I Suck Huh? Well Don’t Tell That To Manassas.

This past weekend, I was playing at a bar (that shall remain nameless) close to my house in Manassas, VA. It wasn’t very crowded, and with about 15 minutes left in my last set, there were only about a dozen local patrons left smoking and drinking their Saturday night away. This wasn’t a posh DC Martini Bar… this was a LOCALS bar. The kind of place that looks at you funny if you order anything other than a bud light. Half the men there had a Harley parked out front. Everybody smoked. Every conversation I overheard had an average of 4.5 swear words per sentence. It reminded me of the bar my Dad used to bring me in as a kid. (Yeah, I know.. that’s another story altogether).

Anyway, in the middle of one of my songs late in the night, the only sub-25 year old in the bar walks out. Since I was set up right next to the front door, he was able to look over at me as he was walking out and say “You suck!”. I will admit, it surprised me a bit. I’ve played hundreds of shows, and that has just never happen before. The crowd that night was super supportive, and I thought they were really diggin’ what I was playing. When I finished that song, I told the crowd what he said, and a round of jeers pursued insisting that he is an idiot, and I was great. The bartender walked up and told me that the guy was pissy because he was drunk and just puked all over the floor, so they kicked him out. Okay, self confidence restored. I just wish I had a chance to say something back to his drunk arse.

So 10 minutes later, I finish my last song of the night. The crowd pleads for one more. Okay, you twisted my arm. I start playing “Wagon Wheel” by Old Crow Medicine Show when my dreams were answered. “You know who” walks back in. I instantly stop in the middle of the song and speak clearly into my mic for all the crowd to hear: “Oh, look who’s back! It’s the kid that thinks I suck. I don’t go to your job and tell you that you suck at flippin burgers do I?!”. The kid freezes in front of me, obviously shocked that I put the spotlight on him. He was probably also thinking that he considers himself a pretty good burger flipper. Some lady then yells out “so do you really think he sucks?” and approaches us. She gets in his face and starts yelling at him. He is a deer in the headlights. He admits he said that I sucked. Slightly-drunk-but-awesome-lady is nose to nose yelling at him as about 6 other patrons approach and start berating him with verbal assaults. It was then that the drunk kid decides to move from “nose to nose” with her to “lip to lip” as he gives her an unwanted kiss just to make her angry. The crowd flips.

Punches thrown.

Bar fight spills out the door.

I just start playing Wagon Wheel again, with a big smile on my face.

Thank you Manassas.

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