Monday, June 1, 2009

The Detour disturbs the peace in Amesbury

You can breath easy now, Carriagetown. The perpetrator has been apprehended and is now, as we speak, winding his way through the criminal justice system. Rest assured, civil society has zero tolerance for disturbers of the peace,  people who disregard the standards of good, decent, God-fearing folks and, well, play loud music at 9:30 p.m. on a Saturday night, when they should, um, I don't know, be watching reruns of "Murder, She Wrote" or something.  

No, it wasn't quite Altamont. The average age of the people attending was, let's be generous, the wrong side of fifty  — old enough, just barely, to know what Altamont is or was. No hopped-up Angels, no Rolling Stones. Just Gary Shane and the Detour playing at a private party in a tony Amesbury subdivision with a spectacular view of pretty much everything. 

It was a lovely evening, but, behind the apparent calm, there was an undercurrent of danger and fear. Like Altamont, where concert-goers said (in retrospect, of course) that they knew someone had to die that evening, there was a palpable sense of foreboding in Carriagetown: You just knew someone had to disturb the peace that night. You knew it right from the start, from the seemingly endless vamp at the beginning of "Gonna Storm," necessary because, gasp, the bass player broke a string before the performance even began.

Things went smoothly for the next couple of hours. The too-old-to-rock-and-roll/too-young-to-die crowd drank white wine and eventually, yikes, started dancing. We sat on an comfortable leather couch on the deck enjoying the evening because we felt like we were old enough to know what Altamont is/was. By the time the Detour finished playing the big hits — "Shadow World" and "Johnny's Coaltrain," which Shane announced as the last song — shortly after 9 p.m. , we were on our way home to watch "Murder, She Wrote," and the band was about to play an encore. A couple of minutes later, all hell would break loose — or, at least, what passes for all hell breaking loose in sleepy Amesbury.

No, we're not going to get in the middle of this since we weren't there, but we do have "some" experience with this sort of thing — experience we gained around the time Mick and Keith's helicopter touched down at the speedway: You don't argue with cops, even if you're right. You'll just end up being led away in handcuffs and get your name in the newspaper the next day, like the host of the party — something that might be embarrassing the next day if you, like Mr.Jagger, are on the wrong side of sixty.

For the record, the party was a rehearsal for the Detour's June 13 date at Club Bohemia, 738 Mass Ave., Cambridge. And a word of warning — the band doesn't go on until midnight, so a pre-concert nap may be in order. The Boize, Third Rail and The Brigands open. The music starts at 9 p.m. For more information, call 617.482.4920

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