by GE 138
So I get to the Bunkhouse early, because there's no way in Hell I'm missing out on Melt Banana playing - no fucking way. I am a HUGE fan, and anxiously counted down the days until this gig was happening. Turkey tryptophan be damned! Melt Banana was touring the U.S.A. and just killing it everywhere they played, and Vegas is getting them in the last week of their Tour, which meant they would be even more razor sharp than they already are, if that's even possible. I walked into the place after chatting up Pulsar for a bit outside, because I was starving, but alas, the kitchen was closed, so I went back outside to party in the parking lot like all the other cool kids do. I ran into my long lost son Josh-E while I was out there, so I chatted him up and got him up to date on things, letting him know about the downfalls of many of our ex-mutual friends and exactly what had become of the once mighty and proud idiots we used to hang out with. The look on his face and his laughter made my night. I love that kid. <3 After a bit I wandered back inside, because I wanted to check out Life's Torment, who were kicking off this noise fest shindig.
Life's Torment are the fucking SICKNESS! These guys just keep getting better each and every time that I see them. Playing an intense, in your face throwback style of Punk fucking Rock that harkens back to bands like Infest or Negative Approach, Life's Torment just slay the crowd and bring down the walls each and every time they play, no matter the circumstances. They play from the Heart, and for a bunch of really super nice guys, they play some incredibly angry, pissed off in your face music. These guys got issues! :-) So after a bit of a delay, which was because they were setting up in front of Melt Banana's equipment on the small Bunkhouse stage, and because they had to set up their ridiculously over sized Life's Torment banner behind them, the band launched into their opening number and the nice and quiet calm that was permeating the place was suddenly shattered by their noisy output. Grinding guitar riffs, screamed and yelled out lyrics, thunderous bass lines and spastic drum beats suddenly took over the place, filling the room with glorious noise, and like moths to a flame, the people slowly started coming in from outside and from out of the darkness of the back of the bar to partake and to witness it all. Life's Torment continued on with their aural onslaught and didn't slow down for one second, well, maybe except for when they had some Oriental chick come up on stage and sing a couple of songs with band. I thought it was a bit of a momentum killer, especially considering who they were playing with, but after that minor misstep the band came back strong and finished ear raping the crowd with their fast as fuck Punk rock songs. These guys are the real deal and after much too short of a time they finished up their set to loads of applause and cheers from the appreciative crowd. I love watching Local bands kick ass and tonight Life's Torment did just that, really impressing me with what they played and doing it oh so well. Kudos guys! Great set.
Next band up was 400 Blows and, well, they just blow! LOL I dig these guys on CD but seeing them play live just bums me out. They sound like shit because they have no bass player, and the Singer just twists and turns and sweats and wears these gay ass all black dress suits that are like 2 sizes too small on him and it's just... ghey. If it wasn't for their PHENOMENAL drummer, I wouldn't even pay attention to them playing. I spent the majority of the set being bored in the back by the bar, chatting up some kid who just moved out here from somewhere and told me about how he found out about the Punk Scene here in Vegas from my website. Awwwwwwwwww! <3 If I had a dollar for every time someone told me that... heh heh
I had to wake myself up after the 400 Blows snorefest to position myself directly up front to catch all the insane Melt Banana action firsthand right in front of my face. I last saw the band in SF in 2001, watching the insanity from a balcony seat safely away from everybody, and when I saw the band was playing the Bunkhouse, there was no way I was gonna watch this from the back of the bar, safely away from the action - nope! So that's why I'm queued right up front, waiting for the band to begin. That, and the fact that I always stand up front when I'm ready to get my Punk Rock on. ;-) So I'm standing around anxiously, chatting away with Jack from Pigasus and his lovely girl Pamela, waiting for the band to finish dicking around with their equipment and just start making some gawd damn noise I could lose my mind to. I saw the band run through a few songs earlier at sound check, and I was just on needles and pins waiting for the band to start their set up, and after a bit, finally, they did just that. Lead Vokillist Yasuko was chatting up the crowd a bit before launching into this acapella sing-song chant thing, like a quarterback barking out numbers, and the band came crashing in on the 4's and the place just went nuts! From Calm to Crazed in 0.62 seconds. The audience was comprised of the oddest collection of music fans I've seen in a while, running the gamut from the trendiest downtown club kids ever to the dirtiest and smelliest of east side street punks, which is what I was standing next to while the band played. I wouldn't of mined that fact so much if it wasn't for the fact that it kept sticking it's humongous ass out and shaking it about, making the fact even more evident that this thing hadn't bathed in weeks. Yeah... I couldn't tell if it was a guy or a girl... fucking scumbag... lol.
Anyways, Melt Banana has the ability to make even the most annoying things go away, and the bands chaotic, noise imbibed blasts of musical brilliance was just mind blowing in it's exhilaration. The crowd was surging and throbbing and spilling over in every direction, with every note the band played just making the people jump around and yell like monkeys on an electrified floor. Guitarist Agata plays while wearing a purifying mask over his face for some reason and he gets the craziest sounds out of his guitar that I've ever heard. He shreds and flails and squeals and riffs on his instrument like a man possessed, and he leads the band through some amazingly complex, layered blasts of cacophonous musical presentations that would make Frank Zappa proud. The rhythm section of Rika on bass and gawd knows who on drums is pretty impressive, going from monstrous blast beats that would level a building to jazzy swing movements in the blink of an eye. It's fucking trippy to watch, because they make it look so easy, and as everyone knows, it's all about the rhythm section. Melt Banana just keep playing whatever the fuck they feel like, and the crowd loses it's mind after every song played, throwing themselves about and bashing into each other with reckless abandon. It's fucking incredible to see, and this gig is definitely one for the history books. It's been a long time since I've seen such a rabid, zealous reaction to a band's musical output, and to see it here in Vegas was just amazing.I had no idea that the bands fast as fuck, chaotic, noisy music was so loved here, and I'm glad that I was wrong about it. I wasn't expecting such a turnout. It was great. :-) Anyways, after about an hour or so, Melt Banana started winding things down, completely soaking wet from the intense temperature level inside the Bunkhouse, and for the last song played, the band did What A Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong, in a improvisational manner that would of made Satchmo very proud indeed. It was such a fucking great gig. I know I say this alot but seriously, if you missed this gig, just go shoot yourself in the face right now. You missed something Legendary. You really, really did.