It started out like just another Friday night at Blowout. We got a chuckle about how a bunch of fools skipped on their gig the night before due to their bad attitude; we ran, harder than Thursday night because the end was only a day away; we looked once again for one of those magic Hamtramck Blowout moments that always seem elusive until you find it, and then you’ve got a great memory until next year.
But this year, it seems, the stars aligned and the universe opened up to provide a very few fortunate souls an opportunity to witness musical greatness on an epic scale. How else could you describe seeing the Hard Lessons at the New Dodge bar on a Friday night in March of 2010? It was the stuff Blowout legends are made of. In a house so packed, the fire marshall blocked the doors, forcing those unlucky enough to be turned away to watch from the street. The Sights already had the place hopping, having thrown down a stellar set of their own, but from the moment they took the stage, the Hard Lessons owned that joint.
As if Augie’s singing and incredible talent with a guitar wasn’t enough, toss in Koko’s beautiful, powerful, voice and Ryan’s skill on the drums, you ended up with an epic set that blew everyone away. We all knew we were seeing something special: Augie climbing up to the balcony and leading the crowd chant to "Alright!" -- and then diving into the crowd and surfing back to the stage; bar owner Cathie Gordon sending a note up telling them to keep playing late because she’s a member of Hamtramck City Council (to the thunderous approval of the crowd); the final move, covering Neil Young’s "My My, Hey, Hey," culminating in a prolonged, boisterous ovation that followed them right out of the room.
This is a nationally renowned group of professional musicians that have such deep love and respect for their Michigan roots that they came home, put on a show like that, then thanked all the bands on the bill and thanked us. Trust us, guys, we’re the ones who should be thanking you for reminding us what class, greatness -- and Blowout -- are all about.
Thank you, for giving us a Blowout memory we’ll be talking about for years.
I can’t stop smiling