We grew up in interesting times.  It’s sometimes hard to remember, but before our lives and our childhoods moved permanently online, we actually went out and interacted with the world around us.  We are old enough to have come of age when ‘going to the mall’ was still a viable and quite popular form of recreation for young people.  It was where so many of us heard what would become our favorite bands during our formative years at Sam Goody.  It was where we found our (in retrospect awful and embarrassing) style at places like Hot Topic, Hollister, or Abercrombie.  We hung out on the couches and watched videos of skateboarding legends like Bucky Lasek or Bob Burnquist at Zumiez.  And yeah, we giggled at the edible underwear and saw what a dildo looked like up close for the first time at Spencer’s. For all of us in those days, the mall became a meeting place, an afternoon hideaway, a genuine oasis in a suburban desert of banality.  After almost 18 months away from our hometown roots, and damn near 15 years removed from a time when so much of our youth revolved around it, we returned to Spring Hill at a familiar venue to us that was breaking in its brand new location.

The Chubby Bullfrog had become a popular haunt in its original location just off Huntley Road.  In fact, both Mike and Joe had been regulars there since its inception, routinely shutting the bar down after Blackhawks games and helping cultivate its reputation as a fun and friendly spot with great food and drink.  After outgrowing their original location, the bar moved to a new and larger spot located just next to the main entrance of Spring Hill Mall. Now able to book bands, Mike, the owner and manager of Chubby’s, reached out to us and we couldn’t wait to come back and perform.  The new location is great, featuring a large and well stocked bar, comfortable seating for lunch or dinner, TV’s galore to make sure you never miss a second of the game, and a raised stage area for bands.

We thought it would be funny to announce our triumphant return to both the bar and the area by putting “The Boys Are Back in Town” right at the start of the night.  The beginning on the set had quite a few tables still enjoying their dinners, but as the night went on, crowds formed to dance and enjoy themselves a bit closer to the stage.  The set featured a few new tunes, like “In a Big Country” (which Mike from Chubby’s let us know was his favorite song), some tunes we dusted off after a long hiatus like “Return of the Mack”, and a Timmy Martens special in “Oh Sherrie”. The Strokes even made a comeback:

#bigleagueboys hit at 9pm tonight. FREE SHOW! (damn you, Nick Valensi…) #thestrokes

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The funniest gag of the night was definitely the end of the show, where we counted down until midnight and it became March 11th before launching into “Down” by 311 to honor the national holiday. It was overall a fantastic experience, and all parties agreed that we would have to come back and do it again as soon as possible. Chubby Bullfrog is definitely one of our favorite establishments in the area, from the food to the accommodating and friendly staff. We can’t wait to come back!

– Brian

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