Wednesday, 16 May 2007

After hanging around after the show Saturday night, I didn’t really leave town until almost 11am. Des Moines is roughly a 4-hour drive from home, so that gave me plenty of time to get there, check into my hotel, grab something to eat, and head over to the show. It’s a straight drive down I-35 and went by uneventfully.

Todd wasn’t along with for this leg because he decided that seeing Megadeath and Black Sabbath (with Dio on vocals) was more important. I’m not sure I agree with him, especially after hearing his assessment of the Sabbath portion, but to each their own.

Keyster’s is actually in Urbandale, a Des Moines suburb. It’s set in a strip-mall that is off the beaten track with nothing around it worth mentioning. I understand they’re normally not even open on Sundays and that they make an exception when Roger comes to town.

The main bar runs the whole left side of the joint starting just inside the door. Other than that, it’s got a little space for a dance-floor near the stage and a bunch of tables throughout the rest. All-told I’d guess the place is about 60-feet wide by 120-feet deep, including a decent sized stage.

I should also mention that drinks and beer were cheap. They didn’t have any really good tequila, but Guinness pints were only $4 with a 2-for-1 happy hour until 7pm. A guy could get really drunk if he didn’t have to drive back to the hotel after the show.

But really, how fun it is to be completely hammered if you’re over 25?

I was actually there early enough to catch sound-check. As you’d expect, it’s a bunch of “check check” and goofing around while the sound-man sets house levels and everyone gets the stage monitors set the way they like. Then they do a couple songs just to make sure things are ready to go. A few people applauded after one of the songs and Roger, with a great big grin on his face, “Hey! It’s sound check! There’s no applauding for sound check!”

I met a whole ton of people there. Basically it was a group of friends that come out for the RCPM shows and mostly live in the Des Moines area. There was a Doug, Mary, Stephanie, Diane, and at least two guys named Dave. I hope I’ll be able to put the right names with all the faces next time I see them. I also saw John and Beth from St. Louis whom I met at the Minneapolis show. They were truly a great bunch of folks and the perfect example of the generally friendly people you find at most Roger shows.

Shurman put on a great opening set and I’m getting to know some of the guys in the band. I made sure I picked up one of their CDs. They actually ran out of the regular studio produced discs and had resorted to burning a double-album thing with a couple laptop before they took the stage and while Roger played.

As always, Roger, Steve, Nick, and P.H. put on a great show. It ended up being a 22 song set, including 3 songs in the encore. Although I didn’t manage to get an actual set-list, I did get a picture of one after the show. As written, it went as follows: Contraband, Maybe We Should Fall In Love, Down Together, Counterclockwise, Noisy Head, Wake Up Call, Leaky Little Boat, Sin Nombre, Mexico, Who Let the Goon Squad In, Bottom of the Bay, Plenty, Hourglass, Junebug In July, Hello New Day, Americano, Mekong, and Andale, with Jack vs. Jose, Yahoos and Triangles (King of the Hill Theme), and Lemons for the encore.

I’ve finally been to enough of the shows that I get recognized from stage during the show. I always get a nod from Nick early on and Roger typically notices as well. It doesn’t make me any cooler or more “in” than anyone else, but it is a pretty good feeling just the same.

They actually left the stage at about 11pm due to local noise ordinances, but everyone hung around the bar for quite a while after the show. All four guys came out for a while, Nick and Steve pretty much stayed in the bar while Roger and P.H. stuck close to the bus. The guys from Shurman also hung out and I got to talk to them for a while too.

When I was talking with Roger he asked me again if there was something I wanted to hear at one of the upcoming shows. When I mentioned “God Gave Me A Gun” again, he did an “Oh Yeah!” and made a note for himself. Like I said before: it’s not a promise, although it looks promising.

I finally got back to the hotel at around 2:30am and I was completely beat. I did a bit of writing, and I think that’s when I actually posted the Fine Line review. By 3:15 I was out and only woke up once during the rest of the night.

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