Underpass  6-8-02
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One might think that a second acoustic set by Brian Fitzpatrick and Ed Fritz following so close on the heels of their recent Bitter End show might seem just another performance of...well,  the same performance.  But just as the same people are complex and ever-changing life forms who exhibit different traits and different sides of themselves on different days or in different situations, so the art created by such beings is likewise constantly taking on new shapes and colors, ultimately becoming a whole new life form of its own.  And, of course, a large part of this process is related to environment.  With that in mind, it only stands to reason that the Underpass -- this "base", if you will, to which Brian and his cohorts continue returning again and again creates something of a feel not captured anywhere else.  While I'm sure the building wasn't constructed on this premise, it seems fitting that the bar should form a circle that occupies very nearly the whole room... for indeed the atmosphere laced with fun, laughter, cooperation, occasional chaos and the serious thoughts shared from the stage do, in a way, conjure images of a unity worthy of an updated version of The Round Table.  And while indeed it may not be occupied by knights attired in polished armor on the outside, still as the artists fight their wars of inner conflict, encouraged and built up by the jeans-clad squires cheering them on, this often smoke-filled and dimly lighted suburban bar does somehow magically transform -- okay maybe not quite into Camelot -- but nonetheless on any given evening, still a very special place.    

The Underpass

As he'd done at The Bitter End last Monday night, once more Brian opened with the beautiful "Forgotten Sounds"...



    "In my darkest night,
       when cold fear, it
       gripped my soul...

     When clouds obscured
       the light, I'd forgotten
       everything I know...

     The waters of dignity,
       purity and pride
       had all run dry..." 



...then moved on to "Cross That Line", for which he was joined by Ed on accordion...



"I know it's just
    a matter of 

  But I ain't left
    you yet...

  But one of these

  I'm gonna cross
    that line."



...and what seems to be an Underpass favorite -- a cover of an "old country song" entitled "Give Back The Key To My Heart"...for a verse of which Ed (very capably) performed lead vocal duties...


       "Give back my TV...

         It don't me that much 
           to me...






          "While you're giving back
                my things,

            Give back the key 
               to my heart..."


On a more somber note, Brian next introduced, "Thinking" by explaining that it was written for his late friend, Paul, who also happened to be a prior owner of the Underpass...a song to which he added a short preface in Paul's honor...





  "Thank you for the days,
      and every single day
      you gave me...

   I bless the light that shines
     on me, you gave me...

   And every single day,
     although you're gone,
     you're with me..."






  "I found myself thinking,

    Wondering what went

     On that misty August

      When I found out
         you were gone..."



Next came the great new song Brian had first played on his last visit to The Underpass, and shared again last week at The Bitter End..."Further Down The Line"...with Ed once more contributing accompaniment on piano...




  "With every dream there
       comes a cost,

    And somewhere out there
        we got lost...

    Do you ever think about
        me, baby,

    And wonder if I'm still



...and then another brand new song, also debuted at a prior Underpass show.  About a relationship's demise, "Crown King's Laundromat" utilizes a simplistic slice of everyday life to depict underlying realities in a most effective way...needless to say, I think this is a truly outstanding song. -- not to mention one that puts a whole new "spin" on "coming clean"...



          "Six o'clock in the evening,
              Crown King's Laundromat,
              33rd and Buffalo...

            You and me ain't talking...
               staring at your sneakers,
               lookin' out the window
               pretendin' I don't care...

            Who is he...

            'Cause that lingerie you're
                 taking out, you never
                 wore for me..."



At last Brian returned to more familiar ground in the form of "Broken Heart Reprise"...a song he explained he'd written about "a ruthless evening many moons ago...may she forever suffer...no, I'm not bitter".  You can decide for yourself based on the lyrics (and the intensity with which he sings them) whether or not to believe that last part...


        "You can talk all
           you want,
           you've got 
           nothing to say,

         Let you control
           me, there ain't
           no way...

         I aint' gonna let
           it get me down,

        'Cause I know
          someday yours
          is gonna come


After this Brian pulled out "Smells Like Piss", another "oldie" from his repertoire, one which he said he doesn't play live much.  Upon reflection, he added, "I don't think I've ever played it live, actually...hmm, here's a song I never played!"


  "So I keep pushing on,
       hoping they'll be a 
       better day somewhere...

   Although sometimes 
      you know it seems

   Like all the love was drained
      out of this world so long

   But like a fool I still believe;

   I believe in love...

   I believe in love..."


Finally (though as always much too soon!) Brian thanked Ed (to whom the audience showed well deserved appreciation with very warm applause) and announced that the time had come for their last song, the always fitting epilogue, "North Woods"...


  "I want to 
    you for

    much to 


And on  that note Brian and Ed left the stage to another round of incredibly enthusiastic shouts and applause... that, of course, served as an even more fitting epilogue to their always amazing work...and to which I can only add the postscript...

Thanks much, Bri and Ed!

See you next time!!!

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