Here's a brief composite of several conversations I had with a friend before and after yesterday's show at Hard Rock:
Red Jacket Mine played the first-ever show at Seattle's Hard Rock Cafe on Tuesday, March 9. Their Tuesday-night residency (8 p.m.) continues through the end of the month.
Me: Hey, you wanna go see a show at the new Hard Rock Cafe tonight?
Friend: What is this, 1989? They're still opening Hard Rocks? They should be closing Hard Rocks in 2010. What's next, Planet Hollywood next door?
Me: Actually, um ...
After the show:
Me: So, what'd you think of the place?
Friend: I like it. It's the kind of place a single guy could get laid every night of the week.
There are three levels of the Hard Rock: The first floor boasts a bar, restaurant, and gift shop. The second is another bar overlooking Pike Street and the Market with room for about 500 people. With a few scattered tables in the room, and a cleared-off, empty dancefloor during the first of a month-long Tuesday night residency for Red Jacket Mine, the 100 or so paid customers made the room feel comfortably populated.Ah, yes, the third level is a rooftop deck. We got another peek last night. It wasn't open, as it will be the last section of the still soft(ish) opened Hard Rock to be opened.
The show room: Like the new Croc was when it first opened a year ago, the room's glossy, sparkly, and could go for a little breaking in. Like the Triple Door, you can get table service, my favorite excuse to go the DDD. Hard Rock servers wander around refilling airport-sized (16 or 20 ounces) glasses of Manny's. This is a very different space that either of the aforementioned rooms. It's kind of a nightclub, it's kind of a bar, it's kind of a restaurant. It's not a bad place to see a band play live, but it's a completely different experience than seeing a band play, say, the Sunset.
Red Jacket Mine: The set was solid, and the guys incorporated several elements into their show that I don't see enough of: 1. Non-country pedal steel; 2. Guitar solos played with proficiency and not irony; 3. Tasteful, un-self-conscious, crowd-pleasing covers (Neil Young's "Cinnamon Girl" and The Velvet Underground's "White Light/White Heat.").
BTW: The show ended at 9:53 p.m. For a Tuesday night, that's killer.