Two Cow Garage | 2.11.06

Halfway through the song, Fred tackled Sweeney, sending the two of them crashing to the ground and into the drumset.


Frederick’s Music Lounge, St. Louis

Frederick’s Music Lounge hosted its last ever show on February 11, featuring Two Cow Garage, the Saps, and Fertilizer Bomb. It was a great night of music and a fitting end to an integral part of the local music scene. Fred’s has always leaned toward booking roots/rock/alt-country bands, and this night’s lineup was no exception.

Fertilizer Bomb started their set with a cover of Drive-by Truckers’ “Sink Hole,” setting the tone for the entire night. I had an irrational skepticism of the band after they began with such a contemporary cover, but they quickly won me (and the crowd) over. They put on a good show and definitely got the crowd worked up, providing the perfect soundtrack for drinking. They closed out their set with Alice Cooper’s “Welcome to My Nightmare” and Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way”—a fitting way to end their set on Fred’s last night.

The Saps, from Chicago, were up next. I had only previously heard of the Saps but had never heard their music. Their set was, in a word, awesome. Their music truly occupied the intersection of country and punk, in a place often referred to as alt-country or cowpunk. They reminded me of the Old 97’s circa Too Far to Care, with a little more big-city grime and punk attitude. While their set started out showcasing their more Americana/alt-country side, the band progressively got louder, faster, and more aggressive as the night wore on. If you were to walk into Fred’s during the Saps’ last song, you would have thought them to be a Clash-inspired punk rock band.

Finally, Two Cow Garage—personally asked by Fred Friction to play at Frederick’s last show—took the stage. Mining the same musical territory as Slobberbone, Drive-by Truckers, and the Replacements, Two Cow Garage are loud. However, this night, bassist Shane Sweeney started the set quietly, covering a song written by Centro-matic’s Will Johnson about Slobberbone and dedicating it to Fred, who made his first appearance of the evening at the end of the song. Sweeney’s one-man-and-his-guitar balladeering was soon laid to rest as the rest of the band took the stage. It was a typically loud and rowdy show, in which Fred and Frederick’s were clearly the points of affection and attention.

The band played the Beatles’ “Don’t Let Me Down” as the second-to-last song of their set—an appropriate ending to a great run at such an iconoclastic venue. At the end of that song, Fred got on stage, informing the band that the bartenders had requested one more song: Poison’s “Talk Dirty to Me.” And, of course, they obliged. Halfway through the song, Fred tackled Sweeney, sending the two of them crashing to the ground and into the drumset. After bringing down anyone else in lunging distance, the stage was a wreck, people were strewn about, and the drums were scattered everywhere. Like the true workmen and consummate professionals they are, the band continued and finished the song—drummer Dustin Harigle banging on the hi-hat and snare drum where they lay, and guitarist and singer Micah Schnabel attempting his best C.C. DeVille at the bottom of a pile-on. It was a chaotic and beautiful ending to the night and the venue.

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