(Jason Lent has forsaken the island paradise of Hawaii to follow us around for a few months. I have happily placed the tour diary in his capable hands. It should bring a new perspective to our ramblings.)
I made the short ride up to Milwaukee and met up with a friend to explore the city. We started in an old Polish neighborhood where his family had first settled. The gentrification of the riverfront around Milwaukee was lapping at the edge of the neighborhood but the old homes stood their ground. We settled into a century old bar for a few pints to stay out of the blistering cold wind.
Not much had changed at Wolski’s during the last century. The bartender was the fourth generation of his family to pour beer and lend an ear to the community. The sense of place was strong in this area and where you’re from was measured not by city or even neighborhood. My friend and the bartender identified each other by house numbers and despite not being there in many years, the connection was strong. The bartender simply said, welcome home and bought a round of beers.
The wandering around downtown Milwaukee was the coldest hour of my life. The end.
The venue tonight was an old music hall that was restored only enough to pass city inspection. Nets were draped across the ceiling to catch falling chunks of plaster and the wood floor had been allowed to rise and fall giving the entire room a slightly uneven sway as you walked around. It felt like a ballroom for the apocalypse and it was magnificent.
The band played one of the best shows of the tour and the crowd’s reserved response could probably be attributed to the fact that we were glued to our seats.. The biting winds were sneaking through the aging edifice but the warm sound of the room more than compensated for the world outside. Songs like “Thousand Year Pray” and the final waltz through dystopia on “Lay It Down” reminded me of why some of us feel the need to follow the band from show to show.
This entry was posted on Friday, March 26th, 2010 at 12:31 pm and is filed under Tour Diary. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
In 1996 a friend set me up with her friend.I went to pick up my date and was listening to the cowboy junkies. I decided that this time I would not compromise my self for a partner.if they didn’t like me for who I was including my music then it wasn’t meant tobbe. We hoped in my car and she said I love the cowboy junkies did you see them in Memphis? We drove around and I held her hand for the first time to sweet jane. We have been together since. See ya tonight in madison.
Thanks so much for coming back to Milwaukee. If I could just get you to come to Green Bay, WI…
A fantastic show, as always from all of you. Great to meet you again as well. Nothing’s changed. You always make the trip worth it. Cheers!
Great show!(Milwaukee) all I could have wanted and more. after 25 yrs, I’m more in love with you than ever…
Hey – thanks for coming to Milw. I saw you at Alpine Valley oh so many years ago. Lou Reed broke his arm and couldn’t perform. I heard your Sweet Jane for the first time. Flash forward a year or two…and my new husband and I were walking down the aisle after saying ‘I do’ to Anniversary Song. And then there was March 25, 2010 … we were mellow because we were reminisching…not because we weren’t totally psyched.
THANK YOU FOR COMING TO MILWAUKEE! Just a week or two earlier it had been Spring — in the 50s and 60s and sunny (no wind). It was extremely windy on Thursday, March 25th, but that did not stop a great show from happening! My first time to see you live and I wish you could have played all night. I have always loved your music and anxiously await the first release from your Nomad Series in April. When you come back again, I sure hope it is at Turner Hall again. It is a building with character and needs a facelift, but I thought it was a PERFECT venue to have you entertain us in. THANKS FOR SUCH A GREAT SHOW! I’m sure the little girl in the front row will always remember the flowers you gave to her. :) What a special memory for her as well.
ANOTHER BEAUTIFUL SHOW! I’m sorry we came across as reserved. Thank you so much for coming to Milwaukee again! Please continue to include us in your tours! You’ve crisscrossed my life and been a constant so many times and in so many ways, all over the country. I’ve also had the honor of introducing you to friends via these shows and they’ve always fallen hard and become lifers. Know that your work inspires this visual artist, as a person and as an artist. THANK YOU FOR CREATING, SHARING AND TOUCHING SO MANY. Sincerely.
jason’s beautifully written journal entry is so great! thank you to him for really *looking.* My husband & i have been fans since The Trinity Sessions, we buy every record and we come to shows whenever we can– things we don’t do consistently with other bands, yours is so incredible! Your music just speaks to us. I’m in a band and a few of my bandmates joined us and instantly connected to the music, the energy. I was just so happy you came to Milwaukee again. Thank you! looking forward to the series.
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