If you’ve ever seen the movie “Jaws,” you probably remember Robert Shaw’s Captain Ahab-like character Quint, and how he crushed his can of Narragansett Beer, causing Robert Dreyfuss to crush his little styrofoam cup to try and appear equally manly. ‘Gansett, as Narragansett Brewing Company is called ’round these parts, was founded in Cranston, RI. While the majority of ‘Gansett beer is no longer brewed and bottled in Rhode Island, the name is still a source of pride for folks. This summer, in honor of the 40th anniversary of “Jaws,” ‘Gansett brought back the iconic can design seen in the movie and ran a “crush it like Quint” ad campaign.
They also sponsored a kick-ass “ExtravaGansett” block party at The Parlour in Providence this past weekend, celebrating the unofficial end to summer that Labor Day represents.
Moonie was a little scared of his photo opportunity inside the jaws of Jaws, but I told him the shark’s name is really Bruce and he’s really quite nice and was only scary because he was a good actor. Moonie then happily jumped into my mouth, shouting, “You’re Bruce!”, and had us pose together inside Jaws’ jaws. I sure hope his feet were clean.
Then Moonie relaxed enough to pose for his very own photo, loosening up from the ‘Gansetts he’d sipped. He was cracking himself up with this shark joke:
“Why did the shark cross the Great Barrier Reef?
To get to the other tide!”
He got even more hyper when his lovely friend Jen Long got up to play some music on the famous Whale Guitar, jumping and cheering. Moonie adores Jen.
He finally calmed down just enough to enjoy a great set by Barn Burning, who played great original songs followed by a nice cover of Neil Young’s “Round and Round.” They sounded terrific even with just four members, explaining that drummer Joram was tied up with pre-wedding errands.
Next up were Smith & Weeden, who are wonderful and who I like a lot, but who use the word “fart” in one of their songs to Moonie’s delight, giving him everlasting giggles. I tried to distract him by tucking him away in my purse for a nap, but when the word arose, I heard a muffled but mirthful “HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE” of joy that lasted all through the rest of their set.
(Also, band member Dylan Sevey drummed so hard on one song that his sunglasses went flying, and his face immediately registered the joy of having rocked his own face off.)
Finally, Will Houlihan played beautifully soulful music under his stage name Haunt the House, bringing a rowdy crowd that had moved from an outside block party to the inside of a bar nearly to its knees. Moonie finally sobered up a bit, his round eyes getting rounder when Will gravitated between falsettos and huskiness. I think Moonie even teared up a bit.
Haunt the House was followed by interesting music, paired with even more interesting visual effects, by Willard Grant Conspiracy, but we had to leave before seeing the bands after them, as by then Moonie was hiccuping from all the Gansetts he’d drunk so he could try and crush the cans “like Quint.”
Which in his tiny hands looked more like they’d been nicked by BB gun pellets.