Around 9:30pm I was ready to crawl into bed and pop on a DVD when my phone rang and I answered. It was Zig Zag, he was calling to see if I was going to attending McFadden’s that night for the Innocent Uprising show about which I’d forgotten. I was throwing every “I’m old, lame and have to be up for work” type excuses then Zig Zag uttered two phrases that are like my kryptonite “But Sully, there is NO COVERCHARGE and I’LL BUY YOU A GUINNESS!” Well apparently that made up my mind, I spent about 10 minutes trying to convince Tim to come along with me, for which I recieved the “are you daft” look. I knew Tim had spent some years working across the street from McFadden’s at TEN: Steak and Sushi, so he must be able to provide me directions. Alas, he said “Sorry Bro, I’m on cruise control in Providence, don’t know how to tell you, I just know how to get there.” Damit, onto Mapquest and head to downtown.
I arrived as they were playing “Common Thread.” In case you were wondering I DID say McFadden’s, and yes you are right, they don’t normally have live music. The band was placed in a tough situation, performing from the floor outside a function room and the bathrooms, handling their own PA and sound. The bar seemed literally split in two, there was the crowd that had obviously gathered to see the band, and at the other end of the bar room, was all the “regulars” bellied up to the bar watching the Celtics playoff game. The only act performing for the night, the guys had mentioned working out some new cover songs, to fill a 3.5 hour set. The first few songs, Sean’s lyrics were a little difficult to make out over the blaring of the instruments, after a few adjustments taking the amps back down from “11” helped to level out the sound. I tried to get closer to record the next original song they played, but the lighting was horrible, the video suffers:
They started into a bit of a reggae medley, without so much as a break in song they played “Stir it Up” then “54-46,” featuring Zig Zag going mental on the skins, into a newer, what I believe was an original song through a song that was described to me as a Slightly Stoopid cover. Overall musically one of the more impressive shows I’ve seen of Innocent Uprising. They were really rocking out, extending their interludes, and melding even better than usual. I think they put a lot of work and practice into this set, nervous to be playing so many covers, their professionalism paid off with a really good set.
Travis started a quick and busy intro solo into “Break Away” after which Bobby followed with an equally busy and note-full bass groove. Kyle was playing a beautiful newer semi-hollow, with his impeccable rhythm. Sean’s vocals always strong, seemed to match the songs better tonight. Overall I was pretty exhausted on the night, I was fading fast and my notes are not the best, much too deep in conversation with too many common threads at the show. Next they played a great version of “What I Got” by Sublime:
I tried to zoom in on Travis during some of his crazy soloing antics, but alas, you can barely make out the white pick guard on his fender. They followed with a great rocking version of their original “Hate to Say I Told You So.” At this point in the night, some of the “regulars” attention was split between the game and the band, and at the conclusion of the game Sean declared “Ray Allen is a god on the court.” The band took a quick break, and I snagged a quick smoke break. I also took the opportunity to thank they guys for the invite and the great set, but that I knew I was not going to be able to last the entire second half of the set. During the break one of the patrons apparently approached someone in the band and asked if they knew any Johnny Cash, after a quick conference, Kyle was the only one who new some Johnny Cash, but seemed nervous to play it solo, electric. Kyle quickly showed Travis the chords and keys of the song, and they broke into an electric guitar duo to perform “Folsom Prison Blues:”
After Mr Cash the rest of the band joined and they broke into “Show a Friendly Fist,” one of their newer originals, quite pro-Obama, just the way I like it. Innocent Uprising definitely sounded “in gear” this night. I was about to pack up and head out at this point when in walked Jose Docen, who spotted me at the bar. Its the first I’d seen him since I’d finished his writeup and was he was overly gracious. We talked for a while as Innocent Uprising continued their set and covered “40oz” and a Rage Against the Machine song (color me surprised) followed by another of their originals whose name I neglect to remember right now. I was fading fast and wanted to get out of there at a decent hour, I started to pack up and say my goodbyes as they broke into a good version of “My Ruka.” Exiting the bar I could hear them break into “What We Sold,” it actually carried well through the fairly empty streets of Downtown Providence and played me most of the way back to my car. Enticed by a great set I stayed much longer than originally intended, had the lighting been better I may have attempted to capture more video, but was really disappointed in the way they were turning out.