We left our hotel in the city and traveled six blocks on Aliceanna Street by cab to Friend's Pub, the designated meeting point with an old mate from our undergraduate college days. Not seeing him immediately, we ordered swill and made camp near the jukebox. One glance at the open page revealed The Rolling Stone, The Clash, Charlatans U.K., Beatles, and R.E.M., then Iggy Pop faded into Heroin on the house system. The bar was dim and parched; I had cottonmouth from the short trek. The brews were written on the wall in colored chalk, and there were many kinds. Someone passed me a snifter but I don't remember the exact variety - it was hard to think straight, feeling so great.
My friend, Matt, noticed Eric's girlfriend at the bar, but for some reason Eric was at the car. We reminisced when he got back; he had a big dip in his lip. Another two rounds of pints and a murmur was perceptible. My Wenger showed: FRI 24 - 10:24 p.m. We left before it became too much, and crossed over from the pub which is somewhat obtusely cattycorner to Fletcher's. It was pleasant that the show was so near on such a brisk night. I followed the steps up to the top and back into a crowded room, where black and blue lights dominated. I don't quite remember if there was a velvet Elvis on the wall.
We were now six strong with six stout pints in a new milieu. The opening act played, it was solo acoustics. Many lent one ear, most others talked to their friends. The guy finished and we sliced our way to a spot dividing Sean's mic and Lara's keyboard. Dean was uniting his pedals, and Lara was tweaking her layout. To the left, Britta configured her bass. Done with their setup, they climbed some steps out of sight. We listened to several songs on the house stereo before they returned to play for us. Fervent clapping bellowed throughout the place as the band descended from their perch above the masses.
I strained to look and saw that Slide glistened atop the setlist until Mr. Wareham asked the rest of the band if they were ready to go with Woozy. Just like that, Slide slid from that slot and Dean was coloring, "When silver shadows crawl, feeling ten feet tall, drifting in a dusty zone, drifting in a dusty zone..."
Between songs, we calculated the amount of beer that we had and how far the bar was before turning back to the academic sounds of Math Whiz. We sipped on our drinks; mine an Amstel Light, Luna on some Black Champagne. With the drain of the lights, they sprinkled us with their Lovedust, and the crowd grew fonder of those five artists on the knee-high stage. Dean noticed the richness of the crowd's enthusiasm and recalled some variety of cream soup that he had consumed earlier that was not sitting too well for him.
We lifted off like an Astronaut as Dean and Sean guided the way with their flaring chords, their bandmates providing fuel for our trip. Crashing into the harbor on our return, Dean & Britta serenaded like sea creatures with gleaming Mermaid Eyes. A girl behind me beamed about how great the song had sounded. When the last stroke was taken, she tapped me on the shoulder to ask for the name of the song.
We witnessed a conflict of emotions in Tracy I Love You, but it never changed the euphoric mood of the crowd. And even when we heard about steals and lies, a poison life, we sang along with the words of Slide (the highlight, in my opinion). Unfortunately, on New Year's Eve in Hoboken it was far too obscured by noisemakers, leaving me quietly cursing over my beer. Not this time though.
The crowd hooted with happiness when Luna called out Tiger Lily, a real sugary version for the hungry crowd. Fresh young women grooved in a swarm, then continued to roll through the delivery of Black Postcards. The words and sound, woven into a silk candy web stretching from Britta's swaying hips to Lara, hovering motionless over her keyboard.
Feeling ever so lofty, we entered Luna's Moon Palace and immediately left ourselves for some period of time. I noticed many people around me were drifting weightless. Finally everything seemed to fall into place during the vibrating close of Fuzzy Wuzzy, bass and echoing guitar making the night feel right.
On their first return to the stage, Dean left behind his Les Paul, offered a birthday wish to someone in the crowd, then granted a birthday wish to someone else with a groovy version of Everybody's Talkin'. That someone else, my girlfriend, celebrating her last go around in the 20's by singing along to her favorite Luna cover.
The venue rumbled with Lee's drum roll into 23 Minutes in Brussels, the crowd hum grew louder, and the masses swayed to the rhythm of the throbbing bass. Sean led the charge, climbing and diving like a jet, then leaving Dean to wrap it up and fold it over. They left and came back one more time, finally leaving us drifting on their Tugboat, and like always, ecstatic, but never-the-less wanting more. So they shipped out and went traveling into the night, and most of the crowd scattered like underage drinkers at a raided party.