A night at the Tide
Our writer reviews a crowd at Flowing Tide Pub. The verdict: The opening act rocks the house
It’s Thursday night, and the road is covered in a quarter-inch of snow that’s had just enough time to melt and re-freeze into a solid sheet of ice. It’s a terrible night to go out. But local musicians can’t control the weather, and when I call the Flowing Tide Pub, they confirm that opening act Convicted Innocence and headliners Livitz Livitz will be playing at 10 p.m., as scheduled.
Still, after my date calls me to cancel, saying she’d really prefer not to die on the road tonight, and then I run my car into the first stop sign on the way, I just can’t believe anyone is going to show up.
So I’m pretty surprised when the Flowing Tide turns out to have exactly the same number of people that is always here—just a few too many to get to the bar or the bathroom without stepping on someone’s feet.
They’re the same kind of people you see at most local shows—two-thirds are male, and three-quarters are under 30. I see a guy buy $25 worth of shots and drunkenly forget his change; across the room, I watch another guy getting to second base with a girl in a low-cut red T-shirt.
I wonder: Is this Reno’s “local music scene?” Or just a bunch of people who happened to show up at the same place and time?
I decide to find out. I walk up to a booth where two girls and a guy in their early 20s are sitting and ask what they’re up to tonight. The guy, Jack, is from Winnemucca, and he’s in town just looking for some entertainment. The girls, Rosanna and Alma, are friends of Convicted Innocence’s drummer. I mentally tally up one point for “looking for entertainment” and two for “supporting local music.”
Next, I talk to a couple who turns out to be friends of the opening band, as well—Mike and Carey Angier. They sit at a table with a Texan who will only identify himself as “G.” Mike is here to see Convicted Innocence, and he apparently isn’t bothered by the fact that his wife used to date the guitarist.
“If these guys aren’t stars [soon], it’s either their fault or it’s a crying shame,” says Mike. “I’m dead serious about that. They’re pretty good.”
Then, I head over to the bar to see what people are doing there. The first guy I talk to, Todd, is the owner of the Blue Max. He’s here with his friend, a contractor who built a good portion of the Flowing Tide. I chalk up one point for “owner of another bar,” a category that gets two more points by the end of the night: Mike Van Brocklin of Esoteric Coffeehouse and Michelle Shea, former owner of Del Mar Station.
Is this some hidden demographic in the local music scene—bar owners?
I don’t linger on that thought too long.
My final verdict: This crowd enjoys Livitz Livitz, but it’s not the reason they’re here. Livitz adds to the atmosphere, but they haven’t created the scene. Those who aren’t here to see Convicted have come to hang out at the bar, but there’s no way to distinguish between the groups without asking. They’re about the same age. They’re having the same drinks, and the same good time.
And they’re definitely not afraid to drive in the snow.