Monday, May 9, 2016

#420 Push Down & Turn

I am a huge music fan and see many national acts each year.  Already in 2016 I have seen the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Tony Bennett, Barry Manilow and Salt N Pepa.  All good shows. 

On Saturday, April 30 I saw my most favorite local band, Push Down & Turn.  My friend Alyce introduced them to me in the late 90s, when she “dragged” us to a show at a bar on Meridian Street on Indy 500 weekend.  She was familiar with them, as they all attended DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, and she had seen them many times on campus. 

I remember liking them, and later that summer Julie and I stumbled across them at the Indiana State Fair free stage.  Back then, the free music stage was tucked back by the poultry barn.  We heard an announcement over the loudspeaker about Push Down & Turn and we ran over to see their set.  We were practically the only ones there.   We laughed, wondering if they were thinking to themselves, “What are we doing here?” while playing for no one off in the corner. 

After that I started to see them more regularly, usually at The Rathskeller.  A core group from work would go so we had our own little group of “groupies.”  From there, PDT played more at The Patio in Broad Ripple.  They played their own songs and mixed in 80s covers.  They were just a really good, really fun band. 

The lead singer, Jason Brown, was a good frontman with a strong voice.  And a good-looking guy with great hair (whatever the length).  Tay Bourquein was on bass and backup vocals.  I describe him as having a “Cheshire cat” grin.  Also great hair.  His signature song was “I’m Just A Gigolo” if that says anything to you.  Sam King played guitar and also sang backup, but sang solo in a few songs (Prince and Queen to name a couple) and always killed.  Keyboardist Jason Barth was the quiet guy in the back.  I always thought he resembled a thinner Chris Elliot.  Matt DeVore was on drums.  The drummer is always in the background so doesn’t get a lot of attention, and as a result I didn’t notice him much.  That meant he did his job well. 

I have all of their CDs (that I know of).  I have never met them.  However, I have always wondered if they remember me being at their shows, “Hey, the tall girl is here again.” 

After 11 years together, they decided to disband and their last concert was January 18, 2003.  A sad day for all. 

Fast-forward to January, 2016, when I saw on Facebook that PDT was staging a reunion show in April.  I bought my ticket right away.  Then settled in for a tortuous wait until show time.  Last weekend I met former “groupie” Kelly and we made a night of it with dinner at Binkley’s and a drink at HopCat.  Doors opened at 8 p.m. so we wanted to get in early to get a good spot.  There was already a line of about 50 people when we crossed the street right at 8 p.m. 

As we entered, we received a VIP credential (everyone got one) that consisted of a PDT photo in front of The Vogue Theater.  Cool!  Kelly and I both bought tickets that entitled us to a limited-edition T-shirt.  We saw a merchandise table in the corner with one T-shirt hanging up.  After the show Jason Barth started handing them out.  Very cool!    

After 13 years, it was like they had never been away.  They sounded amazing and even showed old footage from television and their own home movies during their break.  And they all looked great.  Kelly and I were right up front for the whole show. 

Kelly and me before the show.  We're so excited, and we just can't hide it!  

We stood in front, but off to the side, so as not to block anyone's view (one of my tall rules to live by).  

The place was packed!

If I may be so bold, I have to say that this may be the best concert I will attend this year.  Oh, I love me some Barry Manilow and I am going to see James Taylor later this summer, but I hadn’t seen my PDT for 13 years!  They were awesome.  I was right in front and got a T-shirt. 

To quote one of their most popular songs, “I want to give the gift of music to my friends.”  You most certainly have done so.  Thank you for this wonderful gift!  

Please don't let 13 more years go by!  

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