We're here for a good time,
Not a long time.
So have a good time -
The sun can't shine everyday.
It was a date I'd had circled on my calendar for a while now - a night that I was both looking forward to and dreading all the same.
The last night of Steve Agnew & Branded at Gavan's.
The last night of Steve Agnew & Branded ever.
I've had "Steve Agnew weekends" circled on my calendar for about four years now. We just happened to be at Gav's one night when they were playing one fateful winter night, and a group of us went up and starting talking to the guys during one of their breaks. They were so funny and friendly that they won me over right on the spot.
Okay, so I had a little crush on the bass player at the start. Who didn't? Chris was buff and hot. I got over it, though (after discovering he had a wife, and a girlfriend...it's a long complicated story). After moving past the little schoolgirl crush that I had, it didn't take long to start thinking of all the guys - Steve, Rob, Chris, and Quentin - as friends. Maybe not friends I saw very often. And I only spoke to them basically at Gavan's. But they all had warm personalities that made me feel as though they actually were glad to see us and that they really did want to know what we'd all been up to here in the little town of Quyon.
For awhile, we "chased" the band - we went to McCann's Pub in Arnprior, Finnegan's in Renfrew, and even to some anniversary weekend in Campbell's Bay to see the guys. We weren't groupies - just fans who had a great time listening to them play and dancing up a storm. The "chasing" ended quite a while back, but we still made sure to head out to Gav's when the guys were in town. The past four years have held many memories and great times. A lot of things have happened in the past four years. We've all seen big changes in our lives. Somehow, though, the band was always one of the "highlights".
I still can't believe Saturday night was the last time we'll ever see them all together on stage again.
There were a few special moments from Saturday night. I missed seeing the "last clap" - in the Alabama medley, when the guys put their hands over their heads and clap to the beat - because I was deleting pictures off my camera. But I didn't miss hearing Rob singing the back up parts of "Here for a Good Time". (He pretended at first that he had to fix his mic, but he eventually pulled through and belted 'er out). It was also funny to watch all the wives and girlfriends take the stage as the guys challenged them to play a song. (Quentin's wife did a little drumroll, but the other ladies just hung those guitars around their necks and looked lost.) I got in a few good pushes on Rob's pedals. Then Sara took one last picture of me sitting on the stage. Sara and I even danced like Meg & Roxanne from American Dreams - just like the old days.
For me, a part of the night I'll always remember was during their last set when Steve invited me on-stage to sing with them. I've often grabbed the mic and shouted into it on the dance floor, but never got up on-stage. When I made Chris hand me down the mic this time, Steve asked me to get up with them, and I jumped at the chance. (Yes, I've got that little part of me that still wants to be a star. Fueled by the rye and having lost all judgment, I didn't hesitate. Someone really should have stopped me!) After a botched attempt at singing "Picture" where I completely blanked on the words, I then gave a really pathetic performance of "Free Fallin". There was no applause, there were no raucous shouts of Encore! The only shout I heard was Woermke yelling, "Jill, you can't sing!"
But it didn't matter to me. I got to be up there with Steve Agnew & Branded on their last night at Gavan's. Their last night ever. I had a blast.
When the last notes of "You Shook Me All Night Long" finally faded away, and the lights came on, we said our good-byes to Chris & his girlfriend Jodie, and asked them to say bye to the rest of the guys (who had disappeared outside or into the bathroom or something), and that was it. It was all over.
So many fun nights. All the dancing and drinking and hooting and hollering and letting loose and having fun. All of the jokes and singing and carrying on with the guys. All the times we helped to tear down (Sara wrapping chords with Chris while I had to lug around big amps or something with Steve). All the laughter and the memories.
Forgive me if I sound a bit melodramatic, but it really is the end of an era.
I really am going to miss those Branded Monkeys.