Thunderbirds and Armadillos

For my first post as your new events blogger, I’d like to take the chance to visit one little slice of life. The place was The Thunderbird Cafe in Lawrenceville, the time was Friday, November 16th at about 9:20. I’d never been to Thunderbird before, but I did know that I was there to see a folk band from Butler. Such a show would certainly attract a particular type of fan, right?

I walked in to a somewhat normal-looking, unassuming Butler St bar. Past the front bar, past the pool table, which sat there balls-out and sticks on table while others lined the walls of the room and chatted with each other. As if to allow room for a game of pool, but nobody was interested in playing. I walked up a set of stairs to the music venue. Now this is where the magic happens. I’m now surrounded by people wearing bowties and suspenders. No, they weren’t with the band. I had also happened to wear a bowtie this particular evening, but I didn’t put it on thinking that others would also have them.

The walls behind the stage are illuminated murals painted to look like one were standing right in the middle of Butler St, watching an outdoor show on a summer afternoon. It’s only a few minutes before the opening act takes the stage: Leann Grimes. He’s a one-man act with an electric guitar and a laptop plugged into the speakers, but the sounds that float out for those first 30 minutes are as carefully planned and lovely as any singer/songwriter’s.

the thunderbird

the thunderbird (Photo credit: peterp)

I migrated upstairs after Leann Grimes to get a drink and mingle with my friends. It’s at this point that we realize there are kazoos sitting on the tables. As in — every table has a kazoo, please take one. Don’t mind if I do!

By the time The Armadillos took the stage, I was already having a ridiculously fun time playing my kazoo and chatting with who I assume was the only other die-hard metalhead in the bar, that I had to be reminded of what I was there for in the first place.

As expected, The Armadillos put on a lovely, energetic, magnetizing performance. A little old, a little new, and all over as wonderful a performance as I’ve ever seen. The merch table was well-stocked and the band were ready in the wings to chat with the night’s guests. I’m hoping that everyone else who attended the show felt like I did when they saw the new album on that merch table for only $10. Handed to me with a smile from the band’s frontman, Austin. I love to throw my support behind local acts, but The Armadillos deserve more than just my approval. Their music would be right at home on SiriusXM or cranked out your car window while you drive down Center Ave.

Check them out yourself at: http://www.reverbnation.com/pittsburgharmadillos

For more on the Thunderbird Cafe in Lawrenceville: http://www.thunderbirdcafe.net/

Eric About Eric

I've lived in Pittsburgh only since 2004, during which I have spent time in many a neighborhood. For the past year, I've lived in Bloomfield. Yes, Bloomfield -- where the Italian food is fresh and the karaoke nights are long. I do not have formal training in writing, but it's always been a serious aspiration of mine. I'm interested in the different aspects of life in Pittsburgh. We have an extremely unique ecosystem full of young professionals, hipsters, college kids, older folks, coffee shops, dive bars, old churches turned music venues, and yes even starving artists. It's the perfect city to dip your toes into the waters of whatever art or trade you could possibly imagine.

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