The Post-Show: “Local Band Local Beer,” May 31, 2018

I began the night by meeting up with The Editor for pre-show dinner. It took a solid 20 minutes for me to find a parking space (I refuse to use parking decks), while she stood at the corner of Moore Square patiently watching me circle around at least twice. We headed to Raleigh Times, only to discover that the entire restaurant was closed for a private party. So we began the hunt for a new place to eat. As we walked down Wilmington Street, The Editor became confused when I pointed to an Italian restaurant called Gravy. Hungry, perplexed, and having exhausted all other options, we went inside begrudgingly for a meal. Even though I’m vegan and there were no non-salad vegan options, I thought my Eggplant Pie was delicious. The Editor (who is so Italian that you can’t pronounce her surname) found it all to be a little far-fetched. Our plan was to leave the restaurant with enough time to catch the end of the first band’s set. Upon enacting our plan, I discovered that I had lost my car keys, so we doubled back to the restaurant, causing us to miss the set entirely (apologies to Coco Amino).

I wasn’t familiar with Flash Car before the show, but I immediately liked what I was hearing. I was mesmerized by the organ/synth hooks. As kids say these days, the rhythm section was “on point,” or perhaps better, “groovy,” if I may say so myself. When we arrived at The Pour House, the crowd was smaller than expected, but began filling in about halfway through the sets. I was relieved to see that most people were even tardier than we were. The vocalist Morgan said “this is a song about the apocalypse that you can dance to if you want”–and in front of us, almost on cue, a man in full-on business attire started dancing.

Flash Car, a Carrboro-based band, released their debut LP last month titled Wardrobe, and ended the set with “Pollen,” first track off the album. Heavy on the snare, its beat alone made it impossible not to dance along.

Then it was time for Al Riggs w/Friends, a Durham-based act well-traveled in the local scene.

Al Riggs w/ Friends had a completely natural stage dynamic from the start. It was like being a fly on the wall during a jam session. It was easy to unwind with a beer or two (or three) and have a good time, as Al Riggs did himself at one point: he took off his shoes, sat on the front of the stage and had a little chat with those of us standing up front.

Al: “We’re in our mid 20s, it doesn’t get better than this!”
Audience Member: “Do you need some weed??”
Al: “Did someone just say, ‘Do you need some weed?’”

The drums parts on the song ‘Tardigrade’ were “outstanding,” according to The Editor. I concurred. On a side note, neither of us could take our eyes off of the drummer’s hair. His curly locks proved to be every bit as entertaining as the set itself.

Al Rigg’s new album We’re Safe But For How Long was about to drop at midnight. In many ways his set was a countdown, as he reminded us: “The album drops in 30 minutes, I think.”. Soon, he would say it again at 20 minutes, then 10…

By the time the set had ended, the album was just about live. As we made our way to leave, The Editor made the rounds with me to say hello to all of the bands. After calling it a night, we left the show and went down to Person Street Bar for a nightcap, debrief, and the necessary selfie to capture a night of feel-good local vibes.