Tonight marked a pretty sad event, not only because we said goodbye to one of Bloomington’s musical gems, but also because the night ended with THE Nathan Vollmar getting on stage to confirm the rumors that while shows would still happen at the Cinemat, once it’s May shows were done, the venue would be closing. It really sucks that this has to happen now because in my opinion, the Cinemat is doing better than ever before as a venue. They’ve improved the space a lot over the past year, renovating the screening room, investing in quality sound and lighting equipment, and bringing some of the best shows to the Bloomington music community. I mean, just check out the schedule they have left. This week alone The Expolorors Club, Capillary Action, and Reacebannon are taking the stage. I’m really going to miss this place, because it really is the perfect “adult” all-ages venue.
So tonight marked that last show EVER for The Alarmists (Calm Down.), one of the most unique and exciting bands to hit the Btown scene. When it comes to describing this band key adjectives are that they are loud, funky, and amazing, and tonight was no exception. The boys went out in style to a packed crowd at the Cinemat with the help of the oh-so-indie-pop Amo Joy! from Indianapolis and Wisconsin band Sleeping in the Aviary.
I came in during the middle of Amo Joy!’s set so I missed out on getting a noisemaker, but the band was in full swing playing their classic “Diggity Doom”. They finished out strong with “Sidewalk Innovation”, and Sleeping in the Aviary took the stage. I was outside for part of their set, but what I caught was good. They got bonus point though, when their drummer sewed my button back on my coat for me, every woman loves a handy man.
By the time The Alarmists (Calm Down.) took the stage, the crowd was hyped up and ready. Jeremy Ness was settled behind his drum kit (famous for its inclusion of a timpani), and Andy Goheen was ready at his drum and cymbal. Neal Warner, who must be recognized as ‘a god on the bass’, did a last minute check on the looping machine, and Mike Bushman thanked the crowd for being there for the band these long three years. The band ripped into their first song, “Where Do You See Yourself in 10 Years”. That was one of three of their unrecorded tracks that were played. Then they got to the classics like “Diamonds”, “$35,000”, and “Hot Noise, Bright Lights”, which came complete with five do-overs. They claimed they wanted to get it perfect, but I say it’s just not an Alarmists show with out a few do-overs due to all the technical aspects involving timing and their looped tracks.
They finished the set with their usual closer “Anywar Ochola” and it was great hearing the crowd singing along from its start with Mike Bushman creating the three part harmony. Neal has sweet funky bass solo in that song and at its climax there’s a mass of noise coming from all the instruments. It was a great last show for this band, and although I would have loved to a last performance of “Suits and the Sleeze” (See video below!), I am definitely walking away from this show satisfied that I can put this band behind me, remembering the many great shows that led up to this one. Plus, we got Jeremy ‘the monster’ Ness to take his shirt off mid-set. Baller.
Here’s some live footage from a past show at Space 101:
(Ignore the Union Board commercial, music starts about 25 seconds in)
Trivia Fact: Mike and Neal have been best friends since kindergarten. How cute is that??
Flashback: 1st Alarmists (Calm Down.) Music Video: “Suits and the Sleeze”: