"The English Beat" and The Plimsouls at Mezzanine.
Okay, I have to put "The English Beat" in quotation marks because we all know the band currently is comprised of just lead singer Dave Wakeling and some session musicians. However, that doesn't stop me from going to see them every time they come to town. To that end, there I was at Mezzanine last night surrounded by a crowd that actually made me feel young. You've gotta love the music fans who discovered these bands when they were in high school and college... As opposed to sixth grade, which is when I discovered them.
As soon as we walked in the doors and checked our coats, my English Beat friend Carla and I, along with her friend Brian, laid claim to some space right in front of the stage. Maybe it was the overly-crowded Beat shows I attended at the Red Devil Lounge a year and a half ago, but I now need to be front and center every time I see Dave Wakeling sing. I think one of the reasons Carla loves catching up with me at these shows is because she likes being in front, too, and I just have no shame when it comes to staking out my territory.
Opening for The Beat last night were The Plimsouls. I saw The Plimsouls last year at Cafe du Nord, and if you're someone who knows only their hit record "Million Miles Away" (and I confess to having been one of those people), I'd advise you to get yourself a Plimsouls album or two. What perfect garage-pop The Plimsouls play. I honestly regret that I missed most of their music 25 years ago. Better late than never, I suppose.
After The Plimsouls hour-long set, The Beat took the stage. And they played for two solid hours. Two hours! The English Beat has been one of my favorite bands since 1982, and they busted out a couple of numbers even I'd forgotten about. It was so great.
Of course, because Carla and I are both single and attractive (that may sound egotistical, but whatever), we got hit on. And it's kind of my fault. I first made eye contact with the guy in question, and initially he seemed normal. He and his friend had driven down from Sacramento for the show, and he started telling me all about how he had seen The Beat in high school, and he played bass in a punk band for 15 years, and so on and so forth. When he learned neither Carla nor I are married, he actually said: "Have I gone to heaven?"
That sounds cheesy, but he actually played it off pretty well.
Mr. Sacramento tired of me and began chatting up Carla almost exclusively, which turned out to be a very good thing for me and a bad thing for her. You see, as the evening wore on, and the alcohol he'd consumed started settling in, the touching began. When the show ended, we were rather relieved to lose that dude. No wonder he was coming on to women who live an hour away from him.
Carla's friend Brian was none too impressed with our wannabe suitor either. I learned last night that Carla and Brian are very good platonic friends, and... Well, you know how that goes sometimes. Brian actually disappeared soon after The Beat began playing, and we found him outside the club at about 1:30 a.m. Don't you love the occasional fun provided by male-female friendships?
Aside from all of that, there was the music. Which is definitely making me happy today.