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Sparrow Saves the Day/Lafayette Plays the Villain

October 16, 2010

Last night was both an inspiring and vexing night for music in Lafayette. It began with a Jurassic Park basement show. The JP guys put together a solid line-up: Learner Dancer, We Are Hex, and Why I Like Robins.


Learner Dancer


Learner Dancer started things off. They’re a trippy prog rock duo from Bloomington. Their songs consisted of guitar and bass played over a pre-recorded drum track. For only two people, they had a rich, room-filling sound, with moody bass, distorted guitar and ethereal, grunge vocals.

Next up was We Are Hex, from Indianapolis.  I saw them play with Scarlet Grey and AFI in June (the show that inspired this blog, more or less), so I was excited to see them again in a smaller venue. It made my night when they played “Birthplace of Mystics.”


We Are Hex


But two songs in, We Are Hex’s set was cut short by the West Lafayette Police Department.


Click to see image source.

Uh Oh...


Angry Neighbor had called the cops, and the cops shut us down. Just like people who go to the beach and complain about sand, Angry Neighbor chose to live across the street from a major party school and complain about noise on a Friday night. Us 40 or so Jurassic Park kids were told to leave the basement and go home. Outraged and heartbroken, we tried thinking of alternative places to continue the show. It looked like all hope was lost…

Fortunately, Paul, the owner of the Black Sparrow, happened to be in the audience. He offered to let us continue the show at the  Sparrow. The bands agreed, fans rejoiced, and we made our way across the river.

We Are Hex just about blew the roof off the Sparrow. Jurassic Park kids got down to their slinky bass, booming drums, and distorted guitar. They’re like a punked out, more progressive, harder-rocking version of The Yeah Yeah Yeahs. It was the most head banging I’ve ever seen at the Sparrow.  And it wasn’t just the Jurassic Park crowd–the Sparrow regulars got into the band’s infectious energy. During “Cutter/Giver,” the crowd cheered Jilly (vox) as she sang atop bar stools and attempted crowd surfing.

We Are Hex was certainly a tough act to follow, but Why I Like Robins did a great job of keeping up the energy.


Not my photo--click to see source

Why I Like Robins


This local quartet is closely tied to the Sparrow–two of their members work there. They also have a following among Sparrow patrons. Why I Like Robins delivered straight-up indie rock with catchy riffs and well-layered guitars. Their polished sound reflects their experience–most of Why I Like Robins have played together in other bands for close to a decade.

Overall, I am impressed by how everyone pulled together to make this show happen. Paul’s generosity ultimately saved the day. But there is also something to be said for the fans who stuck around, who didn’t just go home after the cops shut things down. They hoofed it through West Lafayette and across the river to see the rest of the show. It’s further proof that there is a dedicated music community here.

While last night’s show survived, the Jurassic Park venue did not fare so well. In the wee hours of the morning, Jurassic Park posted the following announcement to their site:

“Mr. Hammond, after careful consideration, I’ve decided not to endorse your park.”

As a result of unchill neighbors and unchill cops, all future show at Jurassic Park have been cancelled for now :*(

Currently looking into a new location, get ready for Jurassic Park 2: The Lost World.


Click for image source.

A possibility?


I really hope to see Jurassic Park 2 happen!  Please contact the JP guys if you have any ideas/resources/a basement to share. Or, feel free to comment here!

Long Live the Scene!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 16, 2010 3:01 pm

    Totally lame. Still, hope they find another venue. That stage can definitely be moved!

  2. Swen permalink
    October 16, 2010 7:08 pm

    The show must go on! I’m glad they were a success in the end. But, I must offer one correction: Purdue is not, nor has it ever been, a party school. So much the opposite!

  3. Phil Z permalink
    October 17, 2010 3:58 pm

    I’m bummed to hear about this immediately after finding out about a possible venue space in West Lafayette! The problem is that I see tons of places you could do shows (even all-ages) here on this side of the river, but West Lafayette is a lot more difficult and the ONLY way that it would be possible to tap into the Purdue “scene” would be to have a venue close to campus. It’s a tough problem, especially with West Lafayette cops who devote full-time attention to making sure nothing gets too out of hand around Purdue…

  4. November 12, 2010 8:58 pm

    bar stools that are made from stainless steel are the best because they don’t tarnish often ‘.”

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