I was overdue to check out live music at Balliceaux, so when a friend suggested we go for Amazing Ghost's show last night, I was all about it, even though I'd seen them play barely a week ago. I still get a little jolt every time I walk in the former Bogart's; it's like seeing an old friend after extensive plastic surgery, but in a good way, not scary. The back bar was mobbed, but I managed to get a drink from Austin, the bartender (and talented flier-maker for local band, Marionette) and have a quick chat until my friend arrived and we moved to the less crowded front bar.
The bar is tiny there and, of course, there were no two stools together, but after a friendly request, a guy offered to shift right so we could sit together. He claimed he was doing it for a "cute face," but considering how quickly he joined our conversation, he may have just wanted some company. He did acknowledge that the black fishnets didn't hurt, either, but by then he was really trying to be our friend, so it was all a bit much.
He'd just ordered the lamb sausage, a dish I had hoped to try the last time I ate at Balliceaux, and had not left room for. He was kind enough to insist that I try some of his and procured a plate, and roll up so I could partake. I did enjoy the sausage's spiciness, although I refused to eat the full third of his plate that he was offering.
The conversation moved on to tennis, something he is apparently fanatical about, a sport my friend despises (despite having grown up with a tennis court in her backyard; how unusual is that?) and, being a sport, of absolutely no interest at all to me. What is this hand/eye coordination of which you speak?
My friend worked as an intern for Sony Music in college and has the best stories about musicians she got to meet and the behind-the-scenes goings-on of the recording industry, so she entertained me with all kinds of anecdotes, including a triple-bill show she saw back in the 90s with the Chili Peppers headlining and supported by Nirvana and Pearl Jam. And not only seeing Jeff Buckley, but spending an evening talking to him. On the other hand, her first show ever was Bon Jovi, so that gave me plenty to tease her about, too.
Once the pretty people started arriving, Balliceaux filled up quickly, as it should, for free live music on a Tuesday night. But then my feelings on that subject are well known; it's all out there if you want it. And why would you not want it?