Written by Karl Bakla.
The first time I went to a Punk Rock show was in the year 1211, I was thirteen years old and it was everything you'd expect from your first Punk Rock show, it was held at some shit hole called the Gobi Desert, & some crazy ass groups performed. One of the bands was called the Jin Dynasty, they came from Northern China and fucking killed it! Unfortunately for the Jin a band called The Mongols headlined the show and absolutely annihilated them. After the show the Mongols went on to destroy Baghdad, the place was so fucked up that it took nearly 800 years for the city to recover. Sadly, by the time Baghdad recovered the U.S. Military came in and fucked everything up! My point being, I am old as fuck, & after my first Punk Rock show I was hooked. If the show I am now writing about was the first Punk Rock show I ever went to, then I would have never bother going to another show. Some may argue that Hot Water Music isn't Punk, & to them I say, "Suck a cabbies ass & fuck off!"
While waiting to get in to the show, I overheard a guy tell his friends how he would like to fuck some "bitch" he works with. How enlightened! I thought. If I would have closed my eyes and just listened I would have thought I was in line for a Disturbed concert. Here's a tip guys, saying stupid shit doesn't make you seem 100% hetero, it just means you need to beat off before leaving the house.
As I entered the club, I walked past the merch table, & I noticed that Hot Water Music were charging $5 more for their t-shirt than the other bands, hmmm that's lame, but whatever I am a Leftist & I am all for throwing your money away on Cadillac's & lobster dinners for the poor, so of course I would be annoyed at someone trying to make a profit. I assumed that the extra $5 goes to fund Mitt Romney's 2016 election run. To be fair there might be a valid reason why their shirts are more expensive, but I didn't bother to look into it. Luckily, the Flatliners started to play & my attention was focused elsewhere… the crowd seemed pretty pumped for The Flatliners, but the sound was so shitty that I couldn't tell if they were good or not. The sound was heavy on the low end of things, which is great if you don't care about hearing the guitar or vocals.
Next up was Dave Hause, Just from the name I knew I was gonna hate whatever the fuck was played. I have a theory that any band that is a guy's (or gal's) name is going to be some Cat Stevens shit, the exception being GG Allin & the Hardcore band Don Knotts. To describe Dave Hause's music is to take The Gaslight Anthem and make their music even shittier. How does one do that you might ask? Well, take away the drums & bass and add an extra dose of non-excitement, but make sure to keep the lyrics about dancing shoes & whiskey. On a non-music note, Dave Hause looks like one of those guys that is a bartender that you can't tell if he likes Hardcore or is just a Kanye West fan, with a Hitler haircut, & a membership in that Facebook Group Tattoo Acceptance In The Workplace. Look, I work in a casino, & every bartender looks like they listen to Converge, but sadly they don't want to mosh, they just want to fuck a Kardashian. When I got home I took a massive shit & read up on Dave Hause, he was once in The Loved Ones, which makes sense because that band fucking sucks.
When Hot Water Music hit the stage, I was stoked & so was the rest of the crowd. The crowd full of tattooed men & bearded woman seemed to know every word to every song! Seeing others people's love for a band always makes everything more exciting. I love Hot Water Music! I have been a fan of theirs for close to twenty years & it was cool to see them for the googolplexed time. Then I quickly became unstoked, this show sucked, & would have been better if it was held somewhere else, Fremont Country Club is an awful venue, fancy lights, a proper stage, mediocre sound, & $9 for a chalice of airag. There was even a roped off V.I.P. section, with business people watching with crossed arms. Do I have to mention that this a total turn off for a member of the Punk Rock Elite? I had to talk Bethany out of chucking her drink at the V.I.P.'s, which is now something I regret. Hot Water Music played a lot of great songs & I was happy to hear a liberal dose of tunes off of the Fuel For The Hate Game LP. I quickly forgot about all the shit that previously annoyed me & just enjoyed the tunes. I even thought about writing that Dave Hause has nice hair & looks like a younger & sexier Donald Rumsfeld, but then Hot Water Music did the most pretentious thing a band could do, they did an encore… no!!!! Everything that sucked about the night came rushing back. I just assumed Hot Water Music was above doing something so lame. I listen to bands like Hot Water Music because I assume they don't do Rock Star shit. Who the fuck do they think they are, Rod Stewart?
At this point in the night I regretted paying $25 to get into the show, I could have used that money to buy a pair of tweezers to beat off with. As we stumbled out of the venue, Bethany drunkenly told me, "most of the people in the crowd look like my employees, I fucking hate my employees!" Ha, fuck yeah! I hate her employees too!
Words and Pictures by GE 138.
