by GE 138
I had to go pick up Bob from the 7-11. He was feeling a bit squirrelly and decided he wanted to get out of his house and do something, so when I mentioned that I was going to this gig, he insisted on coming along, enticing me with offers of free booze, drugs and cheap motel room sex. After scooping him up we headed to the Dojo, because Mike had to grab the P.A. speaker from the room there, and after checking out Bingo Billy's brand new trailer with a huge Guilty By Association sticker on either side of it, we locked up and jumped in our rides and headed off to Yayo Taco, where the food is muy excellente! and the bucket beer specials are cheap and plentiful. Just don't eat the carne asada tacos. Jesse says they suck! LOL
Permanent Failure got things going with some rudimentary, fundamental Punk Rock tunes played with tons of vigor. They sounded like every high school band just starting out that you can imagine. It wasn't necessarily a bad thing. I mean, they got me to stop drinking outside and come inside to check them out, so what does that tell ya? They had a couple of OK songs, nothing too radical or revolutionary, but still worth commending them on. They seem like just a group of friends having fun and playing music together. Sometimes that's just enough to make things good. They had an energetic group of friends checking them out while they played, and their circle pit action kept things from getting dull while watching the band. They switched things up singing wise, with the 2 guitarists alternating on lead vocal duties, completely unintelligible from one another, and after praising their 13 year old drummer as 'The Most Talented Drummer in Las Vegas' I had to go outside and continue drinking. It was cute, but I just didn't agree, so off I went. Don't get me wrong - he was good, just not as good as all that. Nice of his Friends to give him props like that though. Check out Permanent Failure when you get the chance. Their a cool group of kids who are keeping that Spirit of Punk Rock alive and kicking.
Holding On To Sound were next and unfortunately, the Evil Booze and Food and Drug Demons kept me at bay outside, so I missed seeing the majority of their set, but from where I was standing it sounded great. The band is just as phenomenal as ever, but something was different - something didn't sound right. I looked through the sliding glass door to see 4 people on stage instead of the usual 3 - they had added a second guitar player! NICE! He added some much needed space for Bennett to just go crazy with and fill in with this jagged guitar fills and runs he plays that just drip with passion. Vanessa's drumming is always punctuating all the right things at the right time, and the way she just lays back and plays these quirky, almost nonsensical accents while the guys up front do their thing is just fantastic to watch. The bass player Zabi worked the frets of his bass like Jaco Pastorius and sang into the microphone whenever he felt like it. That guy is a phenomenal bassist. Wow. The crowd was eating it up and screaming along to every word being sung, and after a bit things came to a violently shaken climax, with both the crowd and the band equally sweaty. Holding On To Sound killed it, like they always do, those fuckers. LOL Great set, and Kudos to the new guy for not fucking things up. ;-)
Battle Born had a nervous air about them while they were setting up. Maybe it was because they had their original bass player Ben back with them, or maybe it was because they didn't know what to expect from the now thickened out crowd of Friends, Fans and Punx. Who knows. It went away just as quickly as it came around, ya know? They quietly set their gear up, cracked a few jokes to those of us in their eyesight, and then they kicked things off with their opening tune and the place went nuts. Circle pit action ensues from the first note onwards, and it looks like Ben fits back into the band like he never left! They sound fantastic and they're delivering 1000% like they always do and I'm loving every minute of it, and it looks like the crowd is too. Lots of kids just smiling and having a good time in the pit, picking each other up when knocked down and everybody's trying not to get wrecked by the guy in the wheelchair, who was just running through people in his way and looking like he was having a Hell of a lot of fun doing it. Battle Born is providing the soundtrack to all the shenanigans taking place and it sounds fab. Nick is pounding the ever loving shit out of his sticker adorned drum kit, and completely oblivious to the fact that Skateboard Bob is directly behind him and dry humping the glass that separates the 2. Chad and John up front are throwing out some catchy as fuck dueling guitar riffs, which sound more similar to Iron Maiden than they do Black Flag, as well as some synchronized singing and screaming, which just adds to the music's intensity. These guys jell good together, and with Ben playing for them tonight, they sounded really ace.
