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WE GOT SLOBBERIN' DRUNK
AT THE PALOMINO

Actually, we just caught a nice buzz, but how often do you get to quote that Zappa lyric? Anyway, the storied L.A. club reopened for one night, Big Machine's Midland played and it was magic. 

For those who remember it, the Palomino—way up on Lankershim in North Hollywood—was a sanctuary where the booze was cheap, the crowd was filled with true musicheads and anything could happen. Hell, I saw Fogerty jump up on that stage and jam with a local band, though I wasn't there on the legendary night he, George Harrison, Dylan and Taj Mahal all performed together.

But nothing good ever lasts, like the old song says, and the Palomino shut its doors in 1995.

Thanks to the ever-lovin' Holly Gleason and the band's team (we see you, Jake Basden), the space was returned to its honky-tonkin' glory for a single night on 10/15, and a packed house sipped Dos Equis and Tito's vodka and witnessed a joyous, sweltering, at times gloriously loose set by Midland, who dug into the material on their killer Let It Roll album as well as earlier hits.

Mark, Jess, Cam and company were clearly moved by the moment, having been striding on much bigger stages of late but in love with the time-traveling whimsy of playing on the Palomino stage, reactivated for one night just like Brigadoon.

Much has changed in recent years, with marriages and kids (manager Matt Graham was said to be in the hospital with his wife, who was on the verge of delivery—mazels to all), and the sense of reflection deepened every emotion on display. Highlights included the insanely catchy "Mr. Lonely," the rockin' "21st Century Honky Tonk American Band" (with its surprising, achingly lovely bridge), the smooth and soulful "Let It Roll," the steamy "Put the Hurt on Me," and the sweet 'n' sad "I Love You Goodbye," as well as early hits ike the indefatigable "Drinkin' Problem" and the soft-rock miracle "Burn Out."

And then it was over, everyone put their Midland code in their Lyft apps and the Palomino vanished into the mist. But it was really nice to have it back for a night.

Sandbox Entertainment boss Jason Owen, Midland's Cam and Mark, CAA Music chief Rob Light, Midland's Jess and Big Machine's Jake Basden and Allison Jones all note that the Palomino was just a little too close to HITS' old offices, a place where, it's rumored, the cockroaches once went on strike for better working conditions.

 

Photo Credit: Timothy Norris/Getty Images for Big Machine Records

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