Friday, January 30, 2009

Right in the Breadbasket: Lawrence, KS pt. I: the Replay Lounge

The Replay Lounge – Lawrence, KS

The funny thing about writing up these experiences months after the happened is the incongruities that arise, when did that happen? In what order? Or, in the case of Lawrence, KS I am not quite clear as to why we decided to drive to Lawrence with no shows booked for several days and $20 between the two of us. On a Sunday night. At 8pm. The only conclusion I can draw is that we decided, being the stouthearted, robust fellows that we are, to continue on our path in search of adventure.

Do you know how to spell adventure, kids? K-A-N-S-A-S.

Ok so that’s less than accurate, Kansas may not be the most exciting part of America, the beautiful, but it has its merits. Carry on, my wayward son.

A quaint little hamlet roughly a half hour from Kansas City, Lawrence is also home to the University of Kansas and consequentially, a pretty decent bar/music scene. Jack and I cased the main drag looking for places to busk up a couple dollars, eventually settling on a streetcorner outside of a bar where there was some sort of bluegrass show going on. We figured we would wait until the show was over, set up our instruments and catch a couple bucks from the people leaving the bluegrass show. The door guy informed us the show had another hour or so left so, like the responsible adults we are, Jack and I decided to go spend the last of our money on beer and pool. I was feeling pretty good about my pool game that day as I had actually beat Jack fair and square for the first time earlier that day (this is the one and only time that I beat Jack by clearing the table and sinking the eight ball, which is embarrassing considering how many times we played pool during this tour) so we ducked in to a pub down the street and proceeded to fritter away our remaining ducats. Now broke but with several lukewarm Budweisers down the hatch we meandered over to the door of the Replay and started to play just as the bluegrass band was finishing up their last song.

Nobody left.

We played and played and not a single person walked out the door. We began to realize the grievous error we had committed. So, being the industrious fellow I am, I decided to talk turkey with the club owner, figuring we could just play our instruments on the stage where the bluegrass band had played and perhaps sell a couple CDs. The bar manager informed me that the rear stage (where the bluegrass band had played) was closed, but she would see what she could do.

Subsequently I realized that this woman is the most amazing person in the world. She got the sound guy to transport some of the PA gear inside, set it up for us and sound check us. She gave us free beer and then proceeded to WALK AROUND THE BAR BY HERSELF and DEMAND that people pitch in money for us. She is my hero.

A drunk couple at the bar bought us several shots and the bartender tried to refuse my tip because he wanted us to keep all the money we could. My mind was, consequentially, blown. Never have I seen an outpouring of support for genuine strangers, much less for strangers who looked as though they may or may not be shifty hobos.

The Replay Lounge not only saved our bacon, but it is a bitchin’ bar as well. There are two sections, an indoor area with a small stage (there is a SWEET painting of a superhero on the wall, I felt very superheroic playing next to it) and a full bar and a significantly larger outdoor area with a bar, a big stage and a bunch of seating. Also, in searching for an image for this post on the Google I came across quite a few pictures which lead me to believe that the Replay is the place to be on a pretty regular basis in Lawrence.

Our very own rags to riches story, right there in Lawrence, KS, but that’s not the end of our Lawrence adventure, tune in tomorrow for part two of:

Right in the Breadbasket
or …
Carry on my Wayward Fun?*

*I used a question mark to imply the similarity between my cornball titles and those found at the end of Rocky & Bulwinkle episodes, you know, like where the announcer says, in that oh-so-dramatic voice, “Tune in next time for, “Fear and Loathing in Frostbite Falls or… The Juiced Up Moose Is Loose!” Hope that got across.


  1. fuggin' fantastic story. Good for you. Hope the good times keep rollin'...

  2. Damn it, this blog just makes me want to travel.