Written by GE 138.
On the day of a gig, I usually sleep in until hours before I'm supposed to check into the venue. Not today though. Dean had scheduled this little skate event to happen the day of our gig with J.F.A., and to make things even worse, it was happening way out in bumfuck Boulder City. Why? I dunno, but I knew I was going to be there. I had to be there. The incentive for me was Hawaiian Hot Dogs. Oh, and plus, being there for my Bro. ;-) So with 2 hobos, Zack and Bob, in tow, I drove out the place and hung out all day and watched people get their skate on, which is always fun for me. Takes me back to the good ol' days when Life was all about nothing else but Punk Rock and Drinking and Skating. It was a cool little sesh. The food was exquisite, Steve and Double Down Radio supplied the soundtrack to everything, and there were some great kids skating out there. I was gonna take pictures but I left my battery in the battery charger at Home. Phooey. It was fun catching up with old friends who were there, like Raff and Natty, and intimidating old enemies who threatened to kick my ass the very next time they see me, aka Homeless Mike. It was Dean's event, so I didn't wanna cause any Drama, and watching that cowardly piece of crap walk around trying to act like he didn't see me was worth the drive out there. It was a great way to spend a Sat. afternoon before a gig. We hung out way after the sun went down and everybody had left, but I was tired. Real tired. I was chugging Sugar Free Red Bulls on the drive Home.
With Zack and Tristan in tow, I grabbed the gear from the Dojo and headed Downtown to the LVCS. I wanted to get there early because Mersa was the opening band, and I dig those guys, so I made the effort to get down there and see them. I got an excellent parking space (something that never happens to me) and made my way into the venue, where the guy working the door told me that Dean and Rusty were already there, hanging out with J.F.A. I walk inside and see everybody skating the mini ramp, which was a sight to see. It was set up where the mechanical bull used to be, and was pretty far away from the windows, so no errant skateboards could crash through and boink a tipsy tourist on the head. Everyone skating the ramp complained about it, or had something negative to say about it, but it didn't matter. They skated it anyways, and it was just cool that the mini ramp inside the LVCS was now a reality. It wasn't there for the Luicidal gig, but it was here now. I took it as a sign that it was going to be a most excellent evening. I mean, how could it not be? There was a mini ramp inside the LVCS. How cool is that? :-)
The gig actually started on time, and Mersa kicked things off with a sick and thick sounding wall of crusty Punk music that I am slowly becoming a huge fan off. These kids take the monolithic droning approach of bands like Amebix or Bathory and add the twisted rhythmic march of Rudimentary Peni to their music and it comes out just fantastic sounding. The guys just kind of stand around while they play, with either looks of intoxication on their faces or looks that seem to say that they're thinking of killing someone in a slow and painful manner. The guitarist handles the brunt of the vocal work, and his shrieks and growls and yelps add a sense of urgency and despair to everything he's spewing out, which is cool. No phony pretensions in the name of bandwagon jumping here, nope. These guys are the real deal - they live it, they mean it, and they love it. They had a small crowd of supporters cheering them on, and little circle pits would break out occasionally while Mersa raged on, and after about 20 minutes or so they called it a night. I've seen these guys a few times as of late, and they just keep getting better every time I see them. Check out Mersa any chance you get. You won't be disappointed.
The next band that was supposed to go on was missing a drummer. Or, as it's more commonly known, we don't wanna play in our allotted time slot, so we're gonna delay things so we can play later when there's more people there trick. I was on the fence about this band before, just because they associate with that drunken kunt from another band that nobody gave a shit about, and now with this BS stunt, I'm just done with 'em. They weren't that good to begin with, but their guitar player is one of the coolest guys ever, but as for the rest of them, who cares? Fuck off with your Cockstar bullshit and go back to playing backyard parties and wallowing in mediocrity. Tossers. The place sat silent for about an hour, with people making a beeline for the door because there was fuck all going on. I know if I wasn't playing the gig I definitely would of left, but instead, I increased my drinking. The band did eventually show up and play, and not only did they suck but they knocked the schedule all out of whack, which meant every other bands set was getting cut short. PFR I know, but also, just really, fucking stupid. Lame ass move by a lame ass band. Over it. Next.
