If this is the new "normal" way to watch live music than count me in!! 😁 To paraphrase Rikk Agnew: Quarantine life is just the life for meeeee... hahahaha My home stereo sounds better than most club PA's, so when the videos sound good it's great, but when it's in a garage with a shitty mix, not so much. All drums and vocals... ouch For some of the bands it was better that they sounded like that though 😂😂😂 Yeah, that Lean 13 Facebook live event was quite the strain on the ol' ears, to say the least. Its a great concept though - playing live on Facebook with as minimal human interaction as possible, but the sound quality is definitely an issue that needs to be addressed. It was rough. I was pushing buttons and twisting knobs on my home stereo to try to make it sound good but then gave up after a while and just listened to it au natural. I figured I was getting soft and spoiled in my old age, looking for good sound quality like I was. I mean, shitty sound at a punk rock gig, who would of thunk it, right? After a few beers and a few bong hits it all sounded listenable though... 😎 Just like an actual real gig, this one started late, with the opening band Kapital Punishment either unaware of their start time or not caring about it. Either or is a pretty PFR thing to do... heh
Kapital Punishment is comprised of 3 veteranos of the LVHC scene. It's basically the rhythm section of IDFI with Punk Rock Jones on guitar and vocals. Why? I don't know... hahahahaha These guys have been at it since they were kids, and now they're old men still out there fucking shit up like they used to do when they were kids. Kind of cool to see. They play an in-your-face obnoxious and angry sounding style of abrasive Punk Rock and it's definitely an acquired taste. Think Cattle Decapitation but with a more hardcore Punk element to it. They've definitely gotten better since the last time I saw them, that's for sure. Bill and Jimbo's tight as fuck backbeat and bottom end hold it all down musically while Tom's guitar squeals and screams over the top of it all, with everyone in the band yelling into a microphone about gawd knows what and sounding good while doing it, and with song titles like You're Not Punk, Getting Nowhere, Don't Be Stupid and Time To Kill, Kapital Punishment show that they have a little bit more to say than the ignorant 'who cares let's get drunk and party' message prevalent among local bands nowadays. They played their full set and then just walked off. And that was that. Funny to hear Tom thank everyone for coming out though... 😁 I like how even the guys in Kapital Punishment know it's a bad idea to let Tom talk too much... heh Good set.
After a long delay trying to get their guitar to work, Gob Patrol stepped into Carlos' garage and began to stagger through their typical "too drunk to punk" set of basic tunes, and it's pretty bad. Messy. It's almost like they don't even know their own material, signaling changes to each other mid-song, which is endearing in a childish sort of way. The bassist looks lost, Jay the guitar player is rudimentary and clumsy, eyes never leaving the neck of his guitar and the fretboard, the drummer struggles with the basics, speeds up and slows down like everyone else in the band and the singer just spews and staggers and struts and spins around, seemingly oblivious to everything while mass consuming beers in a most heroic fashion. I'm enjoying the visual spectacle of it all as it unfolds in front of me, vibing on the band a wee little bit, when they do exactly what they did the last time I saw them - they play a shitty, atrocious cover song in the middle of their set, and I just tune the fuck out. If you're gonna play a cover shouldn't you play it right? 🤣 Last time it was a Germs song, this time it's an Operation Ivy song. Ugh. If a bands original material is so weak that it needs to be bolstered by covers in the middle of their set then I just don't even bother watching after that. Guess I don't have that high school band backyard kegger mentality anymore. Rats. I went crack open another beer while waiting for Lean 13 to start. No waiting in line or trying to get a bartender's attention to get a drink either. Sweet. 🍺
