You know those weeks where, by the time Friday rolls around, you feel like you’ve not only been hit by an 18-wheeler but it also screeched to a stop, backed up, rolled over you again, then plunged through your living room while you watched? That was last week. That was also this week. This is the busiest time of year at my work. A time of year where I am forced to schedule and execute twenty-five meetings in just over thirty days. A time where everyone seems to want or need something from me or my company and they want it NOW. Needless to say, when last Friday rolled around, I was stoked to get the hell out of the office and down to Logan Square.
It has been years since I had been to a show at Township. But tonight, there was a stacked lineup topped with the record release celebration for a wonderful new album. Two Houses opened the night with their patented brand of onstage energy. Mike literally bounced off the wall to the floor while Ryan swung his bass high into the air just missing a heating duct. All the while, Dave pounded away on the drums. They mixed it up and played a handful of tracks off their amazing new EP, Unfriend. By the end of the set, my moodiness and stress started to lift. Perhaps it was the band. Perhaps it was the Tito’s sodas that were starting to go down like water.
Next up was The Usuals from Elgin. The band is one that I feel like I have seen one thousand times, but I cannot place where and when that happened. Playing fast, classic punk rock, the energy of the room began to rise and kept going as The Brokedowns took the stage. I frantically searched the stage to see where their set list was written this evening and was slightly distraught when there was nothing to be found. Over the years, I’ve seen Brokedowns’ set lists written on everything from a cereal box panel to a pizza box top to business cards to a Tostitos salsa jar. It’s become a weird game for me, like Where’s Waldo but much, much dumber. Anyway, what more to say? The Brokedowns were amazing, as always. I’m sure some drunk guy shook up his beer and pointed it at the stage. At least I think so. I was busy taking photos, singing along, and sipping on my drink.
It was time for the headliner and guest(s) of honor of the night, Sincere Engineer. Deanna Belos and her full band (including Kyle Geib, Nick Arvanitis, and Adam Beck) took the stage to shouts, whistles, cheers. The room was full of friends and family with smiles plastered on their faces, all there for the same reason – to celebrate the release of Sincere Engineer’s album Rhombithian. The band played through the record with a set full of smiles, laughter, a little light stage banter, and a whole lot of singing from the crowd. I have plans to write a review of the album (whenever above job isn’t forever stressing me out), so I don’t want to give away too much here. But just know that Rhombithian is good. Like really fucking good. If you could package that anxiety ridden sense of humor so many of us try to convey when we are embarrassed which somehow ends up being less humorous and more of a true and deep look into ourselves… Yeah, that’s Rhombithian. But I digress. The night was a triumphant success for everyone involved. And for a few perfect hours, I didn’t feel like the world was trying to crush the shit out of me. That’s the power of good music and good friends and Tito’s Handmade Vodka.