I arrived at Schuba's shortly before show time and gathered together several of my old Chicago friends to distribute tickets. Earlier in the day I had bought the tickets on the club's website for $8.50 apiece, and my online purchase entitled me to a free appetizer at the Schuba's attached restaurant The Harmony Grill. I briefly poked my head into the Grill but decided I wasn't in the mood for anything fried and served on decorative iceberg lettuce so declined to redeem the offer.
Since I had several friends to buy drinks for, I was happy to find that most beer at Schuba's was affordably priced at $3 a pint. A popular drink in Chicago is a Blue Moon (Hefeweissen beer garnished with a slice of orange), and several of us made like Romans and enjoyed several of the fruity beer concoctions.
While not extremely large, the performance space itself was impressive and distinguished by an intricately-tiled black-and-white floor. The lighting was very good and enhanced by a particularly high stage, and the sound also seemed to be in capable, experienced hands. Most importantly, Bishop Allen rocked Chicago and, as usual, finished the show with many new fans.
As exciting as it was to watch my friends play Schuba's, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that the consensus highlight of everyone's evening (band included) was the discovery of a two-dollar photo booth. Two dollars for a four-photo strip of memories seemed exceptionally reasonably priced by any standard, and as a result I'm afraid we may have overused the booth. The next morning we noticed that the photos had developed a little dark, but for the price, no one was complaining.
New York, New York
March 29, 2004
From journal Chicago: City of Big Portions