Leafraker, Ronnie and the Reagans, and the story of a venue
April 29, 2016
Growing up in Idaho Falls, I never went to shows. Shows happened, I’m sure, but I never knew they did. In an overwhelmingly Mormon community you have to mind your manners. If you aren’t Mormon it’s a little easier to understand the tension in growing up in a place like that. Even as an outsider looking in, you were still in their corner of the sandbox; you ultimately became like them. Only certain types of kids went to shows.
The first show I did go to, I was eighteen. I got a little overzealous. My friends and I assumed that the point was to mosh and only to mosh, and further to be both cruel and proud in doing so.
And so we were.
The venue, in this instance of my first show, was “the old folk’s home” local to my neighborhood. It had some other name, and was a literal old folks home, but was only ever referred to as ‘the old folks home”.
When I learned of the venue, I was shocked that a bunch of old folks would host such a thing. At the time I was still fairly enamored with the fact that shows happened at all and had no idea what they were actually like. And it was because of this that I drank far too many beers in my close friend’s truck and then proceeded to enter the venue and be, what some might refer to as, a “nightmare cop”.
For readers who are unfamiliar with the term, a “nightmare cop” is the scariest thing I, or anyone else, could ever possibly think of. It’s the scariest and worst thing ever, basically.
One thing came to another, and eventually my nightmare partner was flung into a nearby table, which broke in two.
I am not proud to say that it was this incident that eventually resulted in another failed venue in Idaho Falls’ long list of failed venues. To a certain extent, although shows most definitely happened, they never really happened. There was just no space for them. They were each like trees falling over deep in the forest with no one to hear them.
Except certain people did hear them.
When I got older I figured a lot of things out. The nightmare cop that I once was, was just a manifestation of repression and ignorance. At this point in the story I am 23 and catatonically depressed. It is evident to me that I am trans, and I am only out to a handful of people.
I had recently moved back home to Idaho Falls to live out my quarter life crisis in peace. I am employed with a moving company, but I know that it is only a matter of time before I quit and get on with my life.
But all things considered, Idaho Falls in the summer of 2013 wasn’t the worst place you could be. The glorious and eternal Kate Long (Ancient Psychic, Girl Cr3w) was responsible for the operation of The Waxhouse, the only adequate venue for miles, and it was getting quite popular by Idaho Falls standards.
It was summer, fourth of July, and there was a show that night.
More specifically Leaf Raker, Miles James, Ronnie and the Reagans, and a musician from florida named John Gold.
I, personally, was attending to see Ronnie and the Reagans (Zach Sherwood, Sarah Pincock, Frankie Tillo). I was obligated to as I had been day drinking with Zach all day. I had taped my nipples, pulled a bandana over my face and was demanding that people refer to me as “A Fox Cub Named Swag”. It was one of those kind of days.
There were a lot of factors working against my sanity, obviously. Depressed, repressed, deep in the closet and drunk as all hell. I have to admit that it was kind of fun, but fun in the kind of way were you shouldn’t be alone.
As we migrated to the venue, I posted up in the green room with my second 40oz of the day. We were early, and the shows always started late. By the time the show actually started A Fox Cub Named Swag had earned their namesake.
Leafraker was always a crowd favorite in addition to a personal favorite of mine. If you haven’t seen them, they are essentially a SOUL VOLCANO with an amazing voice. A total dreamboat, basically. Since this show took place about three years ago, and because I have since then shed my pesky hetero-normativity and masculine hangups, I am fully comfortable admitting that Leafraker’s cover of Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy The Silence” moved me to tears in my vulnerable, drunken state.
Ronnie and The Reagans’ popularity was unquestioned. People that saw them back in those days would generally agree that the youngsters in the band were a rare talent for Idaho Falls, and that they were more than likely destined for better things (Boise).
Sarah Pincock had a penchant for getting silly drunk and, in spite of this, always singing beautifully. I actually theorize that Sarah Pincock is at least a 1,000 years old and is, in fact, a forest spirit. Pure and untainted by earthly things, she skips around scattering glitter wherever she goes, singing and laughing, the cutest ever incarnation of Dionysus floating an inch of the ground and living in a magical world that I very much want to be a part of.
The rest of the band was great too.
John Gold was also spectacular, and you should look him up too, but we’re not talking about him because this Review is about Idaho things.