To say that I was eagerly awaiting this show was an understatement.
I have never actually SEEN Honor Among Thieves despite their large presence in Madison and elsewhere throughout the years I have lived in the surrounding area. My friend Dalton did. He loved them and tried several times to get me out to see them, but work, school, kids and life in general prevented it.
I did catch them on the radio and recorded what was to become a favorite tape of mine for a long log time. It was an in studio performance by Honor Among Thieves of the United Mind Workers release on WORT. At that time I don’t think I had ever heard fiddle and guitar married so perfectly and the songs really hit me at just the right time.
Years later when seeing bands in Madison was an easier reality it seems I had missed the boat. A few years back I missed a show at the Knuckle Down Saloon by a few days. Booo!
At any rate, through some conversations with Andy the guitarist who happened to see a post I did on Honor Among Thieves I got even more of their releases. Andy signed and sent them to me. So generous and so cool. Check out my video on YouTube about the collection I have.
So… when I saw that H.A.T. was playing at the Joey B. Banks Birthday Bash (Joey is the drummer for H.A.T. among lots of other bands!) I finally had my chance to see them for the first time.
Dalton would have loved to go to this show with me! I thought about him that night. Miss you buddy.
Cindy and I went down and caught the Steely Dane set, which was good. I love Steely Dan.
13 people on stage! That might be a record. They did Showbiz Kids, Kid Charlemagne, and a few others ending with FM. Nice set guys.
Then it was changeover and H.A.T. started setting up. I have to say my fan-boy was in full effect and I had e-mailed Andy to let him know I was coming to the show and I was so excited for the band. Andy was setting up his gear and he happened to spot me and mouthed “Are you Mike?”
I came to stage front and shook Andy’s hand and said nice to meet you. Once again… super cool guy.
The set began and I was transfixed. It was as good as I had heard on all the recordings and YouTube clips and it was even better because it was LIVE and I was here seeing it.
They started with “The Show” and it was fantastic.
I was standing almost down front and tried to get some pictures when I remembered I had a camera in my hand. Love this shot.
Joey (Happy Birthday!) was of course hiding behind the kit.
Even Cindy remarked on how great the fiddle was. He was making that thing talk.
The bass was perfect, keeping time with punches and grooves.
Such a tight group. The sound was mixed right (great job High Noon) and I just don’t think it could have been a better first time experience. They also did “Technical Jelly”, “Unfinished Business”, “Story Of My Life” and ended with “Lickin’ Stick”.
Andy’s guitar was wailing. He really expresses, in his face and his fingers. You can tell he is really feeling it and genuine when he plays. He played heavy and then softer, alternating with real power and a real command of the ranges he can squeeze out of that guitar. It was so fun to watch him. He even did a short Hendrix style feedback moment down in front of the amps. So cool!
Honor Among Thieves was fantastic.
Should have brought my better camera! and sorry Joey that I didn’t get more shots of you. It was YOUR birthday after all.
Give the drummer some!
Anyway, it was awesome to meet Andy finally, the band was amazing and it was a fantastic way to spend my birthday eve. That’s right, Joey and I are one day off. Though I suspect I am way older.
At the end of the set, and Dalton would have been proud, I got a set list!
It’s the little things. This will probably end up framed in my music room.
Thanks Andy and Honor Among Thieves for a great show!