Besides cracking wise in between songs, and laying down that fat bass sound, Ben also drinks lots of beer, sometimes his own, and sometimes those that are handed to him in mid-song by friends of his. LOL Good to see him back where he belongs. The kids in the crowd were slamming their little hearts out, and the Elders in the group were standing as far away from the action as possible or on top of benches or tables in the back checking things in relative safety, and there was lots of things to be taking in. Everyone was having fun in the place. The more Battle Born played, the crazier things got, with the once safe floor now covered in beer and broken glass and various body fluids of unknown origin. Punk Rock Goodness at it's finest. All good things must come to an end, and as the band was winding things down, they switched out Ben for Craig from Guilty By Association, who's been playing bass for Battle Born while Ben was absent, and they played a Dethklok cover, which sounded pretty ghey to me. Everyone else in the place loved it though... heh heh. Perfect way to end the set. They're 4 of the nicest guys you'll ever meet, and their music is some of the best being played right now. Battle Born. Kicking ass and taking names while doing it. Great set.
Finally, it was time for the Headliners of the night, the reason why we were all here (besides the tasty food and cold buckets of beer, of course), the band who was celebrating what I think is their 3rd 10th year anniversary in a row, and that band is Guilty By Association. These guys have all been stalwart pillars of the Las Vegas Punk Rock Music Scene, whether it's as members of one of the many bands they've all been involved with, or are currently involved in, or as members of the crowd supporting some newer, up and coming Local bands. These guys have been at it for a while now, a lot longer than most other Local bands in any genre, and tonight was a Celebration of that fact. They set up their gear quickly, including Billy's sweet new drum kit, although the drum rack was a bit much, and seeing them in the small, enclosed space of Yayo Taco as opposed to the stage at the House Of Boooooo's or the Hard Rock Cafe must of taken them back a bit to when they were playing these smaller places regularly. Maybe that's why this gig was being held at Yayo? I dunno. After very little fanfare and even less chatting, and as the kids were getting antsy and queuing up towards the front of the stage, the band kicked off their first song of the set and the shenanigans began! Bodies started moving and fists, elbows, knees and wheelchairs started flying around in the pit, and everyone looked to be having a great time to what Guilty By Association were laying down. I wish I knew their material a bit better, but I did recognize songs like Bingo Billy, Ultimate Crime, Still That Kid, Mas Cerveza and Walk Alone when they were played, and the crowd seemed to eat it all up.
Mike's a great front man, never resisting the temptation to interact with the crowd by jumping around with them in the pit, and he does it all without missing the beat or flubbing any of the lyrics of the song. Bobby and Tom play the intricate guitar lines with what looks like little to no effort whatsoever, which is pretty sick considering how hard that stuff is to play. I don't know how they do it but they do. Craig pulled a double duty deal tonight and always keeps things lively on the back end with his bass playing skills and spot on backup vocals. The guys a bass playing monster, that's for sure. And Billy, as always, powers the machine that Guilty By Association is, pounding the fuck out of his kit, his, beautiful, shiny new kit, that sounded phenomenal and had me a bit jealous of him, the lucky bastard... heh heh. The band ran through a shit load of songs, both old and new, and the build up of broken glass and spilled beer on the ground told the story of how much fun everyone was having while they did it. All good things must come to an end though, and after a bit the guys called it a night, leaving the crowd wanting more, of course, and that's how you're supposed to leave 'em. And besides, they more than got their money's worth out of the band tonight, because Guilty By Association brought their 'A' game tonight and just blew the roof off the joint. It was great to see. Here's to Guilty By Association and their 10 years involved in making the Scene what it is today. Looking forward to what the next 10 years are going to bring. Cheers Guys!
I spent the end of the night sitting at the bench outside, recovering from everything that had went on and all that, watching the snow fall down while Bob and his new skating buddy friend vandalized the wooden table by carving it up and covering it up with marker. We shared a bottle of whiskey between us, while I waited around for a good opportunity to get an Interview in with whoever was still hanging around from Guilty By Association, but they seemed more concerned with getting more drunk than they already were and getting their equipment home in one piece, so I didn't push the idea too hard about doing the Interview. Oh well. Maybe at the next 10th Year anniversary? LOL After making the rounds and saying our goodbyes to everyone that was still there, Bob and I headed off in a Westernly direction, in search of some breakfast grub, which we found at Denny's. I wonder why the waitress sat us all by ourselves, away from everyone else? hahaha Great way to end a great night. It was fun, to say the least.