Musings on music, sports, life in general from Quincy, Illinois.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Maine Center, Gus

Two things to hit briefly on Memorial Day (and a badly-needed day off it is, too!).

First, the show Friday night at the Maine Center was incredible, one of the best live experiences I've had. There was some sort of issue with having it in the coffee shop, so it was moved to a room upstairs. Jon and I were unsure of what to expect .... acoustic blues in front of a bunch of high school kids isn't normally what we do. But we were stunned at the great reception they gave us. They actually listened to our songs and really got into a couple them, including Breakdown by Tom Petty. Craig Garkie from The Collapse told me kids these days actually like this kind of stuff and it really makes Jon and I feel good. We aren't the best players in the world but as long as you have the energy and intent the show will be good, and it was great fun during our half-hour set.

Young bands November Silence and The Collapse were awesome. The Collapse is discovering the power of playing before an enthusiastic audience. Singer Ryan Hanson at one point said, "It's so cool when people are singing along to your own songs." They've released a five-song CD called The Rooftop EP ( and it's playing right now and I can't stop listening to it - soon to be included on The iPod Shuffle!

Second - Gus Macker. Gus was great again and there were very few problems, just one idiot on a high school court who used some rather poor judgement. Emily and I officiated an 11-12 year old boys court and the parents were great, and except for a few minor incidents, the players stuck to playing. I was very proud of Emily, who blew the whistle down low for five games and did a great job.

To the person who posted on Rocky's site about Gus - don't blast us unless you come down and check it out. Yes, there are usually a few people who act stupidly, but the positive experiences of having 15,000 people downtown far outweigh the few negatives. And don't ever bother comparing the Free Fall convention to Gus, they aren't even remotely the same type of events.

Once again, The Funions are pretty much off in June, with some big events coming later in the summer .... we'll keep you posted!


Rocky Cola said...

Wish we had you as our ref. We were the court right next to you.

Our girls won the whole thing again, but the two Gusbusters had a tough time with it. Our team had no problem with the games or the refs, except they got extremely physical, and when the team wins, it certainly is more easy to have good sportsmanship.

They refs were great kids, probably both 18, but the parents from out of the area were on them the whole time. I think they were more than intimidated. Afterwards, they thanked our team, our kids shook their hands and then they said they appreciated our team but would never, ever ref again. I have no solution to this, except to agree that the positives outweigh the negatives.
And to keep the police closer to the North side of the event than the south side.

Anonymous said...

Macker provides a great time for the younger kids but appears to have become a thug magnet. I watched several relatives play on Hampshire and almost felt like we needed security just to walk through the crowd. We also saw several fights on the court at 5th & Hampshire but I guess since no one was hauled away on a stretcher there were no arrests. The guy is right on Rocky's site --- it isn't the place to take one's 10 year old daughter to learn to dress for success. Some of the teams appeared to have had a lot of time together on the prison courts. Thugs. Who needs it.

rodney hart said...

I saw you, Rocky. I saw the two Gus Busters. At least the girl blew the whistle once in a while. The guy had his back pinned on the backboard and didn't do much. At least he was there.

A tournament is only as good as its Gus Busters, and in Quincy we have so many courts and teams that's it really hard to find enough quality people.

Your comment I appreciate. The other I don't. Didn't see you volunteer your entire weekend, pal.

By the way, Rocky .... we gotta pin down a date!

Anonymous said...

Gus Macker is a great event for the city. I'm sure there were some hoochies but take a trip to your local mall, school, or even church- Prosti-tots are everywhere.

And as for the "thug" thing- heck, didn't this city proudly host some Hell's Angels bike leader at that shop out by Wal-Mart for a book-signing a few years back? You need to get out more if you were scared in downtown Quincy on a weekend afternoon.

rodney hart said...

Good post, thanks!

Anonymous said...

what comment on Rocky's site?? it's not there....