Roberta's Blog - Busy is a Good Thing

This weekend was reminiscent of some of the insane music weekends last summer. Maybe it’s the great warm weather we’ve been having – or maybe it was just that there was too much fantastic music being played to be ignored – but in either case, I was really on the run over the weekend. It’s a good thing to be this busy, as that means there is something for everyone.

I found a little extra energy Friday night and made rounds that carried me from Rock Island to Moline and back again. My first stop, early Friday evening, was Mama Compton’s for dinner and to check out the QC area’s newest open mic night. For some time we’ve had open mic nights or jams nearly every night of the week, even Saturdays. But Friday night has been a bit quiet. Suddenly, we have two open mic events on Fridays, Tommy’s in Moline and Mama Compton’s in Rock Island. Frankie Joe Willderman is hosting Compton’s open mic on Friday nights. The venue has changed their policy – having added an ASCAP license, they now allow covers at the open mic. They also have added beer and wine to their menu.

My next stop was the Bierstube Blackhawk Room in Moline, where Us-Mode was opening for Subatlantic. Us-Mode was my target for this stop, as I had missed them on previous attempts. I arrived in time to catch most of their set. Us-mode has a garage-rock sound with a little punk undertone. Keep an eye out for more from this bunch.

From Bierstube I headed a little further east to Moline’s Parkside. I haven’t been in this particular bar in years… decades even. I started noticing the occasional show listed there a few weeks ago, and Friday night I decided to stop in. Dinner at the Kids Table was booked in there – so this gave me an opportunity to check out a new band AND a return to live music for this venue. From what I saw of DKT, they appear to lean towards late 80s and 90s top 40 covers.

My final stop for the night was back in Rock Island at RIBCO. I was finally going to get a chance to see The Gratest Story Ever Told. This Grateful Dead tribute band is made up of some of the most versatile musicians the Quad Cities has to offer – but they don’t play together often. It was a blessing for me to catch them playing at RIBCO Friday night. Once I had taken a few photos, I spent some time lounging in the balcony just enjoying the music.

Saturday night found me at the Redstone Room for the Ballroom Thieves’ CD release show. I’ve seen and photographed this band a few times now, but what really made this special was the opening act, Busted Chandeliers also were releasing a long-awaited CD… and performing together for the first time in a year. I hope the success of this show is an indicator that the Chandies will be putting some shows together in the near future. Their chemistry together deserves to be shared!

Coming up – The Camp Euforia battle of bands happens Friday at the Redstone Room. Three local bands are competing for the opportunity to play at Camp Euforia this year. Competing are Earth Ascending, Have Your Cake and Frank F Sidney’s Western Bandit Volunteers. Scoring is half on audience vote and half by judges. The band with the highest score wins the spot. And… there is no admission cost! So come out and support your favorite band.

There’s metal to be had at RIBCO Friday as well as a Soul Storm show at the Bierstube in Moline. Thursday check out Mike Zito at the RME. Saturday Wicked Liz is back at the Muddy Waters, and 1st Impression is at Rascals Live.

Memorial Day weekend is coming up – and along with it the beginning of outdoor concert season. The QC Live Music Scene Summer of 2015 is about to commence, and looks like quite the ride. So remember to keep your hands and feet inside the car and scream real loud in the loop-the-loop. And get out there to enjoy some music and support your scene!