Backstage with Baldy
St. Paul – July 9th
Since I took a little detour in the last write-up to focus on some negative people out there, I thought it was only fair to dedicate a few words to the positive ones this time around.
Last night in St. Paul, the Roy Wilkins Auditorium was full of good, positive fans.
Which was exactly what the band needed to see.
The previous night we travelled from Winnipeg, which was a nearly 500 mile drive, and included a border crossing. Add in some lousy weather, along with the regular bumping and swaying of the bus, and you have all the ingredients for a sleepless night.
Which is basically what’s been happening for all of us on this Canadian run.
No one seems to be able to get any quality rest on the bus, so the only shot at getting some real sleep comes when we get to the hotel.
I’ve whined about all of this before though, so let’s get back to the show.
It was another great night of people watching.
Beyond just watching fans have a great time, there were a couple of highlights for me.
The first one was when I was walking out to the front of house to catch a few songs late in the set. I happened to walk past a couple of police officers as the band was just launching into Would?, and the older cop (who looked to be in his 50’s) turned to the other one and shouted, “THIS IS MY JAM!!”
Something about that just struck me as being kind of funny.
Also funny was the guy I saw earlier in the night dancing.
Here’s the deal with dancing: you don’t really see it much at an Alice In Chains show. (Nor should you)
Usually when you do see dancing, it’s a woman, and usually it’s more on the swaying side of things than actual America’s Best Dance Crew type of dancing.
Now I’m not about to begrudge anyone for expressing themselves. If the music moves you, then you should just do what you feel.
And this dude clearly felt the funk.
Personally I’m not one to dance. Don’t get me wrong, I feel the funk too, I just happen to feel it on the inside. So while internally I may be Moonwalking and unleashing the Stanky Legg, externally I’m just standing there nodding.
This guy, however, was in full Soul Train mode.
And the best part of the whole thing was that he was doing it to Stone.
Stone has a riff the size of Texas, but I never once saw it as a song to shake your groove thing to.
But this dude was going off.
And he was working some pretty serious moves. The head was going, the arms were really going, and the legs were doing some considerable work.
I just don’t think I can do justice in words to his skills, but suffice it to say that any white guy in his 20’s that can drop those kinds of moves to a song like that has my respect. He also has my head spinning in utter confusion, but he has my respect.
So this single American gig detour from the Canadian run was another fine showing from Minneapolis/St. Paul’s finest fans, one of which singlehandedly made sure that I’d never hear Stone quite the same way again.
I kind of wanted to buy him tickets to a Slayer show just to see what kind of moves he would break out there…