Small Town America

On June 18, 2010, in People Are Strange, by admin

Recently I have found myself in the middle of small town America.  Now by small town America, I do not mean like in the few thousands of population, I mean more like 100K in population.  Many of you would say this is not small town America at all, rather a larger city.  OK.  You are right.  But residing in a major sized city all for the last nearly 30 years, I have become very used to what life is in the big city, the positives and the negatives. Flash to my story on he small town America. While I still live in the big city, I now work in a smaller city.  So what to do on weeknights?  Well, last night I was invited by a friend to attend the ‘summer concert series’ of one of the local community colleges, on their stage on the river. Brave Combo, a popular North Texas band from Denton Texas (likely all graduates of University of North Texas music school and the One O’Clock Lab Band) was playing this evening.  I have heard of these guys before, but really did not know what kind of music.  What we were expecting was jazz.  What we got from Bravo Combo in small town America was Polka music, and polka dancing and conga lines….yes a Thursday night Conga line formed.  At a certain moment, all of this was very surreal.  These people are out there dancing with apparently little care in the world.  They certainly did not care what they looked like dancing up there as well. How refreshing. There was the couple who really like the Polkas, and went at it on the stage twisting and turning with professional Polka precision nearly all night.  There was the guy in the suit who bothered not to take off his suit coat while he dance rather oddly all night…to the point he is sweating in the 90 degree heat completely through his suit jacket. There were the obligatory ankle biters, screwing up the stage path for the ‘serious’ polka kings.  (after all, this is small town America, this must be a family event).  There were the few minx’ dancing uncontrolled and unconcerned to the well pleased crowd. After all this, it occurred to me the obvious cliche, things are different and more relaxed in small town America. How trite, but true.

On top of this, this is a really cool venue.  How does a town or community college like this spend what I would estimate was at least $2M on a venue with great stage facing a beautiful river, fixed seating for about 200 in comfortable spacious aisles, and a killer sound system, with great facilities and concessions. Free entry, and you can bring anything in you wish, EVEN THE DREADED GLASS CONTAINERS as a lot of people crack open a bottle of wine on the events that have more cultured performers (sorry Bravo Combo)…docks for boats, for which my friend says at times several ‘party boats’ have roped up there….and in the end, this is one great facility.

Bravo Combo was very entertaining. They immediately got on my good side by opening up with their version of the Doors, “People Are Strange”, polka style!  They held the audience attention all night, playing 1.5 hours in the heat…creating the dance squad and conga line.  And in the end, I think it was no accident they started with ‘People Are Strange”, because this evening proved that thoroughly in a fun sort of , wedding reception sort of, care free sort of, way.



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