Downtown dad: A Weekly writer takes her father to the Bunkhouse

Late-night dad: Hanging tough, band or no band.
Photo: April Corbin

Obviously, I’m biased, but I think I have a pretty cool dad. He’s obsessed with World of Warcraft and makes a lot of wiener jokes (about our dachshund Bitsy, of course). That said, my dad isn’t cool-cool. He doesn’t hang out in bars, or anywhere except his Friday night bowling league. So, when my dad expressed interest in seeing my brother-in-law’s band, Number 3 Pencils, I knew I had to drag him Downtown.

I pick him up at 10 p.m. on Saturday, which is relatively early for a Bunkhouse show but dangerously close to my dad’s normal bedtime. When we arrive, along with my boyfriend, sister and brother, the doorman asks our group for IDs. My dad doesn’t pull his out, and the doorman doesn’t ask twice.

“I am definitely the oldest one here,” Dad says once he gets to the bar and orders a Miller Lite.

“I think there’s a really old dude on the other side of the bar,” my boyfriend points out encouragingly.

We sit through the first band, Atlas Takes Aim, which my dad reviews as “not bad,” then the bad news: Someone has screwed up. Number 3 Pencils now has to play last, rather than second as originally scheduled.

The Bunkhouse: A place for you (or your dad) to catch some local live music.

“If you have to leave, I understand,” my sister tells my dad. “They won’t go on until well past midnight.”

“Stupid local shows,” I mutter. “They never go as planned.”

“As they shouldn’t,” my dad responds, eerily unmoved by the change of events. “I’m good as long as you are!”

My dad’s no quitter. I suppose I should know that. Not giving up on things when the going gets tough was one of those life lessons he taught me as a kid. Still, I never realized that rule applied to $5 cover shows as well as learning to play the viola.

Not everyone agreed on the quitting thing, though. Number 3 Pencils drummer Anisa Buttar (a dear friend of mine) informs me that the band is taking a stand against the promoter for changing the set times without a valid explanation. As the Pencils peace out, I walk back to my dad and tell him we can leave. No show tonight.

My sister is livid about the last-minute set-time switch, but my dad remains unfazed. Then again, he hasn’t been out since his company Christmas party.


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