Band on the Run?

I know the world is sick of Covid, and everything is opening back up, despite breakthrough cases of Covid continuing to take the lives of double-vaccinated people who thought they were safe. I’m slowly trying to safely head back out into this weird, new, masked Covidy world. I recently went to an outdoor football game, and I went to a basketball game in a big indoor arena. I felt safer outdoors at the football game, but the seats at the basketball game were positioned in such a way that I felt okay about being there. But indoor restaurants? No, thank you. I’ll take the food to go.

I enjoyed safely meeting with friends over the summer at restaurants with outdoor patios. But last night, it was below freezing out, and I was scheduled to have dinner with friends. What do we do? We decided to head to a place with an outdoor patio that they wrap in plastic and keep cozy with overhead and tableside heaters. Even better, live music was scheduled for last night.

They looked fun and upbeat with an indie-artist vibe to them, sort of a cleaner-cut version of the Strumbellas from Canada. Take a look and you decide.

And if you are not familiar with the Strumbellas, click to take a listen here and here. You can also find a complete Strumbellas concert here, right about the time I saw them in concert in St. Louis in 2019. It still ranks as one of my favorite concerts ever, especially since I’ve seen so few since. Thanks, Covid.

Anyway, my hopes were high for Ludlow. They were going to take the place of seeing Nick Lowe backed by Los Straightjackets at the Park West in Chicago this weekend. I really wanted to go with my wife to that concert to celebrate our anniversary and to recreate one of our first dates, oh so many years ago. It was basically at that early-date concert that I knew she was a keeper. I got tickets for us to see Dave Edmunds at the Park West. She was unfamiliar with him as an artist, and we had to stand the whole show, but she seemed to enjoy it and have a great time. I thought it would be cool to return to the Park West to see Lowe, aka the Jesus of Cool, albeit an older one from when he, Edmunds, and Elvis Costello were popularizing their power pop sound in the US. But neither my wife nor I are comfortable with attending a concert in a full room yet.

Needless to say, my expectations for Ludlow were likely higher than any reality they could possibly deliver.

But I really didn’t expect this.

We got one guy singing unintelligible lyrics of unknown songs in a monotone backed by a hypnotically somnambulistic rhythm guitar. So many questions …

  • Is that Ludlow himself?
  • If so, is Ludlow his first or last name?
  • What happened to the rest of the band?
  • Were the brown M&Ms not picked out of the candy bowl in the artist’s green room backstage causing the rest of the band to walk out in protest? (Editor’s Note: There was no backstage and no green room. It’s an outdoor patio at a restaurant.)
  • Did the band run out when they saw they would be performing on an outdoor patio of a restaurant in freezing weather?
  • Is this a last minute stand-in for Ludlow?
  • If so, could the stand-in sit down?

It’s not like I could do any better, and I give him props for trying. While they may have flipped the artist on us, the reality was a bit of a flop.

If your expectation is award-winning fiction when you read, the reality is that you can find it in my award-winning book of short stories. Click here to buy for under a buck.


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