Believe it or not, this was my first ever Chuck Ragan show. I mean. I’ve seen him a few times on the Revival Tours but I’d never simply seen a Chuck Ragan show. When I saw he was pulling a two night stand in Gainesville last weekend I immediately noticed the Saturday night line up and I knew I needed to be there. So the wife and I made the snap decision to make the 2 1/2 road trip up to the land the Tebow built.
We arrived about two hours before the venue’s doors opened so we checked into our hotel before strolling out to find some food and liquor. This was my first time in downtown Gainesville that I can recall and I have to admit, it was kind of cute. I miss the brick streets of my hometown and downtown Gatorville was flush with those. After a quick meal complete with a couple of Hurricanes we headed down to The Atlantic to make sure we didn’t miss anyone.
My initial impression of The Atlantic was that it should be in Austin. It so reminds me of a Mexican restaurant that closes the kitchen during SxSW, takes out all the tables and becomes a music venue for the week.
Greenland Is Melting took the stage first and commenced to just kill it. I like these guys more and more each time I see them. This time around the band had a fella sitting in on electric guitar which really added a nice element to their sound. Jon Gaunt, as would be the case throughout the night, sat in on a few songs with the guys as well. I said it when I first wrote about these guys and I’ll reiterate it now, Greenland Is Melting is, to me, what The Avette Brothers should sound like. Check them out if you get a chance.
Greenland Is Melting – The Kitchen Song
Greenland Is Melting – No More Sorry Songs
I know this might be blasphemous for some to read but it was The Takers playing more so than a Chuck Ragan show that really made me decide this was a show worth driving for and they were up next. In preparation I did the only proper thing one can do before a Takers show, I ordered up a double whiskey ginger and took a spot up front center stage. What followed next was vintage Takers which is to say it was tipsy, loud and awesome. The band opened with a couple of new songs before launching into familiar territory from the album, Taker Easy. This was my second time hearing a few of the new tracks and I gotta say, they’re great. Hopefully the band will manage to get the money together to get them recorded one day. They closed their set with the bar room anthem and crowd favorite, Friends In Bottles.
The Takers – St. John’s Son
The Takers – Friends In Bottles
Hometown hero, Chuck Ragan closed the night out with style. Joined on stage by Gaunt and the rest of his band Chuck ran through songs from all of his solo-releases, Bristle Ridge and even pulled out a Hot Water Music (maybe more, I’m not overly familiar with HWM) all of which were performed in full accompaniment of the Gainesville crowd.
All in all, it was a great night and it felt awesome to get out on the road and put sime effort into attending a show again. Perhaps I’ll start doing it more often.