Getting to this show was one of my most frantic journeys I have ever embarked on. I had to get back from Knoxville from a water polo tournament, get to my dorm to get the ticket and change and then bike all the way down town all with little less than an hour to spare. To make matters worse we didn’t get back to Athens until almost an hour after the show started. Thanks to some incredible fortune, I ran into one of my teammates while biking down town and got a lift to shave off at least 10 minutes of biking. Finally I arrived to the show and of course, they had started right on time so I had missed almost an hour of the set.
I rushed into the bar/venue to find that it was in fact more of a restaurant with tables set up for people to sit and eat while they watched the band with a very small area to stand where some couples were dancing. But it was a lot cooler than it sounded because the stage allowed people to get right up and lean on it and there was a sort of balcony people were also sitting up on and eating their dinner. The jazz that echoed into the courtyard while I was showing the doorman my ticket and locking my bike up was unmistakably The Dirty Dozen Brass Band and when I got down on the floor finally I instantly started snapping my fingers and banging my chest. The swag they just oozed on stage was just the same as I remembered it from the last time I had seen them and the intimate setting of the Melting Point allowed me to really see how confident these guys were on stage. The Dirty Dozen Brass band clearly were all born performers and it really became apparent watching them strut around the stage and play their instruments as if it was as natural as breathing.
I quickly realized that the set list was fairly similar if not the exact same set list they used from when I saw them in Nob Hill more than a year ago but I really didn’t care if I was going to hear the exact same songs, I was just glad to be seeing live music for the first time in a month. One of the main reasons I had chosen to come to Athens in the first place was to experience music but within my first month, no one had really come through that I was interested in. So the combination of the lack of music in my life and the great music I was hearing really brought a smile to my face.
One great thing about the Dirty Dozen Brass Band is how happy they make people. I saw that when I saw them in Albuquerque and I saw it in Athens, the old drunk people there were grinding on each other and dancing like they were young again and it was neat to see how music tore away the years from these random people. I mean, I got almost uncomfortable with how sexual they all were being when the classic “Dirty Old Men” was played and it was funny watching the younger girls go up and grind with those dirty old men. It was small crowd, it was a small venue and it was a small event in general but everyone was pleased I think. I’m pretty sure the band could care less how many people they play for as long as someone is listening. As each member walked off stage I even got to shake their hands and tell them how awesome they were. To top it all off, as I was leaving I was able to stand and talk with the piano player and when I told him I was from Albuquerque, he actually remembered playing the show, (with a little prodding of course). That was cool and the show was cool, and it turned out to be the show that got me out of my rut as I went on to start seeing quite a few more shows.