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I Shot the Band: Funhouse

Band: Funhouse

Song: "Old Time Rock 'n' Roll"

Date Added: June 24, 2008

Shooter: Chicagolandband

Locale: Bradley Fireman's Fish Fry, Bradley, Ill.

Video quality: Good

Sound quality: Good

Creativity: Strong. Serious panning action for crowd reax, zooming in on band members when they're soloing.

Difficulty: None. Free concert at at Kankakee County fish fry.

Overall Beachwood Shaky-Cam Rating: 8 (out of 10)

dead_fish.jpgComments: "You've been a great crowd, give yourselves a hand!"

Nothing says cheesy classic rock cover band more than that one line. And Frankfort's Funhouse has the fromage, from what we can tell from this five-minute clip of the thirty-something dudes wrapping up a big night at the Bradley Fireman's Fish Fry. We can tell from the video time stamp that this happened on June 14.

Shooter Chicagolandband must have some connection to the band, either by blood or by marriage, because he or she puts some tender loving care into this session, with some very impressive use of the zoom function to zero in on individual band members as lead singer Dean Schuldt introduces them and lets the guys take off on their solos, all the while churning out that all-time fave, Bob Seger's "Old Time Rock 'n' Roll." If there was ever a better song for a classic rock cover band to close a set with, I'd like to know what it is. It just seems right after a long night of "I Want You To Want Me" and "Vehicle."

The video, in addition to the artistic band shots, also includes some fine crowd visuals . . . these people were attracted by that satisfying combination of fish and beer. You've got the jumpin' l'il kids (way past bedtime), the drunken, fist-waving guy who really feels the old-time rock 'n' roll, the biker-looking guy off on the side who's too savvy to actually move much, and the middle-of-the-frame band-starer. Some variation of this last person appears in every band video at some point. Hmmmm, not many ladies here. They must not like the old time rock 'n' roll so much.

Oh, and about the Bradley Fireman's Fish Fry, this is from its official press release (please note the parts about how disgusting fish really are and how waiting in long beer lines is actually F-U-N, fun):

"On the short list of things that are distinctively Kankakee County, the Bradley Firemen's Fish Fry ranks up there. If you've lived here longer than a week, you probably know the basics - the best-tasting fish is battered and deep fried, and it usually comes with coleslaw and French fries.

"But the people at the Village of Bradley Fire Department want you to know more about this curious phenomenon. The standard explanation for the unique Kankakee County tradition is that it evolved because the state's big Catholic population was banned from eating meat on Fridays during Lent. But there is much more to it than that, including the fishing culture of the Potawatomi Indians who lived around the Kankakee River.

"The only way for the Potawatomi to survive here was to eat fish, which they dried so they could make it through winter. There were populations who spent their lives making nets and cooking fish. Then all these immigrants descended on the area - Scandinavians, Belgians, French, Germans, Poles, whose cultures also relied heavily on fish. There's a love-hate relation with fish. There's something disgusting about fish, the way they smell, the huge quantities of them, the dead fish on shore.

"Cooking massive amounts of fish for big groups of people has been going on as long as there have been fishing cultures, usually in private gatherings and as fund-raisers. But it wasn't until around the time of Prohibition that eating fried fish in taverns and restaurants became part of Kankakee County's social fabric. The first evidence of commercial fish fries was an advertisement in the 1920s. Taverns had to find ways to bring people into their businesses because they could no longer sell alcohol, so they started offering fried fish on Friday nights. It was cheap enough for the whole family.

"And when Prohibition was lifted, people were so accustomed to their Friday night fish fry outings that they kept on going. But from then on, there was beer and brandy old-fashioned to wash down the fish. Even though Friday night fish fries are relaxed and casual, they have their own special etiquette.

"So remember at the Bradley Firemen's Fish Fry: you might have to wait in line at the beer tent, or for some of the best fish in Kankakee County, but that is the best part of the fun. (And you single folks . . . you never know who you could meet in line.) You will have a chance to meet people and find out the latest community gossip!"

Gossip on this, Kankakee County! Here's Funhouse making those dead fish really sizzle!


Previously in I Shot the Band:
* Company of Thieves: At Welles Park covering OutKast.


Posted on June 25, 2008

MUSIC - Britney's IUD.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - Locked Out And Loaded.

BOOKS - Foxconned.


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