|That's the guy, on the right: Aaron Zaroulis.|
The Grog date, in addition to representing the first date of the Triptych tour and a gift to hometown fans, was the night of the Big Reveal, unveiling the guy who would follow, if not entirely replace, Kane — and the boys were playing it for all it was worth. They took the stage, but there were only … wait, only one two three of them —Dave Drouin and the brothers Plante, Chris and Joe. They had some good news and bad news. Good news? Well, you’re here at the first date of the tour. Bad news? That they would be kicking off the tour as a trio. The new guy couldn’t make it: School or work or family commitment or something, but, since everyone was there and the beer was flowing, and quite tasty, they would be trying something a little different — playing as a trio. And so they did, for about a minute or so when, all of a sudden, a frustrated Drouin put a stop to it, saying he couldn’t do it, that he had to have, at the bare minimum, a cloaked, anonymous drummer.
Which is what they got when, almost on cue, a cloaked guy crashed the stage. Who was it? Sorry, not yet. The coy boys were playing it for all it was worth, doling out bits and pieces about the drummer and his connection to the band came out between songs. Turns out that he had played with the Brew before —about six years ago, at a show at the Masonic Temple— a sweaty, crowded affair with toilet facilities so overtaxed that people, meaning guys, of course, sought alternative venues —including Brew drummer Kelly Kane, who, between sets, visited a quiet place, or so he thought, in the dark outside to answer nature’s call. Which quite displeased the boys in blue, who took him away to less-than-pleasing accommodations at the intersection of Green and Pleasant streets — and leaving the Brew up the creek, musically.
The only thing to do, short of playing as a trio, was to put out a call to the audience, a la Keith Moon, to see if anybody out there could pick up the sticks and run with it. Lots of girls without much in the way of musical training answered the call. So did this 14-year-old kid, who told them that he knew all their songs and could play them — not after a bit of rehearsing, Right on the spot. And they said, whip it out. And he did. Big time. Nailing all the songs, not missing a beat. “And this,” said Chris Plante, “is that 14-year-old kid.” This particular Brew-haha is immortalized in “Looking Down,” from “Back to the Woods,” the band’s 2008 release — which they played to conjure up the history. His name is Aaron Zaroulis. Lately he’s been drumming with Bingo Friday, a Boston-based power trio that’s deep into psychedelia, but adding influences of jazz, reggae, blues, funk, rock, and everything in between. He stepped up to the plate again, this time with the benefit of a whole week of rehearsal, and didn’t miss a beat.
And the show, behind the drummer drama? Forget about it. A typically Brew-tish blowout, a two-hour, high-octane set old stuff, new stuff and, of course, monster covers some you expected, like "Going to California," some you didn't, like the "Go Your Own Way," played without a drop of irony.Played hot, played cool, played hard. Like monsters, like they had something to prove. Which they don't. But Brew shows aren't just about the music of the moment, but about community. It's about friends, family and fans. And, if you're up front and not dancing, well, someone is likely to grab you by the hips and encourage you to do so. Yes, hun, I enjoyed our time together, however short. Please don't tell the wife.
And the best thing about the show? No bladders were injured and no one got arrested.