Old Shoe | 'Songs of Jerry' | Two Brothers Roundhouse | Review

Combine the intoxication of Old Shoe’s Jerry Garcia inspired set with the buzz of Two Brothers’ craft beer and the very least you’ll get is the spins.  Old Shoe played Two Brothers Roundhouse on August 10th, 2012.

The classic spinning hippy girls were out in full force.  With them comes the inevitable creepy old guys that sweat, lust, and stare at them from the corner of the club.  They work out, lifting 16 ounces at a time.  I’m pretty sure in their mind they are having lovely conversations with these beautiful women.  They imagine what they would say to these lovely ladies of the free flowing skirts.  Then, after a few delicious craft beers of above average alcohol content, they strike.  They attempt to enact these daydream conversations.  They are usually un-lucky and awkward.

I love Old Shoe.  They are a great group of musicians that are so enthusiastic about their love of music.  They are an eclectic arrangement of songwriters and performers.  I love Two Brothers Roundhouse.  The historical landmark is the last stop on the BNSF Metra railway west from Chicago.  It is a tetracontagon, a 40 sided building.  It has been reported to be haunted as the locally mined limestone mysteriously “repels” heat in the summer time.

I found myself not loving this show.  While I normally feel the good spirits of the Roundhouse, it seemed like this cover tune show was covering a lot more than Jerry Garcia.  I got the impression that the staff was uninterested in welcoming the hippies.  Pete Jive opened the show with all his soul, glory and guts of being a solo act in the open air entertainment courtyard but the sound did not carry very well. 

There are so many great places to highlight the talent of Pete Jive in the Roundhouse.  Perhaps the tavern with its cathedral ceilings and fabric sound absorbing drapes would have been better.  I have seen acoustic performers right in the entryway carry through the main bar and brewery area much better than the sound quality of this opening act.  “When I Get Low I Get High” made the crowd get rowdy and the security a little tighter and the service a little slower.

Old Shoe sound checked with Big River, opened with Ragweed Jones, played their original tune Beer, and then into Peggy-O.  Peggy-O was evocative of Casper the friendly ghost at first, then left the crowd stunted like the headless horseman. Paul’s vocals were dead- on.  It must have taken a minute to get the groove together because the peak of the show came late in the second set with an amazing Fire on the Mountain sung by Joe into (Old Shoe original) Rhett > Eyes of the World.  The vocals were whispy like Jerry with the wind of many miles running through it.  By the encore, Casey Jones, it was all for fun and all for the fans. 

So many shoes out in the crowd with many miles left to walk.  Maybe the footprints of the ghosts of the Roundhouse were overpopulating the courtyard.  It seemed like a shove and a push in the wrong direction for this particular evening.  Like I said, not one thing was exactly wrong but the overall feel of the show was just not happening for me.  I look forward to more Old Shoe in a place where the club is warm and hospitable.  I look forward to more Joe Day getting crazy with the Cheese Whiz.  The windy illusions of apparitions may not steal the sweet sounds on every night at the Roundhouse.  I look forward to the spirit, and not the haunting, of some Old Shoe adventures in the future.

The best part about this show is the soundboard second set is available on archive. And check out more photos here.

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