I don't think I've ever had such an adventure going to a show before as I did last night when Ian and I embarked on the hour and change trip to New Orleans to see Minneapolis' own Atmosphere. It all started off innocently enough with me nearly forgetting my ticket and a quick stop for gas but started to get funky when we got to Louisiana.
First of all, I'm not sure if you have ever done it, but driving across the lake into New Orleans is a really unnatural experience. The never ending water stretching out into the distance precariously dancing below you as you race the miles across the tip of the boot is just plain strange. After you finally get across you encounter one of the after effects of Katrina and underfunding with the concrete dunes that pass for roads. Trust me, get your shocks checked before you go or you'll just end up rhythmically bouncing along until you get into Orleans Parrish.
Anyhow, we finally get to New Orleans and feel our way over to where Ian had spotted Tipitina's and when we arrive and park we notice it's completely dark and no one is there. No F'ing Way. I double check the tickets and call the number on the sign as Ian walks down to Coyote Ugly and checks with the door man. Simultaneously we find out that this is Tipitina's Special Event's location. The actual venue (as it says on our ticket-d'oh) is in Uptown.
The thing about Uptown is that it is only reached from downtown by taking a street which we jokingly called something new every time and (Tchoupitoulas Street) driving through a heavy industrial area which is pretty shady. Lucky for us we got to experience that shadiness as we started driving past roads that were blocked off by cop cars and after a couple of blocks actually came to a police check point where they were conducting car searches. Fortunately, we didn't look sketchy enough to warrant a search and arrived at the venue after a quick search for food and ending up grabbing a sandwich at Wendy's. We went in and got a drink then caught about half of a set of the group just before Atmosphere.
After a short intermission, Atmosphere came on and Slug was totally on. They played with a live band with members from a number of different Minneapolis bands including Felipe of Los Nativos. Anyhow, it was a great show which included a good number of God Loves Ugly tracks, a handful of stuff from the last couple of Sad Clown EPs and an awesome rendition of God's Bathroom Floor. At the end of the set he finished up with a couple of freestyles on subjects that the crowd shouted out which was absolutely unbelievable.
All in all, once we got to the venue and Atmosphere came on everything was cool beans. Tipitina's was really cool and it kind of reminds me of the Quest if it had been founded by Lightnin' Hopkins instead of Prince. Anyhoo, Ian and I both picked up Sad Clown Bad Summer no. 9 on vinyl which I'm quickly wearing out on my record player. Good Times.