If Chris Robinson won’t come to me, I suppose I will drive five hours to go see him.
I have written in the past about my interest in the former Black Crowes frontman and his current project, a bluesy psychedelic band called the Chris Robinson Brotherhood.
I continue to occasionally download CRB live shows, and I remain interested in going to see the band live. But they never seem to come any closer to me than Philadelphia, which is a pain in the arse to get to from here in the Lehigh Valley.
The CRB announced a new round of summer and fall shows today. One of them is booked for Friday, Sept. 25, at the Smith Opera House in Geneva, N.Y., an intimate 19th-century theater maybe a half-hour from where my folks live.
A plot hatched in my mind. Within an hour, I had arranged to take that day off work; let my folks know I’d be coming up for the weekend; and bought a (remarkably affordable) ticket via the opera house’s website.
So, at long last, I’ll know whether I’m really on the CRB’s bus.
I think the venue had a lot to do with my decision to pull the trigger. Some of the great shows of the Grateful Dead’s first 10 years took place in out-of-the-way venues, like the Palace Theater in Waterbury, Conn., or the Stanley Theater in Jersey City. I’ve heard the tapes and I’ve daydreamed about the magic.
The CRB are partial heirs to the Dead’s organic spirit, and I suspect they are capable of making an old theater levitate about 50 feet above the ground. I’ll find out in three months, I guess.
Fall is probably the nicest time to be in central New York, too. I plan to spend the rest of the weekend wearing flannel, bombing around country roads, watching small-college football, buying apples from roadside stands and just breathing in the air. I might go home to Rochester, or I might stay out in the sticks. The roads will be clear (except for the odd Mennonite horse-and-carriage) and the possibilities will be endless.