Live Review, C-Haus, Beloit, Wi

Driving 2 1/2 hours to see a show is a pain in the ass, much less doing it twice in three days. But when Brainiac is involved (and the Archers of Loaf two days before), you sort of forget about logic and convenience and think, “Hey, I could get a bunch of cool stuff for the website!” So into the car went Nicole, Kory, Gomps, and myself, and off we went. The trip was long and precarious; rain followed us the entire way, and visibility was near zero on occasions. But there was no turning back (especially when we got past Madison; I mean, how much sense would turning back have made by then?).

We arrived in Beloit at about 10:35, and made it to the C-Haus (a bar on the Beloit College campus) at about 10:45. Cash Money was in the middle of an incredible set of two-man, sweaty grassroots badass blues-rock. I missed their legendary bacon-frying routine, but I thought they were pretty damn swell anyway. Kory really liked them too, but informed me that they pale in comparison to the Flat Duo Jets.

When the set ended, I found TimmyTaylor near the bar, ordering some beverage or another. I tapped him on the shoulder, and he turned around, smiled, and said, “What are you doing here?” “Eh, heard you were in town so we thought we’d drop by.” As it turned out, a lot of people came down from Green Bay to see the show, which is another hour north of Oshkosh. Tim was thrilled that we all made the trip down. I then presented Tim with a copy of the bootleg we recorded on October 25th of last year. He was most pleased, as was Juan when I told him about it later. Both asked me how it turned out, and seemed happy to get a copy. When I told John about the tape later in the night, his response was, “I am so fucked up right now.”

Anyhow, the next band on the bill was the Delta 72, whom I had never seen, but was anxiously awaiting, having heard their music before. Boy howdy, I felt bad for Brainiac having to play after those guys! Their lead singer ran all across the floor (he and his mic were off the stage, giving the other guys more room and crossing the barrier between band and audience and all that goood stuff), jumping and thrashing as much as he could in the 100-or-so-person-capacity C-Haus basement. The keyboardist didn’t seem to be enjoying herself very much, but then I realized she just doesn’t smile all that much. When she finally did, I told Kory and Gomps it was time to come up with a Delta 72 drinking game. Rule 1: When the singer says something about bringing music back to the people, drink. Rule 2: When the keyboardist smiles, chug.

Speaking of the “bringing music back to the people” bit: near the end of the set the Delta 72’s singer went off on a huge tangent during a song, talking about how colleges were the birthplace of revolution, and how we should all work to get people away from their computers and internets heh and back to the music. This led to the Truly Ironic Moment of The Night: Whenever he would say, “lemme hear ya say ALRIGHT!”, the crowd would yell “ALRIGHT!” But as Nicole was hanging out in back, she noticed a few guys playing foozball, and not really listening to what the singer was saying until he’d say, “lemme hear ya say ALRIGHT!”, after which they would look up from their game, yell “ALRIGHT!”, and go back to their game. As Nicole said, “Revolution! Great, as long as it doesn’t get in the way of our game!”

It was the time for Brainiac to take the stage. As always, they tore shit up, Timmy jumping to and fro, encouraging the kids in the front to get REALLY close to him and dance all over the place. They opened the set with “Fresh New Eyes,” which sounds really bitchin’ live, and then went into their usual hits, “Vincent Come on Down,” “Go Freaks Go,” and “Sexual Frustration,” along with that new song they keep playing that’s only identified on the set list as “Crash.” It’s a great guitar- oriented song that I can’t wait to hear a studio version of. When “I Am a Cracked Machine” rolled around, Tim encouraged the kids to bang on his keyboard, which they did with abandon. While the venue was small, and there were only about 70 people there to see the band, it was a great tightly- packed and fun-lovin’ crowd. Actually, I think small crowds packed into a smaller joint produce the best shows, but that’s just me. Anyway, Brainiac turned in one of the best performances I’ve seen yet. They were really excited to have such an enthusiastic crowd in a town they’d never played. John was more spastic than usual, Tyler was all over the place (as much as a dummer can be), and Juan was seen dancing into the crowd and getting fresh with our friend Chad From Green Bay Who Lives With Rich Winker And Paul #2 (yes, that’s his full name).

After the show we sat down with Tim and got an interview out of him, where he talked about the next record, electronic music, his lyrics, and the possibility of putting the next record on a major label. As we prepared to leave Beloit, Tim let me know how much he appreciated all the work I do on the page, which gave me a bit of a fuzzy feeling inside. It’s great to know that the work you do to support your favorite band is truly appreciated by the guys in the band. (Well, Tim and Juan, anyway. I’m sure if I asked John about it, his response would be, “I am so fucked up right now.” I dunno what Tyler would say. But that’s part of the charm, I guess.) We then embarked on the 2 1/2- hour drive back to Oshkosh, arriving home at 5 in the morning. We were sore, sweaty, smoky, and tired as all heck, but it was a damn good night.