Husband's brother has played in a band called 92 Degrees for a long time. I'm not exactly sure how long they have been together, but the first albums were actual vinyl albums. Some of us attending the early shows were most likely still pegging our jeans. And quite surely all of us were earnestly carded at the door.
Husband is one of a set of four Irish Twins. They grew up together as friends and remained so as adults. So whenever they could some or all of them loitered at various Chicagoland bars and dives watching 92 Degrees play. Girlfriends and boyfriends that were brought along became spouses, hair grayed and babies made some of our asses a wee bit wider. But we keep going and hoping it isn't the last show we are attending whenever we do.
This past Saturday we saw them play at The International Pop Overthrow event at The Abbey Pub. IPO is a power pop festival that has been going on for the past 12 years. The inspiration for power pop began in the 60's with The Beatles and continued with The Ramones, the Smithereens, Buzzcocks and Material Issue. The good stuff basically.
92 Degrees opened the show that afternoon, and because it was a pub/restaurant some our underage nieces got to be there and either dance or pretend to be appropriately unimpressed with the scene. (And Aunt Lotta just might have encouraged some of them to get their hand stamped by the doorman and then not wash said hand so they could show off that they were at a "bar" when they went to school on Monday.) But we all agreed it was quite awesome that they were being exposed to actual live music instead of just radio produced Auto-Tune songs.
After 92 Degrees got offstage husband grabbed us fresh beers and we hung out to watch the new young-uns interpretation of power pop. They looked kind of like we all did back in the day. There were still the requisite Vans, bangs hanging over the eye haircuts and skinny jeans that emulated the pegged legs of the 80s. The music was faster and the lyrics had influences (one band sang about wanting to be on Vimeo) that we never did.
At one point the lead singer of one of the bands (Ahem..Matt Dodge) yelled out, "Clap your hands! (Pause) You know you're not too old!". Totally killed the mood man. Don't they know that 4 (or 6) Budweisers in we don't remember we are old anymore? That some of us may or may not have at that very moment been admiring the forearms of the guitar players without the reminder that we may be as old as their moms or at least their young Aunt? Pshaw.
But the bands were great, and even when they weren't it was still live music. In a bar. On a Saturday afternoon. With family and friends. With beer. With husband. Bliss.
I took video of some of the other bands we stuck around to watch - but because I have no idea what the copyright laws are for posting renegade concert footage taken by a mom in capris I'm going to just go with what I found on YouTube for you...
The Queue - (Video Clip) (Liked the music and especially liked that one of the guitar players was wearing a scrolling marquee belt buckle. Which we girls assumed he wore ironically and approved.)
Matt Dodge & The LOBSTERS! - (Video Clip) (Also enjoyed their music but would have lied and said I did anyways because they were from Minnesota and I do so love a drawled out Midwestern or Canadian "Eh".)