Even I thought it was a little crazy to drive to Bloomington IL on a Tuesday night to see Jon Dee Graham and Mike June only four days before they were going to be in my basement, but the look on Jon Dee's face when he saw us and the pizza we had down the street before the show totally made it worth it. The show was in the balcony of the Castle Theater, a charming old theater right downtown where many of the acts that play the Majestic or Barrymore in Madison stop as they pass through southern Illinois. This was the first time Jon Dee had played Bloomington, or at least as far as he could remember it was. "When you've been on tour as long as I have, you can't always be sure," he joked. Despite the fact that there were less than two dozen people scattered through the balcony, they were an enthusiastic bunch. In fact, we even knew a few of them. Rob Hanning lives somewhere in middle of nowhere near the Illinois Iowa border, though he seems reluctant to give us the exact location. He's traveled to Madison many times to see Jon Dee and Steve Poltz in my basement, and it was great to see a familiar face. There was another couple there who recognized Michelle from high school in Peoria (seriously) and several random shows since. They didn't know me, until I mentioned that I had shows in my house. "Are you Kiki?" they asked excitedly. They are on the mailing list now, hopefully they can make a show sometime.
Oh, and the pizza came from Tobin's Pizza, who in addition to their own pizza offer "Michealo's Pizza," a beloved pizza spot that had closed down. It was a little weird, but am I glad they do, Michealo's pizza is amazing. I'd go to another show in Bloomington just for the promise of that pizza.