Elliott Street Pub 5/26/18
We took off for Atlanta in my van this time (Not Raelyn’s) which my papaw in Indiana recently gifted to me. It is also missing it’s front bumper, so we’ve started calling it “White Lightning: The Fenderless Wonder”. We arrived through on and off rain to our hotel, and then .. ESP around 7. I curbed checked when we were doing a donut to park In front of the club. Good thing the bumper’s already gone. 🙄
On account of there being a Kenny Chesney Show across the street at the new Mercedes Benz Arena, Mike from ESP suggested we do our set later than the 9ish time we’d planned, making our show into the “Unofficial Official Kenny Chesney After Party” for when the show let out, around 10:30-11. So we killed some time eating delicious deli sandwiches (we got the Caprizi and the Ultimate 😋) and took in the scene.
We’ve always had a colorful experience playing Elliott Street Pub. When I (not Raelyn) did a work stint in Atlanta, I lived right up the street from ESP and hosted a regular jam there. I did the iron pour one time, which I highly recommend. When mmhmm played there before, we befriended locals like Troll, a potter who gave us these amazing handmade mugs. Unfortunately Mike said troll was out of town for a few weeks. It being Memorial Day Weekend, we weren’t sure what kind of crowd to expect, or if any of our buddies would show.
As we were chowing down on sandwiches in the outdoor patio area, a slender guy was sitting near us at a table, dressed in black t-shirt and pants with a man bun. We chatted casually with him and he revealed his name was Roy, and said he was on the stage crew that was setting up the Kenny Chesney Show.
All seemed normal, and he sat there pensively for some time, sipping what he said was makers and diet. We kinda figured he’d have one drink and bounce to the concert to.. work? But, he sort of stayed on and seemed to be having quite a few makers and diets..
We had a laugh when he let down his man bun, and shockingly BAM! had RUPUNZEL length hair! He was sort of mouthing along to the classic rock songs playing in the bar, and then combing his hands through his long wavy brown hair. He dropped his phone while doing all this and I had to stifle a laugh. We were like how was all that hair in that tiny bun?? Anyway, he seemed normal. We had to make a quick run to grab a 9V battery, and Roy said goodbye and regretfully that he wouldn’t be able to make our show but good luck. We drove off.
When we returned, Roy was still there! He sort of kept disappearing and reappearing. It was strange, but we started setting up our gear and checking our sound and didn’t really think much of it. It was getting dark, and as we finished our soundcheck, we noticed people starting to fill the streets. The concert across the street was letting out!
We were hovering near our set up (which by the way was on Astro Turf. So our stage was grass) when Roy approached and started saying some slurred jibberish to us. We tried to understand what he was saying and I noticed he was holding his arm.. and then noticed blood. As I got closer, I saw his vein was bulbous and there was big spot of blood there. He was holding a wet paper towel to it, which fell to the ground. He went for the paper towel, and not hannah told him not to put the dirty one back on his arm, and to wait! We would get him a fresh one, and go get help...
By the time we had made for the door of the club and gotten Mike to help us, Roy was already down the street, hobbling jerkily like a zombie toward the Arena. I saw him flip a bird at the corner as he rounded it.
You can’t make this shit up.
Mike didn’t catch him but had barely had time to recover when...
This random guy entered the patio, shouted a phone call to his friend (one of those loud drunken more-for-everyone-else-around conversations) and demanded they “stop having sex” and get over here right away!! “I have beers getting warm here man!!” He shouted. Yes, we heard him say all that. You can’t make this shit up. Well, you can, but still.
THEN.. that guy saunters up and puts $20 in our tip jar and tells us to start playing! He says, “Play something... anything. I don’t really listen to music.” 😂😳
Soooooo... that’s how our show began.
It was about 10:20. We started in with “Take It On The Run” in the hopes that a cover would, I guess, satiate this non-music guy (everyone knows REO Speedwagon, right?). And then went ahead and jumped into our set. It timed out well because around 10:40 people were really filling the place up.
We were immediately bombarded with cover requests. I don’t know what about our look implied that we were a cover band or something, but the tips were flowing.. so we definitely wound up doing a very special rendition of “Brown Eyed Girl”. (Incidentally, Van Morrison himself was at the Show, so lucky us.)
After that we stuck to our guns and played our set. Some guy requested Born on the Bayou by CCR and I about spit my beer out. We had a good time playing, and people were dancing and feeling good. We did come away feeling like we should work up some more covers, which is something we already had in the works, but nothing like a show like this to put fire under your butt. It was a loose set, but in the very best way. We sold shirts during the actual show - Not Hannah went and helped the customer while I did a John Prine song. ☺️ I guess we entertained for about an hour and a half before taking a break.
These two guys from Louisiana were in good spirits and one of them got me swing dancing (to a Who song, which was pretty extra). Not Hannah Fairlight did the right thing sitting that whole situation out, which was probably wise because by the time we got back up to play I was wiped out. We championed through until about 1:20 in the morning and finally called it quits. The crowd was thinning and we could tell the guys were ready to do last call.
I think the most fun out of all that was that we played three new songs, a couple of them pretty much for the first time ever, and they went over well. That’s always a good feeling, and you really don’t know the song until you play it live. That’s where you learn the most. So in perfect mmhmm style we made it “New Song Saturday” and we played “Gold Digger”, “Ocho Dias”, and “P.H.A.T. (Florida Georgia Line Song)”. It’s always a rush playing the new tunes and testing them out. We don’t know if people always get our sense of humor but we don’t mind too much. 😀
We dedicated Coy Boy to Roy.
We grabbed Octane coffee before heading out the next morning, and stopped by Livi Rae Lingerie for a little crucial self-indulgence before trekking back to Nashville in White Lightning.
All in all, the trip was mmhmm good.