|My thoughts exactly.|
It was Bon Jovi who asked, 'who says you can't go home?' I'm not even a big fan of Bon Jovi, but this song has been stuck in my head for days following my visit to what I consider my second home: Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Tulsa is where I discovered the beauty of "local" music, so it's kind of my musical home in more ways than one.
So Katie starting scouring venue websites.
"Fleet Foxes is playing at Cain's," she told me. Ah Cain's, the first place in a new world that truly made me feel at home.
"What, so we can stand there drinking red wine and be three-years-behind-the-times Oklahoma hipsters? Pass." I could hear Katie roll her eyes at me as she continued to search, naming off a slew of local bands I'd never heard of. Finally she landed on one I knew.
"Um...Till Metro and RadioRadio at the Hunt Club?"
Bingo. My reaction was something akin to that kid on YouTube opening up his N64 on Christmas morning. Lately I've been missing the music scene in Tulsa more and more. It was easy, laid back and friendly. So the chance to visit an old musical friend was the very best present I could imagine.
Late Saturday morning, Katie, Sam and I headed up the turnpike to my old home. Upon arriving, we wandered around the city, visiting old haunts and exploring new ones. In Ida Red, Sam and I nearly died laughing at one of the band photos hanging from the ceiling:
One lazy afternoon, two "lost" hours spent on a top-secret mini road trip (the three of us will go to our graves before we tell you where we were), and dinner at one of the best pizza joints I've ever been to later, we filed into the venue - a place that had opened since I had moved to Texas - just as the opening band, Till Metro, was starting.
Three boys and one girl - none of the members of Till Metro look a day over 15. And they blew me away. I had listened to a few songs online the day before, but they simply did not do this band justice. The vocals and music sounded completely disjointed over the Internet, but in person? Solid (if not a bit simplistic) rock combined with female vocals reminiscent of Janis' growl completely captivated me.
What sold me, though, was the band's cover of "Helter Skelter" that would rival Dana Fuch's version from the "Across the Universe" soundtrack, followed quickly by a killer cover of the Foo Fighter's "Everlong." While Till Metro is still a band that needs time to grow into their sound, they have a wealth of potential - and that's exactly what I always loved about Tulsa music. It has always been full of potential.
RadioRadio is just as good, if not even better now than the last time I saw them two years ago. They have this fantastic electronic, Muse-esque component to their music while riding the alt-rock wave. Throw in some pain staking lyrics and you pretty much have my definition of a near-perfect band. And there is something I can't explain about singer Greg's voice that is so addictive, it's like musical crack. I could listen to him sing for hours on end.
As a resident band at The Hunt Club, RadioRadio graced us with two 45-ish minute sets full of songs, old and new. And for just a few hours, I truly felt like I had never left a city that helped define me musically in so many ways. The time spent tucked away in a hole-in-the-wall venue on north Main Street felt like home in a way I'd never be able to explain in words. You just have to feel it to know. Spilled out onto the deserted downtown streets after the set to head back home, with that familiar skyline towering over me, it felt weird to be heading back to OKC, not down Riverside Drive to my old, post-college apartment.
While Tulsa is just a bit far to justify regular trips to see RadioRadio - and the whole slew of Tulsa bands I love - at least I got to be reminded how it felt...if only for one night.
Who says you can't go home, indeed.