Jeremy got to my house as quickly as he could after work to get our pregame sesh on, and by pregame sesh I mean, a hard drinking session. We were both beyond hyped that we were going to see KISS tonight @ the Joint, and there was no way in Hell we were going to do it sober, so we started drinking heavy as soon as we got into the place. Every damn employee was adorned with KISS related tee shirts, and ever bar sported the KISS special drinks menu named after various KISS songs and albums, with titles like Love Gun, Animalize, Dynasty, Sonic Boom and War Machine, each one super strong and packed with alcohol, each one only $6, and each one a sickly sweet knock off of other well known drinks like tequila sunrise, brass monkey, etc. Gawd bless that Demon. There isn't an angle he doesn't miss. "You can't hide the hook." hahahaha Anyways, we pretty much blasted through every drink on the menu in under an hour, killing the time before the band was supposed to play by checking out their grand arrival by helicopter that was supposed to occur in the valet area directly in front of the Hard Rock, but it was running really late, so after a bit of standing around with everyone else outside waiting for KISS to make their grand appearance, we got bored and headed back inside to the nearest bar to continue drinking. After a bit we queued up with the other concert attendees to be let into the venue. They didn't search anybody or anything. Everyone and their Mom had a camera of some sorts. I toyed with the idea of bringing my camera to the concert, but thought for sure they wouldn't let me in with it, so I kept it at home. And besides, I wanted to have fun, and not worry about taking pictures. I just wanted to see KISS. It's been a while since I'd seen them. I was ready. Bring it!
Our seats were like 7 rows back, center stage, but it didn't matter because each side of the stage was adorned with a huge monitor like set up, which went from floor to ceiling, so no matter where you were, you had a great view of the action. The show started promptly on time and KISS came out in a grand, spectacular way, of course, opening up with Creatures Of The Night, lights and fire and explosions and lasers shooting everywhere and that was it, opening night of the KISS residency at the Joint was off and running. Holy shit was it amazeballz! They went into Psycho Circus, a song I was strangely singing all day long, and then they played Parasite and War Machine before taking a break. Wow. Tommy Thayer was fucking killing it. Gene Simmons looked and sounded fantastic. Eric Singer had a clear vistalite drum set with blinking lights all around the edge of the shells, playing good but dropping sticks left and right, and Paul was definitely the weakest link on stage, hardly playing guitar and his voice was barely audible, but it didn't matter. It was KISS, and as far as the spectacle goes, the lights, the lasers, big ass video screens, the sound, with the explosions every 5 minutes, man, they were fucking killing it. I was loving every minute of it.
KISS ran into a bit of a lull, playing some of their obvious hits, like Tears Are Falling (Ugh!) and I Love It Loud, but the little tribute they did to the Who's Won't Get Fooled Again video, complete with the little laser light/guitar interlude homage, made things worth it, and it must of been great for Eric Singer to play Keith Moon's classic drum line to that song with the lasers behind him like that, the lucky bastard. Click here if you have no idea of what I'm blabbering on about... LOL Lick It Up sucked, I Love It Loud dragged on for a bit, and if it wasn't for these amazing yet borderline deadly, potentially lethal drinks that Jeremy's friend at the bar was hooking us up with, I probably would of left, but as it was, I was having a fun time being wasted at a KISS concert. They did the single from their latest album, Monster, a song called Hell Or Hallelujah, and it sounded pretty good. Then during God Of Thunder Gene Simmons spit blood everywhere and flew up to the rafters to spit more blood everywhere, and I came in my pants and passed out.
You see, this face right over here, has haunted me ever since I was a child. Seeing him peering down at me from the rafters like the worthless plebe that I am, cowering at the boots of The Demon, is pretty much how I wanna die, and it was the highlight of the evening for me. Everything else after this was just watery baby shit. Paul flew around during Love Gun, Black Diamond sounded sick, and then the music stopped and they gave away a house to some Veteran dude. They had some Veteran contest winners as part of the KISS Road Crew, and they were out there too, stealing time that KISS could of been playing music with. Then they had everyone in the audience recite the Pledge of Allegiance and I wanted to puke. Nauseating and Pandering. Whatever. Once they got going again, the band played Shout It Out Loud, I Was Made For Loving You, and Rock And Roll All Nite, and that was it, the show was over and again, I wanted to puke - both from the weak ass songs played and from all the sugar infused drinks I had been consuming all night. I think I went into a diabetic coma mid-concert and didn't even know it... ha ha ha On the way out, I bought lots of overpriced merch (of course) and followed Jeremy back to the bar to finish up the night. I remember going to Vinyl to see Jeremy's friend who plays guitar in the Sin City Sinners, and that's about it. Oh yeah, I ate some nachos at Mr. Lucky's. I know that because I woke up later that morning covered in a sickly sweet nacho infused vomit blanket. Fun night. ;-)