I had been waiting to see G.F.I. for a while now, and it was with great trepidation and an air of asperity, because the word going around the campfire was that this was G.F.I.'s last gig ever, with Nick Razor just deciding on giving up the Punk Rock lifestyle for a bit and just rest. I don't blame him but I didn't want it to be true either. Chatting with them beforehand, they all seemed OK, and once they got up on the stage, I DEFINITELY knew they were OK, because from the opening moments onward, with Nick announcing the bands entrance with explosive fireworks, they just fucking SLAYED, playing almost everything I wanted to hear as well as taking requests from the audience, which was some guy yelling for Acid Bath. Nice. Nick was prowling the stage like a mountain lion or something, and Tyler on guitar was just cranking out one lightning fast riff after another, all the time with a mischievous look on his face. The rhythm section was new, in true G.F.I. tradition, and they held their end down with a ferociousness that was crazy to watch, not to mention that the bassist stripped down to his undies for some reason midway through the set... heh. They were just getting warmed up when someone from the side of the stage was yelling at them that their time was done, probably about 20 minutes into their set, and G.F.I. wrapped things up and called it a night. Major, major disappointment. Some bullshit band before them goes on late and plays their entire set, and the almighty G.F.I. were alloted a mer pittance of time to play? Shenanigans, says I! A fucking weak ass ending. I'm gonna keep my fingers crossed that they play one more time, somewhere, anywhere, and that I'm there to see it. And besides, it looked like G.F.I. had better things to do, hopefully something to do with drugs and booze and hookers. :-)
IDFI came on next, and their Corrosion Of Conformity meets Infest meets Verbal Abuse style of true Hardcore music just grabs you by the throat and stomps your ass in the pit for not slamming hard enough or fast enough. They're powered by a hard hitting, fast as fuck monster drummer, and one of the sickest bass players to grace a Local stage ever. He'd give Cliff Burton a good race in the headbanging game, that's for sure. His screaming and yelling out backup vocals just adds another weapon to the IDFI sound attack, which was taking no prisoners tonight. They were on fire, and just bashing out one furious blast of angry music right after another, working themselves up into a state of near hysteria in the process. The 2 guitarist in the band also do vocals, and together they're a amalgamation of blurry hands, popping neck veins, and fingers all over the fret board. They got a killer sound, very Cro-Mags like, and their music has the crowd of diehard Fans and Friends in an uproar. They're jumping around, crashing into each other, and screaming along to everything IDFI is playing. I stood there transfixed by it all, enjoying the splendor of watching a band that''s absolutely on fire, that's just burning down the place, doling out one fast and furious tune after another, to a crowd that's just lapping it up like the whores that they are. After a bit the band called it a night, and once the band stopped playing it was like a bomb went off. Everyone just sort of stumbled away, dazed and confused, looking like they had just gotten their asses kicked, which, in a way, I guess they had. IDFI were incredible, and played a majorly impressive set. I don't know much about this band, but I'm gonna rectify that situation post haste - and you should too!
Guilty by Association were up next and I could only stay and watch the first 2 songs, because I was being paged over the P.A. to get my drum set up in the hallway, but the 2 songs I heard sounded pretty good. For a bunch of guys who don't practice much they sounded pretty tight. Tom and Bob's guitars sounded metallic and thick, and Billy's playing has been exemplary as of late, and he seems to be beating the fuck out of his kit with a renewed enthusiasm, nice. And Craig's Mormon prospector look belies the fact that he's an ace Punk Rock bass player who makes playing that thing look easy. Mikes got a few patented stage moves he uses to get the crowd into the band, and tonight was no exception to his using them to get people riled up. He's great at what he does and it's fun to watch him perform. He's fucking hard to photograph too because he's always moving around, something more front people here in town should take note of. Anyways, after a few songs I had to get going, but from what I was hearing in the hallway where I was setting things up, Guilty By Association sounded impressive, and the crowd was eating it up. Sweet.
