This Saturday, Chicago's own Brown Bag Music will open up for Ween Tribute Band, The Pod, at Tonic Room. As a defunkt touring outfit, Ween still holds a very brown place in so many people's hearts and weird, weird brains, that an approaching cover show is more than appealing. Chances are, if you are someone that sees "Ween Tribute Band," and gets tinglies in your parts, then... you probably already know what's in store. But, what's up with Brown Bag? Anyone who opens up for a Ween band has gotta be pretty cool, so I got with their guitarist/vocalist Dave Waterman for some insight on what they're all about. Here's a few things I learned.
1. Brown Bag plays a diverse catalog of music.
Gathering sounds from a variety of different influences, much like Ween, they pique to a multitude of senses throughout their stay on any given stage. To see for yourself, stream their really-wonderful debut album, Recycled Music, here. Waterman notes, "The variety of genres allows us to put on shows according to how we see it fit. If there are a lot of heads in the audience we tend to turn into a jam band. If we are playing with say, Leadfoot, we can put on an almost country, bluegrass feel. If we are playing a place like Reggie's, we will do a rock-orientated show. If we are playing one of our own shows that we put on ourselves, we play whatever we want. This show at the Tonic Room will be centered around the Ween-vibe. And since I am a huge fan and am heavily influenced by their music, we won't have to stray too far from just doin' whatever we please."
2. Brown Bag will also be covering some Ween tunes on Saturday.
As a Ween fan, I of course badgered Waterman for info on what we can expect them to cover. But, like any good artist, he bottled his response in a veil of mystery, leading all of us to have to see for ourselves. Inquiring further about how they chose their upcoming covers, he noted that "each member picked his favorite Ween song," and with that I am inclined to think that some heady selections shall be so chosen.
3. Brown Bag loves Tonic Room, so Saturday should kick off with a real fun vibe.
So many different types of bands play at Tonic Room, and it's somewhat of a staple for any Chicago music-lover. My liver and increasingly-worse hangovers are certainly not a fan of their $5 Old Style tall boy/well whisky shot combo, but my drunk brain and wallet think it's the best freaking laid plan since The Wright Brothers built that wacky Flyer. So many mornings I have cursed that combo, Scraping Mucus off my brain a la Ween, and I'm sure there are a few of you out there reading this who feel the same way. But, in general, I have a soft-spot for Tonic, their rager of a staff & the music they book. Sundays have been especially awesome lately thanks to Randal Pink Presents scoring some great bands. Waterman concurred. "We love playing at the Tonic room," he said. "It's a small venue but, nonetheless, a musician's venue. A musician owns the joint, and musicians, or at least big fans of music, work there, so they treat ya right. It gives off that dark, dive bar (vibe), which makes the atmosphere really fun. We are bringing out our own sound guy, Chumbly, so the place will sound as good as it possibly can." My friend basically lived there in college at DePaul and still tells everyone the bottled little lights around the top of the bar are where they make their own tonic, even almost 10 years later. Did you guys know that gullible isn't in the dictionary? I wonder how many people go back there with their friends showing off this knowledge...just about as good as those posers at Coachella who LOVED the Chelsea Clinton's.
Waterman added that it's been awhile since the only time he's seen The Pod, but that he hears they are awesome. I've heard the same and am pumped to see what this fun and frivolous freakshow is gonna be all about. Hopefully you can come out on Saturday, wave your own freak-flag, and get your dance on. Only $8 and you can buy tickets here.
Tonic Room is located at 2447 N. Halsted St., Chicago, IL, 60614. Brown Bag plays at 9:30 in support of The Pod. 21+
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