This Friday the Charleston Music Hall had the good fortune of hosting a brave baby on a dusty sleigh being pulled by a slow runner. That’s not exact, but it’s close enough to grant putting that image in your mind.
Wearing all black, Dusty Slay was the Johnny Cash of laughs, and on this near-brisk Charleston evening he got the crowd rolling (in what I thought to be a pretty tough crowd) with a great set of jokes mostly associated with tribulations of employment within the food and beverage industry, and having to deal with the tourists Charleston shelters year-round while working in F & B. Aside from being funny, a lot of what he said could also double as a long and awesome list of “Things to Say to Customers if You Want to Lose Your Job/Feel Vindicated as a Server”.
After Dusty Hurt our sides, he introduced us to Brave Baby. The curtains lifted, and the young Chucktown up-and-comers had a crowd dancing in front of them by the third song—not an easy feat at the Hall considering there isn’t much room up front…I forgot Summer was on its way out for a little while. These guys are a group of modest musicians whose sound was best heard in the upper deck, but most enjoyed by those dancing. Their songs transitioned pretty seamlessly, and when they weren’t going straight from song to song, their in-between banter made them look like a group of genuine guys who simply enjoyed making music with each other. I especially enjoyed the new songs, and hope to hear more of the synthesizer!
Dusty passed the ring of fire between the bands, and Slow Runner came out. We can thank them for the taxidermy cat, moose, and deer (rumor has it the Director wished to keep them). We can also thank them for putting on a great farewell show. With an ensemble of seven up there playing, everything was crisp. And MAN! Every band needs a bass player like theirs—someone so enthusiastic and happy up there, you could give him a cowbell…and he’d make it “cownt”. But as enjoyable as Slow Runner’s upbeat moments were, I was in it for the nostalgic ones. I mean we were all there saying farewell to a decade these guys made together, and some of their more low-key songs had me thinking about the past decade as a slideshow in my head. I went through some times I’d felt hurt by others, some times I’d been full of hope, some times I’d realized the reality of certain situations. And then I’d realize I was staring into space; so I’d look to my left and right, I’d notice someone that stuck out in my eye, and I’d start thinking about how their life was, has been like…and then I’d realize that I was starting to stare at random people and needed to move around the Hall, hear these songs from different angles. This band might be done for a while, but I hope the members don’t slow their roll for too long in going after their respective musical ambitions.
That’s what I’ve got. I’m glad I got to catch up to Slow Runner. I’m glad I got to see Brave Baby fist-pumping like summer, and Dusty Slay, here’s your last name back because it’s a good word choice for how the whole show went last Friday.
– Justin Williams