I've always tried to respect Ogden, a city most of my neighbors refer to with a slight sneer and laundry list of negative attributions (usually something about meth-heads and that godawful stench that permeates each highway in and out of the northern town).
When Salt Lake bands book shows at Ogden's Brewskis, I'm generally stoked to make the 45-minute drive to a venue with honest-to-good ventilation, cheap drinks and bartenders who actually oblige the occasional request for water. But while Brewskis itself is a great private club, more often than not it harbors the sort of crowd I go out of my way to avoid in SLC.
I'm talking about dudes in striped polo shirts, backwards hats, ripped jeans and crude tribal tattoos, and the scantily-clad women who can't hold their liquor but who seem fine with lurid guys cupping their asses while they wait for another Midori sour. I never understood why Brewskis attracts so many rude, crude weirdos until someone pointed out that it's pretty much the only viable drinking hole O-Town has to offer. That said, if SLC had one destination for getting housed, we too would earn a bad rep. Don't hate the city, hate the people who make it lame.
For all the strange nights I've spent at Brewskis, I always resolve to start fresh with each show. On Friday, not five seconds after I stepped foot in the club's packed parking lot, a van full of drunk, blond cheerleader-types rolled up behind us. "Where's the party at?!!" they shouted (well, more like slurrted), to which we simply shuddered and walked in through the band's load-in entrance.
Here a nice gentleman took our IDs and ushered us past the stage where we ran into rather beefy employee who ordered us to walk back out and through a separate entrance about three feet away from the one we had just entered. Annoyed, but not upset, we walked back out as told and gave our IDs to two Joe Piscopo look-a-likes who then spent 5 minutes contemplating the band's request for plus-4. "As soon as the band plays for free, we'll let you in for free." Ahem. They let us in anyway. I didn't even have to show them my tits.
Once inside, I sat next to Dominique who, despite a rather scarring experience at the Outlaw Saloon (see below) also braved another night in Ogden for her beloved High Beams. She got up to get a drink and returned slightly traumatized. "Some dude just asked me if I like to party," she said. "Another one just said, 'You're hot.'" This set the tone for an evening spent dodging half-witted drunks absolutely set on getting laid before tomorrow's hangover.
Of course, it was worth it. Both The Rubes and High Beams sounded great. The latter group even whipped out a dead-on cover of Tom Petty's "American Girl" complete with Mike Sasich's wicked command of the song's rapid guitar solo.
By the time The Rubes' Greg Midgley finished up by muttering "Purple Rain," everyone was spent and ready to go home. Then a fight broke out. Then another. The skinny bartenders ran out to break up both melees, leaving us to wonder what the fuck happened to the enormous bouncers who hassled us at the door. They came out, conveniently, when the cops showed up. Yes. Another great night in Ogden. Can't wait to do it again this Friday when Spork and Monorchist hit Brewskis' stage. (Jamie Gadette)