My band American Buckshot was up next, and I think we did alright. The crowd liked us, and our errors weren't so glaring! hahaha I mean, Dean's mistakes on bass and vocals were kept to a minimum, and Rusty's guitar playing and cracking wise in between songs didn't annoy me as much as it usually does... LOL I, of course, was infallible, and an inspiration to aspiring Punk drummers everywhere, fortifying my already well established legacy of brutality upon my drum kit, and after we were done performing we were whisked away to our awaiting stretch limo, where big tittied strippers with lines of coke already lined up on their butt cheeks awaited us, as well as an assortment of groupies of various ages and races. Yeah, it was that kind of night for American Buckshot. Seriously.
I got back just in time to catch the opening salvos from Mr. Brannon, lead vocalist extraordinaire, about how much fun the Ditch Dust BBQ was earlier, and with that, J.F.A. were off and running and beginning the Herculean task of playing a little something from every aspect of their long running musical career, and damn if they didn't do just that! The crowd was going ape shit from the opening note forward, sending wave after wave of adoring Punk Rock energy towards the band, and they were eating it up and giving it back tenfold. Brian was just terrorizing the stage and anyone within 5 feet of it's surrounding area, contorting, intimidating, howling, stomping, whipping his mic chord around, and jumping up and down and off of things whenever the urge hit him, screaming like the pissed off Punker that he is, and he did it all while sporting a Blue Tile Lounge Presents shirt... heh. The band sounded killer! Dandy Don Redondo is still one of the coolest guitarists ever, and he makes it look oh so easy to play and incorporate all the styles of guitar playing and picking that he does in the band, switching between lightning fast down stroking to twangy, reverb drenched, surf style of picking with the greatest of ease, and he does it all with this Zen, Billy Zoom like, calm demeanor about him. Very wicked to watch and listen to. I like watching Carter play my drums, and he tells me he likes playing them, so our little drum Bromance continues on unabated. I think Corey has been the bass player for J.F.A. longer than anyone else, and his enthusiasm is contagious, his bass playing exemplar. They were zig zagging all over the place musically, going from the short but sweet rage of songs like We Know You Suck and Preppy, to lush, harmonious, melody driven ditties like Baja and Charlie Brown. Yes, of course they played Low Rider, but they also did a few songs off of their latest releases Speed Of Sound, which fit in perfectly with everything else they were playing. The band kept playing, the crowd kept running around in circles, the people on the ramp were raging full on and all was right inside the LVCS, even if just for a bit. All good things have to end, and after what seemed like a short time, J.F.A. finished up their set with a few well deserved encores before heading off stage to thunderous applause and numerous calls for more music to be played. They could of played for another 2 hours and it wouldn't of been enough for everyone in the place. They were that good. J.F.A. had just played one Hell of a set, and it''s always tough to realize the fact that it's over. Some things you just want to go on longer than they do.
Gig's over. The punters head Home, a few cool kids are hanging out with the bands in the parking lot, watching the bands load their gear out, trying to figure out where the after parties are, and posing for pictures with the bands and each other before heading our separate ways into the night. It's always a pleasure to play with J.F.A., and this night was no exception. It was a long day and I was wiped out. I jumped into the van and headed back to my pad to crash the fuck out. It was a great night.
For more Pictures of J.F.A., please click here. For more Pictures of American Buckshot, well you're just gonna have to ask WHOMEVER that girl was that was taking them. :-) For more Pictures of Guilty By Association, please click here. For more Pictures of IDFI, please click here. For more Pictures of G.F.I., please click here, and for more Pictures of Mersa, please click here. Thank you. Come again.