The Uptown Bar's final show: "We're all homeless now"

Categories: Concert Review
Photos by Steve Cohen
It's over, but denial is still running high for fans of the Uptown Bar. It felt like business as usual these past few weeks as many of us fit in as many of the final shows the club had to offer as we could. It seemed impossible as we chatted with friends in the comfy booths we had grown so accustomed to that it would all soon be just a memory. How many times had we come to this spot over the years to see our favorite bands? Countless. But last night was the last time, and the finality of the show was palpable.

Sunday night's farewell bill was an eclectic one, featuring The Hawaii Show, Happy Apple, and the Twilight Hours. Doors were at 8 p.m., but before the music even began at 9 the club was at capacity and operating on a one-in, one-out basis. Many waited in line for 30 minutes or more just to get in.

Photos by Steve Cohen
As the Hawaii Show began their awesome (and I don't use that word lightly) opening set of rock, comedy and lip-sync, a friend commented he had seldom seen so many eyes at the Uptown totally focused on the stage. Everyone in the music room was facing forward, watching the show, from the stage to the very back of the room. This was all the more amazing by virtue of the fact the Hawaii show doesn't even play live instruments on stage, instead using inflatable or cut out guitars, a Casio keyboard that didn't even try to look plugged in as the many members of the ensemble go through costume changes behind two gigantic fake Marshall amps situated on either side of the stage. Those of us who knew what to expect were no less enraptured than those who had no idea what they were in for. The Hawaii Show's final song, "The Uptown Monster Ballad," was an ode to the Uptown Bar (listen to it here) with one lyric saying "Without the Uptown Bar Uptown is lame." True that. As the song ended, a band member passed around a box of tissues for the audience as five people on stage held signs spelling out WE'RE - ALL - HOME - LESS - NOW.

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