My new hard rock cover band project, SKOOLNITE BENDER, rocked a great (albeit short) set at the Knuckledown Saloon in Monona WI yesterday (Sunday) afternoon. As always, we melted the faces off the small crowd who showed up for the benefit show against cancer. We were supposed to get a full 30 minutes to play, but this was truncated down to about 15 minutes due to the first band of the day going over their allotted time. It wasn't that big of an issue except for the fact that we didn't get to perform "Moonage Daydream" by David Bowie, which I sing and which is a magnum opus of a song with a huge jam at the end where guitarist Derek Reynolds shreds up a monsoon.

In some ways it was probably good that we didn't "bring the thunder" with that song, because it was a beautiful sunny day and the canopy covering a section of the beer garden was tenuous at best and may not have withstood the hail and high winds churned up by that particular song.

We kicked off the set with Green Day's "Holiday," a song that always unapologetically cranks the party right up to 11, then eased the throttle back a couple notches with "My Hero" by the Foo Fighters, only to ramp it back up with a segway into "Cold Hard Bitch" by Jet. We gently eased the audience out of their stunned amazement at our rock-n-roll prowess with Smashing Pumpkins' dank and heavy song "Today."

It was a fun time. SKOOLNITE BENDER has yet to have an actual rehearsal. All of our honing has come from playing various open jam stages around Madison, usually on school nights (Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, etc.). We individually learn an agreed upon handful of songs on our own time at home (like homework) and then find a venue with an accepting (but unsuspecting) audience at which to perform them.

Works great.

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