Guilty By Association / The People's Whiskey / The Lips / Ministry Of Love / Days After Hail / The Happy Campers @ The Royal Resort
Written by GE 138.
I got to the place hella early. Well, early for me anyways! I woke up with a tiny bit of a back ache, but a handful of pills and a Pepsi to wash them down with took care of that little problem. I rolled a few up and threw them in my clove case and I was on my way to the Royal Resort for a Birthday party for the Local Alternative radio station 107.9. I don't know why they had such an eclectic assortment of bands playing, both inside the lobby and outside by the pool, and I hope that all of the bands that were playing got some airtime out of all this, but in any case, I got there a few hours after things had began at noon. As I was coming in I didn't hear any music coming from the pool area, so I ventured inside, following the beat I heard reverberating through the walls. Whatever it was sounded pretty good.
What I was hearing was The Happy Campers, ripping shit up in front of a very diverse crowd of individuals in a very sterile environment. Some chicks watching the band were dressed like they were going to Prom or something. Whatever. I didn't wanna know. So I plant my ass against a pillar off to the side of the room and take it all in, really digging what The Happy Campers were throwing out there. They've gotten ridiculously good. It's Fast but not Obnoxious, Poppy but not Ghey, and it's Catchy as Fuck and fun to listen to. The revamped front line of Rob, Issac and Chad are in synchronicity, just killing it in musical playing and vocal styling. They're playing this, I dunno, Pennywise, Strung Out, type of Music and singing 4 part harmonies that would make the living members of Queen take notice and say, 'Well done Lads.' I say 4 part harmonies because the Drummer sings while he plays as well. Yeah, I know. The Rule is usually that you never give a drummer a microphone, but there's always an exception to any rule, and this guy is that exception. Really good Drummer than sings while he's pounding the crap out of his kit, making the hardest drum lines look easy to play, all while staying on key vocally. Sweet. The band is just blowing the place up to a crowd of curiosity seekers who seem to be digging what The Happy Campers are playing. They sound so good! Chad is just wailing away on lead guitar runs that are both Mathematical and Soulful, and for some reason he had a picture of Justin Bieber taped to the front of his amp. I didn't ask. Issac keeps telling people that they're playing a bunch of new songs, and they all sound awesome as fuck. Looking forward to hearing that recording when it comes out. Anyways, I must of gotten there towards the end of their set, because after a few more songs, The Happy Campers called it a day and got a nice round of applause for their effort. It was Hot as Hell in the room, and as soon as they opened up the side doors to unload equipment, I made a dash outside. It was actually cooler outside than it was inside.
After The Happy Campers finished up rocking the Hell out of the 115 degree Den, I saw Mike from Guilty By Association boozing it up with a few pals of his at the bar, and after a quick order of rounds we headed out to the pool area to check out the next band playing, which was Days After Hail. Terrible name, BTW. They had been playing for a while now, and we just caught the last 4 songs of their set, which was more than enough for me. I stood around watching the band play some super slinky sexy songs that would of been the perfect background for some sweet, sweet lovemaking by the fire. LOL This group of kids were playing their Reggae infused music to a crowd of too cool pool people who seemed mostly uninterested in what the band was doing. People lazily swam around, watched TV in the cabanas, or just sat around and talked among themselves, clapping in all the appropriate places or when the band just stopped playing. I would of thought a band like Days After Hail would go over pretty good with a crowd like this, but I was wrong. If these people didn't like this band, what were they going to do when Guilty By Association or The Quitters started playing? This was going to get interesting. A few more familiar faces started showing up. I saw Pulsar, Meg and Devo loading up gear, telling me that their band Ministry Of Love was coming up next. Cool.
