One Band, One Local Bar, All Night Long. What'll It Be?
This one's pretty simple: Recently Rocks Off asked our writers to tell us if they could choose any artist, living or dead, active or defunct, to perform all night long at one local bar or club, who would that be and where?
Sam Cooke at the Continental Club
I would love to see tons of musicians live in a perfect venue: Queen in a huge arena (with great seats, of course), the Beatles in a London nightclub, Nirvana at someone's basement house party. And while I will never be able to have those experiences with those bands, there is a good chance I will be able to see a similar type of show at some point. What is far less likely to happen is to see someone like Sam Cooke play in a supper club while the crowd is "Twistin' the Night Away".
Sam Cooke is one of the most amazing singers of all time. His voice managed to oscillate effortlessly between velvety smooth to rough and raw, always sounding pitch-perfect. There aren't a lot of singers like him anymore, but moreover, there simply aren't concerts like his anymore.
I imagine myself putting on a cute party dress and high heels and going to Continental Club. Some people are seated around the floor, tapping their heels and clapping. Individual fans are near the stage, singing and swaying to every note. The dance floor is being used -- get this -- for dancing: couples who came together or were brought together through "Bring It On Home to Me" are holding one another close. Everyone is in a great mood. The music is playing to make people feel good.
Publicity photo via Wikipedia Sam Cooke in 1963
People always say "They just don't make music like that anymore." What's even truer? They just don't make shows like that anymore. I strongly suggest you go out and buy Live at the Harlem Square Club, put it on your record player, close your eyes, and come to Continental Club to see Sam Cooke. I will be there, wearing my party dress. SELENA DIERINGER
Ted Leo & the Pharmacists at Notsuoh
My bar in Houston is, and always will be, Nostuoh, so I feel like a little bit of a square picking a band to play that isn't as weird as the bar I love. Nevertheless, I have to go with a night of Ted Leo and the Pharmacists. Not only are they electric performers, but they provide just the right atmosphere for drinking and singing.
Plus, I'm sure in my fantasy scenario Ted would break out some of his dub/lo-fi material, which would make him and his band a completely appropriate choice for the setting. Maybe a Chisel reunion too? Who knows? Since it's a totally imaginary scenario, let's go with that. COREY DEITERMAN
Okkervil River at West Alabama Ice House
If we could pick a nice late October day to get Okkervil River to play Down the River of Golden Dreams, Black Sheep Boy, and The Stage Names front-to-back at the West Alabama Ice House, that would be just about the best day I could imagine.
Can you picture it? Just sitting there on a perfect breezy day, drinking Ruby Redbird or Lawnmower, watching three stellar albums' worth of that amazing live show? Yes. A thousand times yes. (And yes, they'd have to play the B-sides, too.) JOHN SEABORN GRAY
Pantera at West Alabama Ice House
As long as we're fantasizing, I suppose I'd like to see a reunited (and resurrected) Pantera play an all-night set at the West Alabama Ice House. That way, I could bring my own bottle of Crown Royal and suck down Blacktooth after Blacktooth as Dimebag Darrell's unforgettable guitar tone laid waste to my entire neighborhood. NATHAN SMITH
See more fantasy nights on the next page.