Show Recap – Bombs Away Cafe in Corvallis, OR

Things didn’t look good when we rolled up to the venue last night. For starters, looks like Bombs Away is in the middle of a major rebranding. As a result, the cool, edgy look of their website was belied by signage that looks like it was conceived in the coke-fueled throes of 1984. But hey, baby steps. The tagline on the sign said “A Funky Tacqueria.” We all agreed that Bombs Away is not the best name for a cafe serving this type of cuisine, though it’s worth pointing out that the food was sublime, and even with my rather sensitive digestive system, there was no call to arm the emergency torpedoes. I’m sure you’re all relieved. Would’ve added a level of morbid interest to the show, though.

Sign in CorvallisQuick tangent: signage in general in Corvallis is lacking. I’m not sure how you miss a typo like the one on the left, but this one must’ve been made around quitting time, what with that inexplicable capital “O” in “COrvallis.”

Because as a teenager I was convicted of stealing a much smaller green street-corner sign (a great embarrassing story I should tell you sometime), I have an estimated figure in mind as to the cost of a sign like this. Suffice to say it’s enough for the city to decide that remaking the sign would be an unpopular burden on taxpayers.

"SORRY" signBut I digress. Actually, I’m not quite done digressing.This was the prominent welcome on the door of the place next door to Bombs Away. I think if you’re going to establish a business relationship with foot traffic, you should always start the conversation with an all-caps, meticulously applied and permanent apology. Clearly they have no intention of accepting cards in the near future. And they’re probably not really sorry. Then again, Corvallis is a college town. I guess I might not accept their cards, either.

Oddly enough, the apologetic welcome was repeated when we arrived at the venue. The absent owner, who booked us the show and currently resides in New Mexico, sent his apologies for booking us on a night that was ostensibly doomed from the start. It didn’t sound good: a lot of kids skipped town that day to go home and see Mom, and the venue had had a huge blowout the night before, historically a harbinger of a slow night after. All this and the fact that Corvallis had no idea who we are, save for a few months in rotation on the college station – at least a year ago.

So there it was… We were to be the proverbial tree falling in the forest for the evening. When we started the first set, the room was peopled only with the staff and the band. But hey, HAD are pros, man. We came to do a job and had an agreed-upon guarantee to earn. We launched it like we were playing for a roomful of adoring fans.

Amazingly, it paid off… or something did. We slowly gained a respectable audience throughout the evening until the dance floor was jumpin’, everyone jitterbuggin’ like the dickens (isn’t that how the kids say it nowadays?), and all of us having a damn good time. All in all, a successful gig when we least expected it.

Unfortunately, by the time we got back to the KOA, designated kampfire time had expired, seriously crippling our man-bonding for the evening. After a well-earned, lentern-lit beer, we turned in.

Now, our whirlwind 30-hour tour over, we’re back home where the babies are cryin’, and that’s just fine.

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