Live music is a passion of mine. I love music festivals and often go to several concerts each month, totaling over 250 live bands that I’ve seen in my life. I used to be strictly a metal head, as far as I was concerned, hard rock was the only kind of music. Recently I’ve expanded my tastes to include many other types of music, basically I enjoy anything with “Rock” in the genre title: Alternative, jam, indie, etc. But I am definitely still a fan of hard rock.
Following a day of nothing worth mentioning, I drove over to St. Cloud to The Rox Bar, to see Bobaflex for the eighth time. So yeah, I’m a big fan and have been known to drive hundreds of miles to see them. It was a treat to have them basically in my back yard. Bobaflex is a hard rock band from West Virginia, the brothers Shaun and Marty McCoy are the direct descendants of the infamous McCoys of the Hatfield Family Feud, they share the lead vocals/guitarist role in the band. And ‘Bobaflex’ is somehow spawned from ‘Boba Fett.’
After 20 miles of driving on the freeway I found a parking spot, Forest chilled in the van and I walked up to the bar. I had no idea when the show was supposed to start, or when doors were supposed to open, the doors were locked. The manager came to the door and opened it asking if I was in the band, I nodded yes and walked in. Obviously I’m not in any of the four local bands that were there, nor am I in Bobaflex, but I do know the band well enough to walk in and sit down with Shaun and Marty as they’re finishing up their dinner. So, no questions asked and it was basically like chilling backstage. I did take note of an unfamiliar face at the table, but he didn’t say anything, and nothing was said about him.
“A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.” - Lao Tzu
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After sharing some conversations about their touring adventures their manager came in and made them go take showers. I found that kind of amusing, but I suppose, you have to put on your band face before you perform in front of a crowd. So, I was left at a table by msyelf and the two opening bands were the only other people in the place. At some point doors must have opened, but there wasn’t exactly a long line of people waiting to get in. Sound check was done and the opening local band hit the stage, it was a private show, just for me and about 3 other people that walked in from the bar next door. They sounded pretty good, it was quite enjoyable.
After a rather short set, and a set change, Downstait, the supporting band touring with Bobaflex, hit the stage and the crowd didn’t grow much. Having never heard of them, I quite enjoyed the music, I actually think I’ve heard one of their songs on XM Octane. After they got off the stage, I chatted briefly with them at their merch booth and bought a CD, their first merch sale in Minnesota! Before the set change, I shared a shot with Marty and wished him luck.
Bobaflex hit the stage, and right away I noticed that Mike had been replaced by the unknown guy from earlier. Later I asked Tommy about him, he was Chris Grogan, he and Tommy had played in a metal band many years back, so when Mike left for personal reasons, Chris happily joined the band. They played what seemed like an extremely short set in front of a crowd that still hadn’t grown much, my own private Bobaflex concert! It was great, it was mostly new music, I think they played 2 songs off of their first album, and only ‘Home’ from Tales From Dirt Town that I remember, no matter how hard I begged for ‘Born Again’ or ‘Turn the Heat up’ I got nothing.
Once they came off stage I shared shots with Shaun, chatted with Tommy, met Chris, chatted with the bar manager, and talked with a few of the others that had enjoyed the show. At some point somebody gave me a free copy of the new Bobaflex EP. A few more local bands took the stage, and eventually, around 1:00 am the evening came to an end. I was in no shape to drive, so I crawled into the back of my van and covered up with all of the winter clothing I had in there, this is why I usually store a sleeping bag in my vehicle, but I stayed warm enough to pass out for a few hours to sober up and drive home in the early hours of the morning, just knowing it’s going to be a rough day.