Tour Diary – St Cloud, MN (March 20, 2010)

(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.)

The band came through St. Cloud back in 2003 and so did I. It was the first night I ever had a conversation with Jaro, which is something you remember, kind of like the first time you drink kava and feel the world go numb. It’s cosmic, dude. Not much has changed in St. Cloud since the last visit. Downtown is very nice and the people were pleasant but it had an odd vibe pecking at its corners. As I walked down the street, I watched two old guys stumble out of a bar and yell drunkenly at each other for two city blocks (and they were walking in different directions).

            A café opened next door to the theater since the last visit with free WiFi, local art adorning the walls, a nice selection of beer, and some fantastic food. I spent the afternoon in the cozy confines catching up on the world (basketball scores) and reading Margo’s tweets (twitters?). After the show, they had fresh baked cookies and the owner came in with the CD’s she bought at the show. Everybody settled into some wine and Whites Off Earth Now provided the soundtrack to conversation.

            The theater tonight was an immaculately restored landmark in a barely breathing downtown (see also: Redding, CA). Seven years ago, it was a small but mighty crowd in St. Cloud. Tonight, the crowd was bigger and just as supportive. The entire Chicago venue from last night could have fit on the Paramount’s massive stage so the dynamics of the show were quite different. The band and sound crew adjusted accordingly and the songs were exploding from the stage. The power in Margo’s voice could be felt throughout the theater on every song. Pete propelled “A Common Disaster” from a wicked tight pocket and went Bonzo at the end of “Murder, Tonight.” During the last song, Mike and Jeff allowed the tide of feedback to recede leaving Al and Pete pulsating under Margo’s verse to great effect. It’s only rock and roll, but I like it….

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