Friday night in zootown found hot music everywhere. I must start with my favorites, Zeppo, MT, who lit up the Top Hat with their jazzy version of old time rhythm and blues. My friends can play, and some listeners can't help but dance, when the music starts.
I've said a lot about Zeppo in the past. Now I must say more about the Top Hat. I know there are people out there who will not return to the Top Hat, because of past grudges. Give this place another chance. The music is still terrific, and now the atmosphere is, too. True, there is usually a cover charge, but the $2 fee for Zeppo was a bargain to hear this quality band.
School was out, the students gone, and Reverend Slanky was missing a hundred or so of their posse, but they still packed the Badlander, Friday night. Their funked up versions of dance standards had the crowd bouncing. These talented musicians won the PBR Performance Series last year over a field of excellent Montana bands.
Commander Cody is in charge.
I thought that more cowbell stuff was just a joke, but in the right hands that thing is a beautiful instrument.
Over at the Union Club, Tom Catmull and the Clerics had the dance floor packed, as they always do when they play the club. This is another prize-winning band, voted "Best of Missoula" last year.
Behind Tom, one of my favorite madmen...I mean drummers. He's a photographer, too.
Yost goes crazy, as do a couple of fans.
All of these groups are top-notch, and I absolutely had to cover all three, as Friday, June 19, 2009, produced a little pre-summer sizzle. All three venues should be encouraged with your business for supporting live, local music. There's never a cover charge for live music at the Union Club on Friday and Saturday, but there is smoking until the law changes. The Badlander and the Palace have more music between them than any other venue, and the diversity is impressive. The Top Hat has an impressive heritage, a beautiful bar and a new attitude.
Today is Saturday, and the summer solstice will occur late tonight. Reverend Slanky will open the Pig Roast music behind the Old Post this afternon, at 4 pm. Zeppo will be right behind them at 7pm. You can hear both bands in the same place. Don't miss this treat. There will be some dancing going on. There will also be some feasting, and I suspect a libation or two may be drunk. It means another busy day. I better make some coffee.