Ho. Lee. Shit. A full day’s work at the office, one incredibly long, incredibly beautiful night at the bar, yet another full 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. day at the other job, and now, at 6:00 p.m., here I stand, at the ready, in the glow of the Bowling Green sun on hallowed ground – Tidball’s Live on the Lot.
Let’s do this.
First things first – this hangover ain’t gonna kill itself. I made a beeline to John behind the bar inside, snagged a Purple Haze, then back out the door to Rony at the Shogun truck to score myself an elusive Katsu burger – a panko breaded, deep fried burger patty topped with crumbled bacon and pure magic (and served with fries, of course) and sat down to take it all in.
Fully fueled and feeling relatively indestructible, I was prepared to soak in the blissfully foreign sounds of Seek. These alt/indie rockers incorporate the beautifully peculiar sounds of the clarinet (played by the lovely Melissa Larsen) into clean, easy listening radio friendly jams. The vocals were ultra crisp and not a single thing about the set could be described as “sloppy.”
Now becoming increasingly certain that I was, in fact, not going to die from lack of sleep, I refilled my little plastic cup and perched on the stoop along the bar’s outer wall just as Owensboro natives Roadside Giants (pictured) jumped into the fire. Self-described as Americana/Roots music, Roadside Giants are not the band your hipster friends came to Tidball’s to see. Twangy and all-American in every way, they added a uniquely Kentucky brand of rock-n-roll to Saturday’s outdoor line-up, complete with a smoke machine for added emphasis.
Locally grown indie foursome 8 Track Love (pictured) were the next to grace the outdoor stage, and what a lovely note on which to set the sun. Poppy, daydreamy, and perfectly 90’s-esque, 8 Track Love are like that really cool looking vintage couch in your basement that you just melt into each time you sit down – but with a presumably more pleasant odor.
The final outdoor performance was dispensed at the hands of Brad the Dad (Schultz) and Novus de Vetus. If I’m being honest, I was caught somewhere between my second and third winds at this point, so I was only able to catch a couple of his tunes before seeking refuge on a seat inside the bar, but what I did hear was indeed good old fashioned guitar pickin’ and Brad Sr.’s unmistakeable, driving vocals. Nothing not to like.
As the night sky grew black and the air cold, it was time to meander permanently indoors where The Reneaus (pictured) were already set up and checking sound. Each time I experience this group, I feel like I’ve stumbled upon some wonderful secret. Theirs is a sound that’s difficult to convey in text; simultaneously ethereal and assertive, heavy and fragile. Velvety, luxurious vocals blend with distorted, sumptuous, often bluesy strings, popping percussion and haunting keys in a way that is both incredibly sexual yet somehow entirely innocent. You want to witness this. Trust.
Next up, local favorites, and one of the hardest working bands in BG, Fat Box (pictured) took the stage to funk things up a bit. Combining blues, jam, funk, jazz, and just about every other musical adjective in between, played on damn near every rock instrument you’ve ever seen (guitars, horns, keys, and an enviable percussion collection) these guys never fail to deliver booty shakin’, foot shufflin’ fun. Just don’t be that guy…you know the one…he’s always front and center before the stage doing that one stupid dance he always did at Phish shows that omits both rhythm and style. Yeah. Just don’t be him.
Drawing the extraordinary weekend long event to a close might have seemed a daunting task – to anyone that’s not Morning Teleportation, that is. Such an impeccably perfect, reverberant period at the end of this run-on sentence. Psychedelic, dynamic, elevating, kaleidoscopic and gorgeous, Morning Teleportation transport their audience to places otherworldly and provide them comfort in their foreignness.
With my sleep gauge teetering ever so close to empty and my beer gauge struggling to stay within bounds, it was time, yet again, to drag my tired frame to shelter and drift into beautifully surreal dreams about the many perfectly exquisitely odd goings on I’d witness this weekend.
I’d become a new fan, solidified myself as an old friend, and drank in every last drop of life experience my body could handle in such a small timeframe.
Tidball’s Live on the Lot 2016 had been, in a word, perfection.