What Did the Bear Say?
Zippy will be back for the next show report, this is Rob (Bob, Bobby, Boober, Boobster, Bobert, Ellen’s Roadie, Hey Asshol*), the idiot bassist and I wanted to write about the experience of playing at Tailgaters bar and grill in Bolingbrook.
To be a bit selfish here, Tailgaters has been an important place to me for a long time. For probably a dozen years or more, the bar sponsored the 12” softball team I played on for 31 of it’s 32 years of existence (Cool It Ringo stopped playing as of this year, 2022, It began in 1989. Yes, the name of the team was Cool It Ringo, and if you really want to know the genesis of the team’s name, just ask me). Additionally, over the years with either Jimmy Cavanaugh, my brother Jimmy Smola or fraternity brother Dave Kaczorowski I have seen killer national acts play at Tailgaters. Uriah Heep, Stryper, Local H, Geoff Tate (formerly of Queensryche) and Dio’s Disciples have all graced the stage of that cool ass place. I can now say, so did BiPolar Bear!!! What a trip.
This was the most fun I have ever had playing with the band! And pretty much whether it is full band practice, mini practice with Jimmy and the blue tooth speaker, or a show, I have too much fun. Tailgaters is an awesome place. Food is amazing, the staff is very friendly and the bar/restaurant/stage inside is awesome. Two professional sound and light people work for the bar and they are crazy good. Starr Lee and Glenn Curtis are absolutely brilliant, they can even make me sound competent!!
We had a ridiculous amount of snafus trying to secure an opening band…. I think the final count was four or five bands that said they would play, then (much like lovers practicing the rhythm method) they pulled out! So… BiPolar Bear opened for BiPolar Bear.
The band ripped thru two 18 song sets! We debuted three new ones, Eddie Money’s “Shakin’”, a Scorpions’ laced version of Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love” and Halestorm’s anthem, “Here’s to Us.” I get goosebumps several times a show. When Richie belts out Shinedown’s “Second Chance,” when I hear Ronnie do the double kick in Vehicle, When Aldo (and Dave before him) starts shredding in “Purple Rain” and I can now add Lisa’s performance of that Halestorm song to the list. Before we played it, she gave an impassioned dedication to her older brother James, who battled Parkinson’s disease and recently passed away. Her heartfelt intro and then her emotional performance brought me to tears. It is a great song and she killed it!!!!
The band is a little leery of my effusive praise of them, but I can not express how much fun it is to play with these people!!!! On top of it, to be playing at a place like this with one of my dearest friends on the planet (Mr. BiPolar Bear himself), Jimmy Cavanaugh, is a lot of joy to process. I am still on an adrenaline high as I write this on Wednesday evening/Thursday morning.
The show was even more special for me because I had six fraternity brothers there, several dear friends, my son and wife. What a trip, playing on that stage, with that sound, with the awesome humans in bipolar bear in that place! Finally, during “Switching to Glide/This Beat Goes On” after I had 4 other patrons doing the pogo with me (tying the record of Pub 78 second time), my wife came up to me while I was playing, and motor boated (www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=motorboating) me!!! My God, can it get any better?
Rob (Zippy will be back next time).