KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The assistant manager of Rocky’s Tavern told celebrated Bloomington, Ind. indie-rockers Silverdream that they could “…just set up under the big screen behind the pool table over there” for their show last night, according to several members of the band.
“Yeah — I told them they could throw their gear over there in that corner, but I also told them they sure as hell better not stack anything on top of the pool table. We just put new felt on that,” said assistant manager Dave Turlaine, lighting a cigarette and watching the Tennessee-Florida college football game on the big projector screen while speaking with Silverdream. “I also let them know they get two drink tickets for the band to split, and that we’re charging for water tonight.”
Other patrons of Rocky’s, mostly wearing burnt-orange Tennessee Volunteers athletic apparel, were reportedly “completely uninterested” in Silverdream, until their auxiliary percussionist wheeled in his trademark “Racket Rack” — which included a xylophone, mini-gong, and windchimes — and blocked half of the giant screen showing the game.
“Is this gonna be some dumbass hippie music or something?” asked one patron, who insisted on anonymity. “I don’t come out to Rocky’s to see some college kids read bullshit poetry; I come here because it’s walking distance from my house, and I just got a third DWI.”
“Either way, they better shut the fuck up during the game,” the patron later added.
Eyewitnesses confirmed that, following some light boos during their soundcheck, the members of Silverdream largely cowered in a corner booth for the next couple of hours.
“I told [Silverdream] not to get offended if they hear some hollerin’ at random times — this is a big SEC matchup, and we sure as fuck ain’t turning the TV off,” said Turlaine, blowing his bulbous nose into a cocktail napkin before yelling at departing barbacks about a day-shift tip-out dispute. “Also, I handed them some fliers with our drink specials that they could pass around before they play. I think that’ll help them connect more with the folks here.”
At press time, the bassist for the “Best of Bloomington 2017: Band of the Year” was playing darts with the banjo player from local opener Mountain Town, while Turlaine was trying to reach the owner of Rocky’s to find out “…where she put the dang keys to the utility closet, where we keep the speakers and stuff for the music people.”