I heard Paul's loud ass voice yelling stuff into the microphone, so I headed back to the TV to watch Lean 13 play and to see how the band was doing since the last time I saw them. They opened with Brown Ass Pride and it sounded sloooooow, shaky, and scary, like a runaway truck with no brakes coming down the Cajon pass. I think they were having problems hearing the vocals. It didn't sound good but they soldiered on. The addition of the second guitarist, who just wails and solos at every given opportunity, gives the band a crossover Metal sound, like a less intense Crumbsuckers or some later day metal sounding Suicidal Tendencies shit, I dunno. Sounds like something that could of been found on the Combat Core label back in the days. More Metal than Punk ya know? The band struggles through a couple of more songs, a new one I don't know and Fighting These Frijoles, from their 2018 Drinking In The Parking Lot release, with everyone losing the beat and their place in the song, and I'm losing interest in finishing watching this. It's hard to be objective towards a band that you know sounded better before and is just a shadow of it's once great self, limping along in a quest for popularity that's never gonna come. I just decided to call it a day. I had tormented myself enough. This Facebook Live Stream shit may be the wave of the future for seeing bands play, and if it is, I'm all for it. I could get used to seeing bands without paying for parking, paying for overpriced drinks, paying a shitty cover, and paying for cheap shots thrown at me while I'm trying to take pictures of bands. In these crazy times a band's gotta do what they gotta do to stroke their egos and fulfill their masturbatory need the perform in public, and if setting up a stationary camera in someone's garage is the way to do it, then I say more power to them. That's DIY as fuck! And it's great for the fans of the bands because it requires even less of an effort to show your support for your friends musical passion and art! hahahaha Besides the sound this was a fun way to kill a couple of hours. I give all the bands an 'A' for effort, which is the equivalent of a participation trophy I guess. 😝
Battalion Of Saints / False Confession / Circle One / Headnoise / Hymen Blasters@Regal Inn in Lakewood, CA.
Written by GE 138.
Always a fun time in CA. hahahaha
The Battalion Of Saints / False Confession / Circle One / Headnoise / The Hymen Blasters gig at the Regal Inn was a bit intense, to say the least! LOL When one of the biggest monsters you've ever seen in your life gets set loose in a tiny bar to wreak havoc upon anyone and everyone in the place, a monster who was going to prison in a few days mind you, well, let's just say that people who are there just to watch the bands don't take too kindly to such shenanigans. The club fought back against the monster. Punk Rock Chaos ensued. Then Peace was made, nice words were said, and it was all lies. Some "Family" member followers of one of the bands playing came back with a couple of carloads full of bad intentions, looking for certain people who saw retaliation coming a mile away and smartly left a long time ago. Weapons were readied, locked and loaded, and the tension in the air was thick. The wisest decision of their pathetic lives was made and they left. Reminded me of the good/bad old days at the Olympic Auditorium when stupid shit like that was an everyday occurance at the gigs. Can't say I missed it but it certainly gets the blood pumping in a good way... hahaha Oh eff. I'm getting too old for this shit... aren't I? 😉
Musically the gig itself was phenomenal. The Hymen Blasters started things off with an alright set of generic Punk Rock music that I didn't really pay too much attention to, sorry. I was too busy outside yenta-ing it up with friends new and old who came out for the gig, heh. And then False Confession played... FALSE CONFESSION!! hahahaha I haven't seen those guys probably since dollar band night at the Cathay de Grande! LOL AND THEY FUCKING KILLED IT!! Wow! They had Ismael from Dr. Know and like, every other band from Oxnard, ha ha ha, on bass and I was like AAAAAAHHHHH!! Fucking Nardcore in my face and I loved it! Their Burn and Plug In Jesus releases are certified classics and when they played Kill For Fun, from the Mystic Records comp We Got Power - Party Or Go Home, I was losing it in the parking lot, jumping around in my own little slam pit with Robert from Headnoise!! hahaha After finishing setting up my drum kit I ran inside to catch the last few songs from the band and just soaked up all the glorious old school Punk Rock vibes False Confession was giving off from the tiny stage at the Regal Inn. They were fanfuckingtastic!! Wow! Made my night...
