In case you hadn’t realized already, the Mike N’ Molly’s beer garden is truly the place to be for live local music in downtown Champaign these days. It’s spacious and inviting, the PA won’t destroy your eardrums, and it’s got a good beer selection to boot. This is all fine and dandy on most days, but when the weatherman cries “precipitation,” everyone starts to get a little worried about playing outside.
This didn’t stop Ryan Groff and Mike Ingram from performing their duet rendition of Radiohead’s The Bends in support of Nashville’s Parachute Musical and Heypenny last Tuesday, however. Amid reports of a storm, the two local rockers pushed all doubt aside and told the crowd just what they wanted to hear: “It doesn’t matter if it rains — we’re playing anyway!”
And play they did. Instead of putting together a string of covers they decided to craft a truly unique set. The performed the entirety of The Bends without accompaniment, without much practice, and definitely without any shame.
Parachute Musical, under guidance from Ryan, raced through their set of show-tune-like indie rock at lightning speed. I wouldn’t want my Rhodes rained on, either:
The most unexpected surprise of the night had to be Heypenny. Filling the opening slot for the show, they busted out the dance beats and the three-part harmonies like none other. Unfortunately, my tape got slightly eaten by a transcoder machine, so the first minute has a few hiccups here and there, but don’t let it prevent you from enjoying their addictive song “CopCar”: