I wanted to write this on Friday, but couldn’t. I couldn’t because I hadn’t really processed it then.
But on Thursday I witnessed one of the single most amazing musical feats I’ve ever seen or heard about. It was simply stunning.
To set this up for the bulk of my readers who aren’t from the great state of Alabama The Beautiful, much less from the Rocket City of Huntsville, here is the background.
The Sports Page Bar and Grill is a small, dark, cavelike bar in south Huntsville that I happen to like. My like for this bar is for various reasons, including but not limited to, they sometimes hire me to run their door, I know the bartenders, I like both owners, and I know both owners for reasons that have nothing to do with the bar. My like of the bar has nothing to do with what happened, other than it involved on owner’s own band.
In my opinion, the best and most consistent local band is Five O’Clock Charlie. A member of the band, who I will not call out by name, is one of the owners of The Sports Page. Five O’Clock Charlie was playing on Thursday Night when I came by “The Page.” Since “Charlie” has an owner as a member and since they regularly play at “The Page” every thursday, it is forgivable that sometimes they feel and sound less than enthusiastic to be playing. As a long time friend of “Charlie” I notice, but I doubt someone seeing them for the first time would.
However, this past Thursday, they seemed energetic and excited to be playing. I didn’t know why but was glad for it. Mike Roberts, guitarists and singer for “Charlie” kept referring to some kind of cross town rival, but I didn’t get the reference. But it was clear that whatever rivals he was talking about was why they were playing exceptionally well.
About the same time that I was let in on the joke about the cross town rivals is when I witnesses and amazing musical act. Maybe I’m enough of a musician to recognize that what I saw was cool. Maybe normal people wouldn’t be impressed. I don’t care. It was stunning.
Those Crosstown Rivals is the name of a fantastic band out of Kentucky. I missed their set prior to Five O’Clock Charlie on thursday. Apparently, they rocked the house. What I witnessed was Five O’Clock Charlie bragging on them for the night. And then it happened. Five O’Clock Charlie played one of their most beloved songs. Then “called out” Those Crosstown Rivals. Who, over the next couple of minutes, one by one, walked up to the stage and took the instruments out of Five O’Clock Charlie’s hands. Having people fill in for you is not stunning. Having people replace you while you are playing a song is. Not only did they slowly replace “Charlie” they kept the song going. Then, when Those Crosstown Rivals outnumbered “Charlie” they took over and played a song of their own. Without missing a beat. They then went back to the “Charlie” song, and one by one left the stage. Stunning.
So I can whole heartedly tell you if you ever happen to be passing a bar that has a sign on it that says either Five O’Clock Charlie or Those Crosstown Rivals is playing, stop the car. Go inside. Get a cold tasty beverage, and sit back and listen to the two best undiscovered bands in the world.
And keep an eye out. Shortly, Five O’Clock Charlie will be releasing a single on iTunes. The single is their anthem to tornadoes in Alabama. If you don’t know, Alabama has more damage yearly than Oklahoma from tornados. All proceeds from the sale of the single goes to Tornado Relief in Alabama. That’s awesome. What’s more awesome is that the song is fantastic. I hope you will go support both the band and tornado victims.