Headnoise played next and we were pretty OK. My drum set barely fits on the stage and it was bouncing around A LOT while I was playing. Tom's guitar sounded nice and thick once he got his rig working properly, and watching Robert and Edie charm a crowd is nothing short of magical. People dug us. We played our standard set and fumbled during Hey America. Meh. Circle One were pretty good as well - none of that rockstar BS posturing this time from them like they had on display at the gig at the Blacklight District Lounge on St. Patrick's Day a few months earlier. They sounded good, playing loads of classic songs like Left-Right-Left, Destroy Exxon, Are You Afraid, G.I. Combat, Fuck Off, and watching fucking Mike Vallejo rip through those classic tunes, with all those squirrely little twisty fills he throws in while playing those fast as fuck riffs was worth the price of admission alone. I stood there spellbound like I did when I was 14 at some long forgotten gig from 40 years ago just marvelling at his playing. They sounded good, but the fact that they just let the fight / assault go on without comment was pretty shitty. The fact that Circle One just kept playing showed they didn't really give a fuck, and knowing their Family's notoriously violent history and twisted backstory, it's not that shocking. It's just been a while since I've seen it and even longer since I've had to deal with it. Phooey.
After all the drama got sorted out and dealt with, Battalion Of Saints took to the stage, almost anti-climactic, using the Headnoise gear as a backline. We were playing a couple of gigs with the band and it wasn't a problem for them to be using our gear. The drummer was drooling over the prospect of using my kit, and I can't say I blame him... heh. It's been years since I've seen BOS, and with George Anthony on vocals and a plethora of interchangeable musicians backing him, the bands formula is proven successful and road tested: loud guitars, screamed out aggressive vocals, and a thunderous hard pounding rhythm section to propel it all forward. Fuck to the Yes!! They were waaaaaaayyyyyy too loud for the small room, but once you got past the abrasive aural element of it all the Battalion Of Saints sounded really good, ripping through classics like My Mind's Diseased, Sweaty Little Girls, Beefmaster, Second Coming, No More Lies, I Wanna Make You Scream, Right Or Wrong and of course, their blistering version of Motörhead's Ace Of Spades to close out the night. The place had pretty much cleared out after the aforementioned drama or maybe because it was fast approaching closing time, but they brave few who stuck around were treated to quite the satisfying little set from BOS. Sure it didn't sound the same as the classic lineup did many moons ago, but nowadays what band does? I'm a huge fan and I gotta say, it wasn't horrible, and it was good to hear those songs played again at a ridiculously loud volume, as they were meant to be heard. Bob and I ended the night as we usually do at the Regal Inn, by eating freshly made doughnuts from Sambath's Doughnuts before heading out to the highway, the 605 to the 5 to our hotel room to get a few hours rest before our all ages gig in Laguna Beach with BOS which started at noon. Ugh. #tourlife #livinglikearockstar #partyonwayne
For more pictures of Battalion Of Saints click here. For more pictures of Circle One click here. For more pictures of False Confession click here.
Written by GE 138.
