I can't say that last night was the best night I'd ever experienced at the Mousetrap. I would actually be inclined to report that it was amongst one of the least enjoyable times I've had out on the town in a few months. It's not the New Old Calvary's fault. They were fine. However, there were many factors that were not fine with my evening last night, and I would like to extrapolate upon them.
The first incident of the night was my encounter with the incorrigible bouncer at the side door exchanging money and tickets. I informed him the publication for which I was writing the night's review for, and he glared at me with an irritated stare. After shelling out the entrance fee, I entered into the bluegrass sounds of the New Old Calvary.
A Bloomington-based band, New Old Calvary is an act with which I feel relatively familiar. I've seen them play several of the smaller hippie festivals down near the I.U. campus area, and they have a rather large fan base. Serving up their standard fare of original material, with a Grateful Dead cover thrown in, the guys were pretty on point themselves. Their bluegrass, folksy pickings sounded almost as clean at the Trap as they have at their outdoors venues, but not quite. The music felt a tad bit crunched. Nonetheless, their tunes had the bearded, tie-dyed crowd hypnotized as they jigged the night away. No pair of pants was safe with all this mindless jigging going on, and ultimately my jeans were soaked in about three different sorts of beers. It was clear, these unfettered hippie-moshers left any semblance courtesy at the door.
Now, this wasn't an exceptionally crowded evening for the Mousetrap. There was a decent pull, but the amount of creepy older men seemed to be exponentially high. The worst part about this was that due to the small space of the venue, there was no escaping their clutches once they had you targeted. My friends and I fell victim to several different guys, whose rude conversation and demeaning comments added to the already mounting un-pleasantries of the night. By this point, the music had morphed into a sort of unstoppable background noise. Venturing towards the stage to dance and partake in the merriment resulted in beer-baths and undesirable physical contact, while remaining in the back made one potential prey for one of the lurking men. By this point, the evening wasn't even fun.
In a blending of all the unsavory factors of last Friday night, it will probably be some time before I venture back there again. I'll save the New Old Calvary for those festivals, and hope for a better time next time.