Thursday, November 27, 2014
November 23, 2014 Environmental Encroachment (Concert #46)
This is a Chicago band called Environmental Encroachment. I saw them at Riot Fest a couple of years ago and thought they were great. So when I saw they were playing a show at the Beat Kitchen at noon on a Sunday, I got a ticket. What I didn't know was this was an all ages show or to be more precise...a kids show. So what, I went anyway....and yes I am pretty sure I was the only one there without a kid. I still had a good time because I am still a kid at heart and because this band is a guaranteed good time.
A band member shows the youngsters how to play hoopscotch.
Besides being entertained by all the little kids being unsure about the music at first, then realizing that jumping around like little punk rockers was perfectly acceptable, I had to laugh every time I saw a kid walking around with a plastic Miller Lite solo cup full of juice or water. While sitting at the bar drinking a Brooklyn Lager, I noticed a very little hand holding a Miller Lite cup filled with orange juice trying to put the cup on the bar. He wasn't tall enough and was tilting the cup so that he would have poured it over his own head...I grabbed his cup and put it on the bar. Then he pulled himself onto the bar stool, looked over at his mom and grabbed his cup. Both me and the bartender were smiling about the little man sitting at the bar. Then I told the bartender the kid said she mixed his drink a little light on the vodka, she just laughed.
The band made a time machine tunnel out of hoola hoops for the young ones to crawl through. They tried to teach the kids the name of the band, but decided to abbreviate it to EE, which had to be said in a high pitched voice. The band taught the kids call & response. Every time they said EE, the kids were to respond EE...at first the crowd response was weak...by the end of the show all the kids were yelling EE.
Since EE is a marching band, they gave the kids placards on a stick with all the letters to spell out Environmental Encroachment. Then asked the mostly under 5 year old crowd to spell the band's name across the front of the stage. After that futile attempt, the showed the kids how to march to the music...that worked out as the kids marched around the place bouncing their placards up & down to the music. Because I was an old man there without kids, I avoided taking pictures of the kids as much as possible so you will have to take my word on this...it looked the kids had a blast throughout the show.
The band explained to the kids that this was a time to give thanks...and that they should thank their parents for being cool enough to bring their kids to a cool rock'n'roll show which will make them cool kids...two moms next to me were laughing when I said "I must not be cool because my parents never took me to a cool rock'n'roll show". I did get a kick out of the parents at the show. Let's face it as much as I love this band of oddballs, most of them were probably abused for being different as kids....and possibly still dismissed as adults by a certain uptight segment of society. But I love them for the same reasons some people despise them. So I can only hope that the children of parents cool enough to expose their kids to live music played by a band as original, eclectic and talented as EE, will grow up and make this a better world for everyone.
Behind Environmental Encroachment 's merch table was a sign that read "Drink Water Upstream From The Herd"...a perfect motto for this band.
After the show I did a shot with a grown man dressed as a bunny...life doesn't get any better.