I met my date in The Lobby Bar at the MGM Grand for some pregame drinks and catching up. I hadn't seen her in a while, she looked great, and it was good to catch talk with her. She was the reason why I was at this ass kiss sellout fiasco in the first place. She said there was nobody she'd rather see the Misfits with than me. I almost believe her. So we're sitting there at the bar in prime position for people watching, knocking back in record time some Guinness / Jameson neat combos that would cripple most normal drinkers after just a few. I can drink like a motherfucker, she tells me, and this I have no problem believing... ha ha ha I'm sitting there chatting with her for hours before the gig, and watching the crowd walking around was worth the price of admission alone. Seemed everyone thought to wear every piece of Misfits apparel they owned all at the same time to the show, in some vain egotistical effort to prove to others just how much of a bigger fan they were than anybody else in the world. It was pretty pathetic and made me feel a bit queasy about being there, but oh well. Wasn't like I paid for the tickets - she did. And if you were one of the suckers who bought tickets to the show the minute they went on sale, well you got what you deserved. The day of the show they were practically giving away tickets (floor for $65, nosebleed for $10) and that's what she did and got some primo seats no problemo. Sometimes it pays to be patient and see how things are gonna play out in the end. ;)
The gig starts at 7. FEAR goes on first at 8, which is a travesty and a sham. FEAR opening up for those lame-o's Alkaline Trio? Who's idea was that? Is this the 'something old, something new and ghey' line of thinking here? LOL You wanna go see FEAR play? she asks, me, and I tell her not really, I didn't go see them when they played The Dive earlier this year, and that I'm happy just sitting there with her, drinking and talking and gambling, and so we do just that. So I missed seeing FEAR play a big half empty arena. Boo Hoo. And there was no way I was going in there to see Alkaline Trio play, because I'm not an Emo girl that shops at Hot Topic, nor an effeminate male who wishes he had a pussy between his legs and is empathetic to the emotional needs of clingy females. Jab jab. So we missed seeing them play too. Oh well. I was feeling so good I didn't give a shit about seeing the Misfits play. I really didn't. Some friends texted me and said they were drinking at Pub 1842 and to meet them there, so we closed out our cards and stumbled our way to the pub. It was 9-ish. We still had time before the Misfits were supposed to play at 10.
I hadn't seen this particular couple of friends in years. We were once as thick as thieves and now we were just.. well, we just were. We ordered drinks and were catching up bullshitting and whatnot when we heard the roar of the crowd coming from the MGM Grand Garden Arena right next to us. The Misfits had hit the stage and we had missed it. Rats. We all quickly paid up our tabs and scrambled outside to deal with the nonsense of getting into the place, which included a long ass zig zagging queue and going through 2 metal detectors and putting your cell phone in some sort of locked purse device so you couldn't take pictures or videos of the show. Whatever. Who would want to anyways, ya know? People made a big deal about it on social media but I didn't give a fuck. It's annoying trying to watch a band through a sea of people using their cell phones to video tape the band instead of just watching the band and rocking out. All these overkill security measures seemed silly and useless but whatever. If Danzig didn't want unflattering pictures of his bulging gut or growing bald spot what did I care? Thankfully everybody was already inside the place, so going through all this unnecessary BS was relatively painless and quick. After scurrying past the massive merch display we ducked into a dark opening and BAM! there they were, The Misfits, in all their old, fat, bald, beefcake glory, for better or for worse, and they were ripping through 20 Eyes and it sounded terrible! ha ha ha We wandered around past groups of workers and Metro police, who were EVERYWHERE, and nobody asked to see our tickets or seemed to give a fuck what we were doing, since everybody's attention was turned to the spectacle unfurling on the massive stage at the end of this massive arena. Since nobody was checking our tickets we just wandered down towards the floor until we found some pretty sweet VIP box seats with reclining chairs and a great view of the stage and parked our asses there for the entire show. Nobody bothered us, nobody cared, and the people who were in there when we walked in just got up and left when we entered, so we had the place to ourselves. I laughed because they probably were seat hopping just like we were... lol
The drinks were flowing, the vape pen was glowing, so now onto the show! ha ha First off, the stage. It's adorned on each side by the jack-o-lanterns from the Halloween single, which was cool to see, and above them and to the sides of the stage are huge video monitors showing cheesy looking videos that corresponded to whatever song the Misfits were playing, and right now they were showing sci-fi aliens UFO stuff because they were playing I Turned Into A Martian as we settled into our seats and man did it sound like shit. Is feedback part of their shtick now? They sounded like every shitty Misfits bootleg I own, and it seemed to be on purpose! LOL Dave Lombardo was missing accents and fills, playing fast songs slow and slow songs too fast, Jerry Only's bass was thin, tinny and feeding back like a motherfucker, and Doyle's guitar was no better sounding or played. I'm almost 138% convinced that he doesn't play live, or if he does they have him turned down super low in the mix, because there were lots of times where his hand movements and arm actions didn't match any guitar playing sounds that were coming out of the monitors... ha ha ha At least they let backup guitarist / singer Acey Slade out in front now, and all the guitar sounds I was hearing I saw him playing. He sings A LOT of the lead vocal lines Glenn Danzig is supposed to be singing, which was shocking to see and hear. On songs like Vampira, We Are 138, Die Die My Darling, and Halloween, Acey would cover lead vocals while Danzig was off to the side somewhere breathing hard and adjusting his girdle. It's easy to see why he is having problems breathing with that outfit he's squeezed himself into on stage, and in between songs he kept complaining about how hot the spotlight was and asking why it kept following him around the stage. Oh, and about how there were "swinging dicks and sweaty balls" rocking out on the stage. Classic.
