If you went to bed Monday night without your ears ringing, you missed out.
It is often in Juneau that I hear people lament that "there are never any good concerts here," and after seeing Coolio perform live at Marlintini's Lounge, I was inclined to agree.
But The Alaskan Bar hosted a free show Monday night, a band called Larry and His Flask. And it was the show to see for the year.
Disclaimer, I went to high school with four of the six band members, two of the others traveling with the band. Don't worry, I'm not biased, I got out of my home town as soon as I possibly could.
Traveling to Alaska is expensive and inconvenient — it's rare for bands to do, so I will first give LAHF credit for touring through even the less sexy places, like Haines and Juneau, and in Canada, the Yukon Territory and Saskatchewan.
And to give Juneau credit where credit is due, a lot of people showed up on a Monday night and were the ideal audience, dancing and jumping and applauding the band. Good on you, too.
But I don't applaud LAHF for just making the trip, I applaud them for giving us as good a show as they give anyone else. The band was sweating at the brow by the second song and not even the small stage kept them from leaping and lurching and kicking around as they are wont to do.
There is also the fact that the band stuck around and chatted with the audience, even giving sweaty hugs before driving to the ferry terminal to get right back on a ferry after less than 12 hours in Juneau.
And, if you haven't heard the band play, their music is just plain enjoyable. There are elements of punk (that raw energy) and ska (the horns and beat) and our beloved folk sound (upright bass, mandolin, harmonies - oh the harmonies).
The band has some Alaska roots. One member, Dal Bulkley, was born in a station wagon in Juneau, as a matter of fact. The band's merchandise manager, Randi Hobbes, hails from Anchorage originally. The band itself formed where they (we) all grew up - Central Oregon. Mostly Redmond, but two band members are from Bend.
The music, the attitude and the spirit are all something Alaskans can connect with. So, thanks LAHF for coming to Juneau, thanks for giving us your all and making Monday night way more exciting than it would have been had we all stayed in watching Netflix streaming.
Here's a video for your listening and viewing pleasure: http://youtu.be/903oVzMObak
Please remember to continue to support live music in Juneau, whether bands be local or visiting from afar. The better an audience we can be, the more musicians will be happy to come!