We love Arnold's for a number of reasons: a great physical space, a crowd that knows and loves live music, and a sense that you're a part of a tradition that stretches back well over 100 years, and will go on for another 100.
But Friday night reminded us not only of all of those things, but how much the staff and management matters to what makes Arnold's the coolest venue in town. Bockfest is Arnold's big event of the year. You know how your local Irish pub reaps half o' its green for the year on St. Patty's Day? This is a similar situation for Arnold's and Bockfest. When Jonathan got there at 5:00, it took him 20 minutes to get his guitars from his parking spot a half block away, through the crowd, to the stage. When I got there, I was afraid that we wouldn't be able to play, as the stage was full of heavy drinkers (not in the band). Both rooms and the courtyard were packed hip to hip, and ther ewas a mob scene outside of the bar, waiting to get in, and waiting for the Bockfest parade. It was this way all night, and we were able to throw down to our heart's content to a packed house all night. But despite the crowd, Ronda and the Arnold's crew, knowing that we'd never get anywhere near the bar itself, made sure we had beer and waters all night long, and got us food after aour show. They were busier with paying customers than they would be all year, and they still made sure to take care of us. Classy.
I hope they made a fortune this weekend. They deserve it.