Friday, March 28, 2003: Lakewood Bar & Grill
What a splendid weekend.
At last, my beloved Longhorns are headed to the Final Four. The games are this Saturday in New Orleans, and of course I will be there. I would have been in San Antonio to cheer them on during their victories over UConn and Michigan State, but of course I had other obligations last FridayI had to put on sparkly clothing and sing Neil songs.
So after watching the Horns dispatch UConn from my traditional front-row seat at Humeprdinks, I was off to the LBG for the gig. The win had clinched Texas' first trip to the Elite Eight since 1990, when I was in the first of my three senior years at UT. (Insert Dick Vitale voice here.) "I was in hoops heaven baby, with a capital H!" (Now please kill Dick Vitale as he is one loud annoying man.) I was a little bummed that I didn't get to watch the Horns win in person, but I was also really looking forward to playing the show. After all, it had been a while since our last gig, and it was also the official 2nd Anniversary of Diamondbag.
Somehow, some way, we have made it through two years of broken strings, bad PAs, bad shirts, and bad karma. Yet we're still here, and all thanks goes to the crazy guys who somehow still manage to take the stage with me at every showJon, Jay, Eric, and Mike. You guys made my nutty idea for a Neil band a reality, and I want to thank you and let you know how much fun I have had with you in these last two years. (Insert Dick Vitale voice again.) "You're all awesome baby, with a capital A! You're spectacular, scintillating, stupendous!" (Seriouslykill Dick now! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!) And of course, I also have to say a special thanks to the three honorary members of DiamondbagMatt Bentle, John Dietrich, and Mike Teschner. Matt has filled in on the bass on more than one occasion, John keeps our website looking better than most acts on major labels, and Tesch designs posters that actually mind-fuck people into thinking the band doesn't suck. You guys all rock.
After consuming a rather serious quantity of Dinks' potent Hefe-Weizen during the Longhorn game, I was happy that Diamondbag was actually sharing the stage with No Commitment for the evening. I don't think I could have handled a typical three-set Diamondbag gig after the stress of the gut-twisting Longhorn victory. Unfortunately, that also meant I was only on-stage half the time, and that meant more opportunities for people to throw celebratory Tuaca shots down my throat. Therefore, let's just say that the first Diamondbag set of the evening is much more vibrant in my memory than the second set. I specifically recall "If You Know What I Mean" (and its Beatle-tribute finale) bringing the house down, as did the requisite "Sweet Caroline" sing-a-long. During the second set, "Holly Holy" was its usual primal self, and "Forever In Blue Jeans" didn't suck either. We finished Diamondbag's portion of the evening with an encore of "Cracklin' Rosie" for my good buddy Steve, who was celebrating his birthday as of midnight. Steve was one of the select few who happened to be present when I sang Neil in public for the first time during a karaoke night at Humperdinks about four years ago (damn I spend too much time in that bar). He still asks for "Cracklin' Rosie" every chance he gets, and I was happy to sing it for him on his birthday. Steve, you're a good friend and I hope you had a great birthday!
After Diamondbag finished, the evening continued on with another great set from No Commitmentand many more shots. I also had the pleasure of meeting a nice couple that met at a Diamondbag gig last year, and even shared their first dance together during "I Am . . . I Said." And guess whatnow they are engaged to be married! Looks like another wedding gig is in our future.
And on the opposite end of the romantic spectrum . . . well, never mind. Some things have to remain private. :)
Of course, as good as both bands (and my Longhorns!) were on this night, we were all upstaged by the greatness of the gentleman who will forever be known simply as "Plaid Pants Man." This spectacular creature put on a drunken exhibition that had to impress even the most hard-core boozers amongst us-in fact, I think I saw Matt and Simon quietly applauding as he vogued his way across the dance floor during the second set. It takes talent to know talent, and Simon and Matt were clearly enthralled by Plaid Pants Man's staggeringly magnificent drunkenness. I don't think his wife was quite as entertained as the rest of us, though, so I think future sightings of Plaid Pants Man at the LBG may be very unlikely. But we can always hope, and we shall fondly remember the night that Plaid Pants Man made all of our lives just a little bit brighter. "Forever In Blue Jeans" was for you, Plaid Pants Man!
As always, a thousand thanks to all of you who come out, spend your money, and shake your asses at our shows. We appreciate you and hope to see you in May, when Diamondbag will return after a short sanity break.
Hook 'em Horns, and watch for me on TV this weekend at the Final Four in New Orleans. I'll be the drunk one in orange. Geaux Horns!
P.S. "Happy Anniversary baby . . . got you on my mind."