrels) and he and the rest of the Whipkey Three played an acoustic set to about 20 people. Right after the last song, the power came back on, ending the Great Benson Blackout of 2008.
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Barring another blackout, tonight’s big show is the Race for Titles CD release party at The Waiting Room. Opening is Anniversaire and Malpais. Expect a large crowd. $7, 9 p.m.
Also tonight down at The Barley St. it’s Slumber Party Records band Talkin’ Mountain with Bradley Unit and the Members and Adam Haug. $4, 9 p.m.
Saturday night has Fortnight at The Barley St. with No Blood Orphan, The Answer and Barometric. It’s probably $4, 9 p.m.
Also Saturday night, Lincoln’s Ideal Cleaners is playing down at Slowdown Jr. with Knots and Yuppies. $5, 9 p.m.
Finally, The Waiting Room has U2 tribute band Me2. $10, 9 p.m.
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