Smile Politely

Saturday looked good to us

The premiere installment of our Smile Politely Show Series kicked off this past weekend without a hitch. The bands did their part and we did ours, but we’re not going to take much credit for people showing up to Mike ‘N Molly’s on Saturday. We’re much further down the list, probably after this song, great weather (or cooperating weather for that matter), Mike ‘N Molly’s beer garden, and booze (especially booze). Not to mention this snapshot — it was getting out of control, and the sun hadn’t even set at that point (thanks to Caleb Curtiss for his excellence using that Twitter machine, and John Steinbacher and his son, Francis).

All jokes aside, the bands came out and did what they do best, and we’re pretty glad that they do what they do. Wild Moccasins started things out with a few false starts during soundcheck / the beginning of their set, but were an excellent opener for the next two acts. Their music was a good contrast to the rest, but meshed very well at the same time. Interesting touring combination that seems to be working pretty well.

Wild Moccasins

Anna Karenina/Anna Karina released their new Autobiographies EP to the world on Saturday, and they followed up Wild Moccasins playing second (unusual to break up a touring package in the billing order, but there are always exceptions to the rule). Some of their tracks tend to crawl along until they hit their groove, but when they do it’s pretty solid stuff. This was the first time I’d seen this trio (members of Midstress, Take Care make up the group), so it was pretty satisfying and I would imagine we’ll have a few words to say about their new EP in a short time.

Anna Karenina/Anna Karina

In between sets I got the opportunity to talk with Fred Thomas of Saturday Looks Good To Me, where I mentioned that it was great that they were making their way back to C-U. Thomas, who was very excited and appreciative of all that we’d done to promote the show through our previous contact, seemed very reserved and low key (just overall a really cool guy) before they would take the stage to perform. The band just recently resigned to Polyvinyl, so we should expect a release later this year. 

I have to say that for whatever reason, it seemed that there was a real sense of appreciation for the show that was going on at the moment and the general atmosphere at Mike ‘N Molly’s that night. Everything was very casual, but buzzing with subtle excitment as people moved in and out of the beer garden throughout the night. This is the first show I’d seen in the beer garden this year. I hadn’t realized what a relieving feeling it would be to see those vines growing back on the huge wall on the north side. It finally felt like summer was here — and for that to take place there seemed very fitting because it was a place I’d spent a lot of time (and money) at over the past few summers. 

Speaking of summer, SLGTM just re-released their classic All Your Summer Songs last month, and it couldn’t have been more fitting to revisit that album a few times before this show. To reel things back in here, SLGTM took the stage shortly after my conversation with Thomas, and the beer garden was pretty full at that point, and they took the stage. The band mixed up their material and did their thing the best way they know how. The crowd was receptive and so was I. The great atmosophere filled the venue Saturday night, which was a pretty gratifying and grounding feeling at the same time. 

All photos by Chris D. Davies. Check out the rest of the photos from the night over at our Facebook page.

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