The Sadies at Petaluma’s Mystic Theater
The Sadies played sleepy little Petaluma’s Mystic theater Thursday, August 11, 2011. My sister was visiting from New York, so I conveniently stayed with her in a lovely little cottage up in the hills of Marin, the next county over. After I had just gotten home from my 5 weeks in Europe 5 days before. One of which I was direly seasick. The day after I got home. For which I blame said visiting sister. Who wanted to go on a pelagic birding trip the day after I got back. But, that’s another story. Suffice to say, the lure of the Sadies was enough to draw me down the twisting turning hill/valley/mountain roads, up the grid locked highway (it looked suspiciously like the stomach turning version of commute traffic that those who live far out of town face every day. The Sadies were set to go on no earlier than ten, so while my sister was happy to come into town for a sushi dinner, she claimed oldness and headed home while I set out for the venue.
I love the Mystic Theater! For those of you who, like me until that night, have never been to this venue, I have to say a little. It is great. It is a repurposed movie theater, small and intimate. There were tables and some movie style seating on the ground floor, and the balcony had a few seats surround the front of house position. The bar is accessible from both the lobby side and the theater side, and was, naturally, stocked with fine beer and wine selections. The renovations are of the highest quality. They have left all the ambiance of the old theater in tact while lovingly restoring where needed. A good selection of lighting instruments, beautiful ornamental details, and a photographer friendly floor plan compliment the sound system, which filled the discreet space brightly. The stage is not overly elevated, and between that and the bit of breathing room on a not packed night lead to a very interactive feel for the set.
Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter opened, and then The Sadies appeared on stage seemingly from nowhere. There was no announcement, just four guys picking up their instruments and launching into the first instrumental of the evening, with their trademark double barreled wall of guitar ferocity carried by on of the tightest rhythm sections in the psychedelic/alt/country/surf rock world. Petaluma, people!!! If you want to see an intimate show with a favorite act that will be packing the Fillmore or the Great American, keep an eye on some of the smaller venues not far from SF. It was so worth a drive, if you ask me.
Man, it had been over a year since I had seen the Sadies. But, I was hopeful it would be only another day before my next show. Holy cow! Next up – rip snorting, tear the roof off, John Doe booty shaking, triple guitar wall of sound madness takes hold at The Great American Music Hall. Yeah, facing the city and the crowd that night was worth it, too!