Friday, April 01, 2011

On tour with Ha Ha Tonka- Day 4; April 1, 2011; The Wood Shed, Salt Lake City

Today was one of the shorter drives of the week, so tour manager James Dean let everyone sleep in. While those boys can sleep till noon no problem I was wide awake at 9 am. Likely because I’d gone to bed rather than participate in the poker game they had planned, though I did invest $5 in James Dean (and yes, I do always use his full name) before leaving. Turns out I backed the wrong horse and I wasn’t going to see any return on my investment. Next time I’ll know better. It was another beautiful day so I sat outside with our host’s skittish dog Blossom and watched folks go by on their golf carts.

The drive to Salt Lake City was as picturesque as the day before, and the city itself was especially lovely, seemingly surrounded on all sides by mountains. We passed the state’s gorgeous capitol building on the outskirts of town which seemed a funny location for the seat of government, until I realized what was in the center of town. The Salt Lake Temple. It looks like a castle, and dwarfs the capitol; I guess we know who runs this town. I was still under the impression that there weren’t any bars in town, just membership clubs, but I found out later that bars had been legalized just a couple years ago. I learned that and other interesting facts about Salt Lake City from my friend Ken, a professor at the University of Utah. I’ve known him since he was a grad student, but this was the first time we’d hung out since he made more money than me. Still, he let me buy him beers all night; I guess some things should never change.

I’ll admit I don’t know much about Mormonism, but what I think I know is that they aren’t allowed to have any fun. So it was a bit of a surprise when tonight’s show turned out to be the craziest of the week. The crowd packed in front of the stage, giving the impression of one big creature bouncing up and down to the music. And they drink a lot too, everywhere I looked folks were holding 24 oz PBRs. Apparently it was that kind of party, because halfway through the set Luke had his shirt off. Which is just fine believe me, but it had the unfortunate effect of encouraging some audience members to do the same. Not as good. They hadn’t been playing it every night, but Ram Jam’s “Black Betty” was an inspired and appropriate encore tonight. Who knew Utah could be so fun?

Brett and James Dean playing some foosball

Lennon lookin' good

Ha Ha Tonka

yep, it was that kind of show

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