11/13/15 Saint Paul, MN Turf Club
11/14/15 Chicago, IL Subterranean
11/15/15 Milwaukee, WI Shank Hall
11/17/15 Ferndale, MI Magic Bag
11/18/15 Madison, WI High Noon Saloon
11/19/15 Des Moines, IA Wooly's
11/20/15 St. Louis, MO Blueberry Hill's
11/21/15 Tulsa, OK The Shrine
12/19/15 Englewood, CO Gothic Theatre
12/31/15 Tempe, AZ Marquee
03/01/16 The Lebrewski Cruise
03/02/16 The Lebrewski Cruise
03/03/16 The Lebrewski Cruise
03/04/16 The Lebrewski Cruise
03/05/16 The Lebrewski Cruise
photo: Sara Thrasher
Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers took to the stage to raised bottles and cans and a joyful uproar from fans. For the first song “All Over the Radio,” the band welcomed merch-slinger Jason Boots onstage to play trumpet. Clyne and drummer P.H. Naffah are, of course, former members of 90s rock band the Refreshments so the setlist featured a sizable amount of Refreshments classics from 1996’s debut Fizzy, Fuzzy, Big and Buzzy and 1997’s The Bottle and Fresh Horses. The record company (Mercury) that dropped the Refreshments following The Bottle ended up contacting Clyne in order to reissue Fizzy for the 20th anniversary, a detail Clyne found both amusing and annoying.
The Fizzy reissue news was met with copious applause and Clyne, Naffah, and bandmates Jim Dalton (guitar) and Nick Scropos (bass) doled out tracks like “Banditos,” “Girly,” “Dolly” and my personal favorite “Down Together” with ferocious energy. Often times, Clyne didn’t even need to approach the mic - the crowd simply took over vocal duties. He also never needs to buy a drink for himself anywhere ever because he had shot after shot going up to him from lovelorn fans. How he was able to stay upright for the nearly two hours the Peacemakers were playing is still a mystery to me; the man produces his own tequila (Mexican Moonshine), so I’m sure he’s got a constitution of steel by now.
It wasn’t just Refreshments tunes getting folks riled up; the Peacemakers have been happily pumping out catchy Western-flavored records for years. The audience worked up a sweat for rockers like “Americano” and “I Don’t Need Another Thrill” (from 2004’s Americano!) and “Never Thought” (1999’s Honky Tonk Union) while the slower-paced set closer “Green & Dumb” cooled things down to a gentle sway (the encore also included “Maybe We Should Fall In Love”.) The band’s new album The Independent was also well-represented within the setlist: “I Ain’t Got the Words,” “California Breakdown,” and “5x5” sounded lively and crisp, so much better in person.
Boots told the crowd they would be recording the performance and that people could purchase a burned CD of it after the show - for a concert junkie, it doesn’t get much better than that.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that before heading out to this gig, I heard about the tragedy in Paris. Like everyone else, I was shocked and deeply troubled by the news and I had mixed feelings about seeing a show. That said, I’m so glad that I went. Not only did Birdcloud and Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers show me a good time, but I got to spend an evening with friends, like-minded people who came together for something they loved: music. I feel like that’s an act of defiance in the face of violence and fear, small as it is.
Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers at Turf Club, St Paul (13 Nov 2015)
photo: Colby Starker