The travesty that it was, in between all the bursts of feedback and squeals and the shitty, overblown sound, at tiny moments, the band sounded almost good, especially on songs like Horror Business, All Hell Breaks Loose, London Dungeon, and She, but for the most part it was out of tune, out of time, noisily glorious squawking, with the band fucking up songs like Green Hell, Last Caress, Where Eagles Dare, and most sadly Mommy, Can I Go Out And Kill Tonight?. They pretty much fucked up every song they played off of Earth A.D. come to think of it, which was weird, because I thought that would of been the material best suited for Dave's aggressive attack drum style. The real surprise to me was the unexpected songs they played, stuff like Some Kinda Hate (I never heard it played live before), Who Killed Marilyn? (which Danzig prefaced as a solo song and NOT a Misfits song), Violent World (a song Danzig said wasn't played at Riot Fest), and Attitude, the final song of the 4 song encore they played before calling it a night. I lost count, but I think they played about 25 songs, which is pretty good for a bunch of old fucks like the Misfits. They could of played for another hour or so and it wouldn't of made a difference. Nobody was at this place to hear the music - they were there just to say they were there, just to check another aging band they grew up listening to off their bucket list of "Iconic bands to see before you die". It was a fun gig but not because we all were just cheated by the Misfits, but because we were all there tongue firmly planted in cheek and all feeling a bit better and happier when it was all said and done. Highlight of the evening for me was watching the crowd herd out en masse, fingers all a flutter with their precious phones in their hands, now free of the evil constraint bag device, typing away to friends and to social media how much more cooler they were than anybody else now that they'd seen the Misfits play and you didn't... LOL It was also funny to hear Danzig bitch about EVERYTHING in between songs. Damn cantankerous crusty curmudgeon! Bitter much?? LOL Fun night!! :)
Written by GE 138.
Why go to LA to see Sparks play? Why the fuck not!! LOL I don't know if they've ever played in Las Vegas before, but I'll be damned if I was gonna wait to find out if they were going to this time around! I missed their residency at some hotel lobby somewhere a few years ago in LA, and I missed the John Anson Ford residency a few year before that, so the thought of missing Sparks' residency at the El Rey Theater was just antithetical to my very musical being. Their new album Hippopotamus, is nothing short of amazing, and for the chance to see it performed live I wasn't going to be deterred by a measly 4 hour trek through the desert from one state to another on a Tuesday night. No fucking way.
