In my never-ending quest to find ways to grade papers that keep me fresh and engaged, I stopped in yesterday evening at a newish local restaurant, intent on squatting in a booth and forging through some essays. I’m conscious of not clogging tipspace, but I figured it was a Wednesday evening and not likely to be too busy, especially since this is an unassuming little place in the ground floor of a little office building on the outskirts of my little middle-of-nowhere town.
The place specializes in hot wings, so I ordered some of those and a beverage and got down to business. As time went on I noted that the joint was indeed filling up and there seemed to be a bit of a buzz; meanwhile, musicians were carrying in equipment and unpacking some strange-looking instruments. The one that looked like a triple rack of long, tubular candle-holders especially intrigued me. The bassist had one of those precious electric stand-up basses (I used to play bass and you couldn’t catch me dead with one of those things) but he moved it around pretty well in the soundcheck. So I was hooked already when a big bald guy started checking the mics in Russian.
Eventually the place was packed and essays weren’t happening, but I had to see what this thingie was going to be. It was this:
The band’s name is Crystal Harmony and apparently they made it to the finals of the Russian version of “Who’s Got Talent” or whatever.
They are wrapping up a tour of the U.S. with a show in Charlotte. The big bald Russian guy is on the local arts council and had enough pull to get them to this little restaurant for a gig and some drinks, as everyone who got a crack at the mic kept remarking (get it, Russians drink a lot and so should you).
They were good! But I was definitely using up tipspace at that point and still had papers to read, so I only hung around for the first few numbers.