Ministry Of Love are one of the better bands gigging around Las Vegas right now. They're really Poppy, which isn't necessarily a bad thing in my book, but in the middle of all this sugary sweet Pop goodness they have these Hardcore parts which just come ripping in like a Monster and just take the music in a different, angry direction for a few moments and then it's right back to Pop land. They're a really good band that I just don't get to see enough for my liking. Anything Pulsar related gets all my Love and Support. :-) So they set their gear up in the corner of the pool area, beneath a canopy to shield them from the setting suns rays, and once the mic's go live Ministry Of Love started urging everyone to get off their ass and come closer to the action, and then they start playing and I wanted to kill them. They started off playing a Rage Against The Machine cover. Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck. I was looking for something to throw at them but I couldn't find anything, and I almost turned around and walked away from them playing when they quickly stopped playing that stupid cover and went into one of their own original tunes. *whew* Hahahaha I'm glad I stuck around though, because Ministry Of Love just killed it with a tremendous performance that was never boring and highly entertaining, with the band working the crowd like the road proven veterans that they are. Meg is the captivating front person with a set of pipes on her that are melodic and LOUD, and Ryan is the Rock N Roll Madman who just loses his shit while playing the music, accentuating his performance by doing back flips mid song, jumping on top of and the jumping off of anything and everything that he could, and throwing his guitar around his neck with reckless abandon. Really, really fun to watch. Pulsar puts the 'Ace' in 'bass' and Devo is the red haired Goddess that both shreds and sings. Their Drummer dude is pretty sick too. Hard hitting and Theatrical. Good drum lines too. The band sounded great and played a bunch of songs that got everyone pumped up and excited and buzzing around. Good bands will do that and Ministry Of Love are a really, really, good band. They finished up their set to hearty rounds of applause and I was happy to see them so well received. Great set from Ministry Of Love.
I went to the bar to grab some drink when I heard this really catchy Indie Hipster Pop music coming from the stage area inside the Lobby, and since I was feeling squirrelly I wandered back into the Lobby area to see who this band was playing this cool little tuneage. They were a bunch of young scruffy looking lads, dressed in the requisite shades of black, gray and blue and looking like a bit of a mash up, but it didn't matter because the music they were playing more than made up for the oddness of their appearance. These guys were really good. They sounded like an Old School KROQ band from back in the days! LOL They were Melodic, Poppy, Energetic and Passionate, and I had no idea of who the Hell they were! I took Pictures and listened to their music, enjoying what I heard, and then in between songs the lanky lead singer announced the bands name: The Lips. Terrible name. He said they used to be called Lips Like Morphine, who I had actually heard of, but they were now known as the Lips. Whatever. They jumped into the next song and kept the energy level in the room high. Guys were tapping their toes and nodding their heads. Girls were dancing. Cool. For some reason, there was a pile of candy directly in front of the band, so I kept leaning down and grabbing stuff from the pile when I wasn't taking photos, hoping that it wasn't poisoned or something... heh heh.
A band that impressed me after seeing a video of them playing live @ the Divebar (boooooooo) was up next, and that band goes by the name The People's Whiskey. I just saw them play @Artifice a little while ago and I'm just fucking HYPED on these guys, telling everyone that asks about the good bands here in Vegas all about them. After my last write up about them on the website here, quite a few people were asking me about them, some of them even in attendance, and I just told them to wait for the show to begin and to see for themselves what I was hyped about. The People's Whiskey were one of the bands I came to this damn thing to see, and there was no way in Hell I was gonna miss them, so I excused myself from the bar and got to the prime spot right in front of where the band was going to be playing and dead set in the middle and marked my territory appropriately by throwing candy wrappers on the floor. Some guy that worked for the Hotel had swept up all that candy that The Lips threw on the floor and put in on a plate to be served and eaten in the Lobby area. Cute. Recycling at it's finest! So with no fanfare whatsoever, the band starts to play and it's almost alluring, enticing like. They're just slowly riffing on something, building up to go somewhere with the song they're playing and then BAM!! They just kick it into 4th gear and they're hitting it hard, playing this rollicking Punk Rock jam music that's equal parts Swingin' Utters and Flogging Molly. The Singer sounds like a cross of Billie Joe from Green Day and the lead singer of The Soggy Bottom Boys - I'm serious! LOL He's fucking fantastic and his vocals come across as very soulful and heartfelt. He's really impressive. The Drummer is just a major whalloper behind the kit, and for me there is nothing better than watching a kick ass Drummer who knows what he's doing play, and this kid in The People's Whiskey knows what the fuck he's doing. He's sooooo fucking good and I am definitely jealous of his skilled percussionist work. They say that the Drummer makes the band, and in this case that's almost true, and I say almost true because of the bass player in this band. This guy plays with reckless abandon and 100% pure energy and reminds me of Chuck Dukowski from Black Flag, in that he's a bit possessed, psychotic, and looks like someone you don't wanna stand too close to, for fear of getting your lights punched out. When's he's playing he's thrashing about and throwing his bass around, and screaming into the microphone whenever he was supposed to, or whenever he felt like it, either or. When he wasn't playing, like in between songs, he was all smiles and sweetness, but when he started playing, he turned into a madman. I liked it! hahaha