I took Erika to Puffy Taco in Whittier, because the last time I went there on a Sunday it was closed, but today we got the full treatment y todo, which was extra sweet because Erika had never been there before. We grubbed and headed Downtown to the historic El Rey Theater, killing time by hanging out at the Five Guys Burgers across the street, getting high, talking to people standing in line to get in, and once we got in, it was great because the room is majestic, all draped in red velvet and huge overhead hanging crystal chandeliers, and the stage had great view lines from all over the room. No seats though, which sucked. We hung around for a bit before the opening act Les Scissor Sisters took to the stage, and I just stood there dumbfounded. 2 girls vaguely looking like Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast At Tiffany's, sitting at sewing machines, miming to backing track songs about sewing and cutting fabric and making clothing. They were probably the shittiest act I've ever seen in my life, and I used to go to $2 Tues. at the Cathay de Grande!! LOL As my mind struggled to find an angle to somehow describe the atrocity my eyes were witnessing, I saw something else that was even more horrifying - the crowd. They were eating it up!! Clapping and howling like they were witnessing Jesus Christ himself spitting fire on the mic, the crowd of mixed up various aged Sparks music fans were just... deeply into it. I couldn't even look at the direction of the stage anymore, because I was feeling nauseous from the musical spectacle unfolding in front of me. Praying for time to speed up, I nursed my drink in the corner of the room recoiling in disgust as the Scissor Sisters finished their act to thunderous applause. Art for Art's sake. Whatever.
It didn't take long for Sparks to hit the stage, thank gawd. The backing members of the band came out first, dressed like black and white versions of Italian gondoliers, and then the Brothers Mael came out and the shit jumped off. Opening up with What The Hell Is It This Time, off their just released album Hippopotamus, the band slowly built up this aural wall of awesomeness that lead to the next song At Work At Home At Play (complete with acapella intro), from 1974's Propaganda album, which was just blowing my mind. They sounded soooooooooo fucking good. I wanted to cry. They played Good Morning, a song I only know from a live album, a bunch more from the new album (Missionary Position, Edith Pilaf, Hippopotamus, Probably Nothing, I Wish You Were Fun) including my favorite song off the album, Scandinavian Design, which sounded divine. Sparks did Sherlock Holmes (NOT the song I wanted to hear from their seminal 1982 album Angst In My Pants), and Dick Around, with the dynamics in that song being handled perfectly by the live band. They were a bunch of young hipster schooled musician kids but damn were they killing every song they were playing. It sounded orchestral... it sounded glorious. If it wasn't for the 2 smelly homosexuals drunkenly dancing and bumping into everybody directly in front of us, I would of been having the time of my life, but these guys were just being overly obnoxious. They kept bumping into Erika, and when I switched places with her and stood there daring them to bump into me, they decided they had better things to do and left. Smart move on their part. Probably saved their lives. I went back to watching the show uninterrupted, and when the opening lines to No. 1 Song In Heaven started ringing out loud, I lost my shit. I wished those gay guys were back in front of me so I could apologize and dance with them, because I was so happy!! hahahaha Sparks sounded amazing, with the live guitars and drums making the techno song sound thunderous and majestic. Right in the middle of the song Ron did his patented sideways smiling happy guy dance, and the place went wild. Then immediately afterwards they played This Town Ain't Big Enough For The Both Of Us, and I died. I literally died.
When I came back around, Sparks was ending the set with that weird duet song that ends the album, with the girl who sang on the album recreating her parts live on stage, and then Russell introduced the band, gave a little 'Thank you' speech, and it was over. The band left the stage to thunderous applause, and we all just sort of stood around going 'what now?'. We were all yelling and screaming for Sparks to play an encore, and after a bit they did, coming back out and playing a trio of songs that ended with them going back to the Kimono My House album for Amateur Hour, which sounded brilliant. Then the lights came on and it was over. Security was pushing people out the door and the place was half empty when Sparks came running out again and played Nicotina. Oh it was perfect. Since the place was practically empty we just walked up close to the band, and watched them play, uncrowded and up close and personal. It was cool. When the show was really over, Erika and I hit the merch stand, grabbed shirts and badges and autographed CD's, walked back to our cars, blazed up and jumped back on the freeway, laughing at the fact that we had just driven out to CA to see Sparks, one of our favorite bands, and now we were driving back, amped up from seeing the band play live, and too hyped up from hearing all that amazing music to sleep. The drive back was effortless, with us making it home just as the sun was coming up, totally exhausted and totally spent but happy. What a great fucking night. Sparks. <3