Nick Lowe at The DakotaMinneapolis, MN


Oct. 5, 2010
















Nick Lowe has mellowed over the years, but I guess that’s not a bad thing – I suppose I have too. And let’s face it, he might’ve had more edge to him when I first saw him in 1977, but even songs like (I Love the Sound of) Breaking Glass were more impish than threatening. He just never seemed as angry as Elvis Costello, Graham Parker or other contemporaries. So, I’ll take the current gentle version of  (What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding without complaint.

With the first few entries in this WIHAN series, I’ve managed to wallow in my glory days of the late 1970s. Time for something a little more current, I say.

This birthday present of a show came courtesy of my son, Ben. He decided he wanted to take me to a club show where he could legally buy me a beer for the first time, having turned 21 a few months earlier. Truth be told, The Polyphonic Spree wasn’t his first choice, but a conflict forced him to pick this one, so it would have to do.

And do it did.

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or The night I thought I’d end up with a hunting knife in my belly

OK, before I tell the story behind that subtitle, check out the ticket price! Ten bucks to see the Stones. Tax included. No TicketMaster or venue fees. What a freakin’ deal!!!

Former Wailer Peter Tosh opened, supporting his Legalize It album. Most likely a decent set, but the only thing I remember all these years later is the size of the joint the band fired up toward the end. Looking like a medium-sized cigar, I imagine it took them a couple hours to smoke down to a roach.

It was a general admission show, a year and a half before the tragedy at The Who’s Cincinnati concert put an end to such things. So, after the Tosh set my friends and I made our way toward the stage. Getting to the front was never the hardest part of this maneuver; jump into the sea of humanity and the undertow would carry you in the desired direction. Holding your own up front, surviving the combination of mid-summer temps and body heat when personal space extended no further than your own layer of sweat, that was the tricky part.

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I had forgotten this was a Halloween show. There must’ve been people there in costumes, but I don’t remember it.

I do remember a certain electricity about this show. As a colleague of mine from the East Coast delights in pointing out, Minnesotans are pathologically possessive about famous natives, so Dylan’s ambivalence to the state he grew up in had long felt like an insult. But all was forgiven when he put St. Paul on the Street Legal tour schedule. ‘Will he acknowledge us from the stage?’ we wondered, ‘Maybe even apologize for ignoring us for so long?’

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ColinpaloozaSeems like a good time was had by all last Saturday at Lee’s. Of course, it would’ve been a ton better if Colin had been able to make it.

If you didn’t make it and want to contribute to the cause (or if you did make it and want to contribute more), details on helping Colin and Karlynn are at

Guess what – many of those photos I took actually turned out; my most heard comment on Saturday: “You getting any good shots?” You be the judge:

  • Friends and family
  • The Post-Mercury
  • Billy Dankert
  • Rank Strangers
  • Slim Dunlap
  • Badly Drawn Boy
    Pantages Theater, Minneapolis

    Badly Drawn Boy (aka Damon Gough) might be laughable were he not so unrelentingly earnest. I mean, present lyrics such as these –Sometimes you’ve got to rewind to go forward/ There’s some good times around the corner/ But have you fed the fish today? – to someone unfamiliar with the artist and I think it’s fair to expect a snicker, if not a guffaw.

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