Monday, July 05, 2010

Jon Langford & Walter Salas-Humara; July 8, 2010; Memorial Union Terrace

There was a lot of confusion regarding tonight’s show. Jon Langford had told me he was playing tonight when I saw him in Evanston, and an e-mail from Walter’s mailing list confirmed it, but if you looked at the Union website the only thing listed was ska punk band Mustard Plug with Deals Gone Bad. Eventually it turned out that instead of one quadruple bill (which would have still been less bizarre than when I saw the Bottle Rockets with Agent Orange), Langford and Walter would play a 6 PM show leaving the tattooed and pierced skateboard crowd to take over the outdoor stage later that night. Last year the pair did a music and art show at the Hideout, this year they extended that tour to two nights with Walter selling his simple yet charming dogs, and Langford selling prints of his iconic cowboy and skull artwork because we couldn’t afford the originals.

The 6 PM start time would have been a blessing, since I do love the happy hour show, except that I had a volleyball game at the same time. “Don’t worry,” Walter said when I talked to him earlier, “we probably won’t start on time anyway.” Even though we beat the opposing team in record time, and I changed in my car on the way there (leaving a small sand bar on the floor mat), I arrived to hear the last strains of music fading away. Luckily I only missed the first set which they had played together, and there was more of the same. For artists who only play a show together once a year playing a whole evening together can be a problem. This was clearly illustrated when one said to the other, “Let’s play that one we both know.” What to do when you aren’t playing guitar? Why, play bongos of course. Though they both looked like they were having a great time doing it, though Langford admitted later that it was great fun for the first third of the song, and then he just wanted to quit.

This was the third time I’ve seen him do the songs that will make up his new Bloodshot release, and they are starting to feel like old friends. Walter on the other hand mixed new songs with favorites from past releases, including the Silos’ excellent Bloodshot release Come on Like the Fast Lane. As twilight crept up on an absolutely perfect night on the Terrace, Langford thanked us for enduring these terrible conditions to see the show. Um, you’re welcome? Though I do wish we would have stuck around for the ska show once I saw the opening band had a merch tub labeled “mustache T’s.” Damn.

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