Friday, July 24, 2015

2015 July 22 | Veruca Salt

There are some nights that just come right on time. After a few weeks of mounting minor annoyances of all the little daily obligations we have, I was relieved to spend Wednesday night with two of my nearest and dearest over good food, drink and RAWK.

I arrived to The Grove early, so I parked and had a house Manhattan at the delightfully charming Handlebar, and while perusing the menu, I began slightly questioning our choice of restaurant for the evening. Mental Note: Come back here. Soon. There is Pirogi and Borscht on the menu!

It was actually a touch warm, albeit beautiful evening, so I parked my car and Di and I walked to the wonderful little Vietnamese joint in the St. Louis' Central West End, Little Saigon. Our server had a delightfully unexpected razor-sharp wit for the hour and withstood our either bad (Diana's) or refusal to attempt (mine) Vietnamese pronunciation, as well as the the constant delayed decision-making that comes with perusing a menu with a friend you haven't seen in awhile, with absolute beauty. It's great dining with a good friend who tells you to essentially "get your own damn spring rolls," because then you discover it's wonderful to not have to share. Our visit was made all the richer when we giggled over the hipster-appeal of Pho as the single gentleman in his 30s next to us ordered that very dish. He gave us a ribbing and tried to convince us to try it to no avail; it was too HOT for soup!

Off we sauntered to the Ready Room in The Grove and caught the tail end of Charly Bliss' last cut. We ordered drinks and waited patiently along with the pretty full house for the headliner, Veruca Salt.

Last I saw Veruca was in 2000 at Mississippi Nights, when Louise Post alone was the remaining original member on the Resolver tour and Nina Gordon also toured separately following her solo album, Tonight and the Rest of My Life. I celebrated both albums, but my love for the fearless leaders -- who have fortunately now buried the hatchet and are touring together with mates Jim Shapiro and Steve Lack in support of the first combined effort in 17 years -- is far stronger for Louise. Nina's vocals and songwriting is so pretty in comparison to Louise's more rock-and-roll, devil-may-care visceral style.

Their set stuck mostly to their joint efforts of Ghost Notes, American Thighs and Eight Arms To Hold You. The highly energetic set failed to disappoint musically, but was unfortunately mired by bad (house) sound engineering and some tuning problems with Nina's guitar, both of which Louise became less patient as the show went on.  By the time the encore rolled around, it was pretty clear by his waning tempo that Jim's was getting tired. After 1 hour 15 minutes, I'd be tired too; hell, I *was* tired, and found my old ass to be kind of thrilled the encore lasted only 2 songs.

We discussed possibly more dancing and drinks, but to me, no summer night is complete with out ice cream. Also too, it was a school night, after all. So at my behest, Beth drove us to Jenis for a few scoops, and just in time, too; we arrived with only a few minutes to spare. Fortunately, the girls behind the counter obliged us; my Black Currant Sorbet and Sweet Cream just the deliciousness and sugar blast I needed for the 40 minute drive home back to the suburbs.

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