This past Saturday, we said goodbye to our dear, dear Visqueen. The duo of Rachel Flotard and Ben Hooker (with a rotating team of equally disarming and talented friends on bass and rhythm guitar throughout the years) charmed a sold out crowd one last time. The evening couldn't have been any more sweet, or touching, or amazing. It's the night that we will all be talking about for years to come, about the last time Visqueen rocked our socks off: the final Rachel in-between song banter that made us laugh so hard we cried, and a final song that was so stunning, I weep buckets at just the mention of it.
Rachel was able to cajole Broadcast Oblivion into reforming for this special night. I'll admit, it's been a while since I've listened to my copy of Transmita Olvido to sing along to "False Starts for Blackened Hearts" (on repeat), but it was magical to enter the showroom as they were working up a sweat. Capping off their set with a drum off between Ben Hooker and Coady Willis (who you might have recognized as a Murder City Devil), they really set the tone for the rest of the night: the next few hours were going to be full of surprises, and the fun of a good ol' fashioned party among friends. Visqueen entered the stage to “I Had the Time of My Life” from Dirty Dancing, hugging and laughing and taking the edge off of the finality of it all, and cementing the fact that when it comes down to it, we're all still going to be BFFs — nomatterwhat.
The set blew through all their greatest hits and hidden gems, including guest appearances from Kim Warnick (helping out on vocals for a song), Jon Rauhouse (on steel pedal guitar, aka "the crying machine"), Barb Hunter Antonio (cello), and imaginary favorite Pete Hilgendorf (who helped release their first record). After giving big hugs and thanks to friends and family, the show was wrapped up with a heart-wrenchingly beautiful version of "So Long" and a group hug. And then it was over, but in the most loving of ways.
But, the goodbyes are not all sad! The impending arrival of a little Flotard brought a joyous note to the night. This little one, when teamed with Hooker's toddler, Broadcast Oblivion's Dave Hernandez's little lady (who helped out on guitar at the end of the opening set) and John Roderick's lil laureate, leaves us oh-so-excited for the Rocker Class of 2030.