Mersa / American Buckshot / Unfair Fight / Fuzz SoLow / The Swamp Gospel @ The Beauty Bar
Written by GE 138.
This gig was a benefit of some sorts, for wayward kids with no skateboards or something like that, and a bunch of people came together to make this event happen and to buy said kids some much needed skateboard and safety equipment and whatnot. The skateboard community was well represented, with various Skaters, either Pros, Locals, or Amateurs, were all in attendance, and a half pipe was provided by Dean and Blue Tile Lounge Events, naturally, and the early part of the evening was spent raging full on the ramp. I took a few photos of Bob in action, mostly out of boredom, and my girl and I were just chillaxing around the place, checking out the artwork both inside and out, waiting for some band, any band, to get up on the stage and start making some noise.
First up on the bill was The Swamp Gospel, a spooky, blues tinged, voodoo rock trio from Hell that was there to heal the Sick and save the Sinners. They're lead by a sinister looking preacher man of sorts who was playing a fire engine red hollow body guitar and riffing and wailing away on it like a man possessed, all the while singing and screaming and howling into the microphone too. The female bass player was sporting a Priest's collar and rocking out off to the side, playing some rumbling bass runs, and the drummer supplying the beat is Lenny, ex-Dirty Babies drummer extraordinaire, who's death march drumming is perfectly suited for what this band is doing. People were gradually coming forward from the darkness to get closer to the band, to better listen to the message that was being put forward, or just to get some of the free spirits the Reverend was handing out before launching into a blistering cover of Strychnine by the Sonics. They played a few more songs before calling it a night, and they stepped offstage to some well earned applause. We grabbed some free demos from them after they were done. :-) If you're into the evil sounds of Link Wray, Charlie Feathers, or even Screaming Jay Hawkins, then check out The Swamp Gospel, a band carrying on in that fine, classic Rock and Roll tradition. Good stuff.
Crazy Chief was supposed to be playing next, but they weren't, because the word around the campfire was that they had to cancel out due to a Family emergency, so there was a bit of a lull in the band action. Anne and I walked around the place, checking out the Art on display, watching the skaters skate, and we were sitting inside with a group of Friends when I heard Fuzz SoLow's set kick in, and by the time I was able to get out back to where the stage was set up he was just finishing, so I kicked myself in the ass for missing out this time, but I know he's good. I've seen him before. Check out his psychedelic voodoo swamp boogie music whenever you get the chance. Unfair Fight was rushing to set their gear up on the stage, so I stuck around near the front of the stage, so as not to miss any of their set.
The reason why I was hyped on seeing Unfair Fight play was of the way Dan was jumping around beforehand. Like most Singers, he doesn't help move band equipment around, so while everyone else is setting their gear up on stage, Dan just sort of jumps around and stretches out and gets pumped up before hitting the stage. He looked intense, so I figured it was going to be a better than average set from the band. And it was. Unfair Fight just killed it, playing a set of Punk Rock goodness that was great to watch and even better to listen to. Maybe it was the night air, or maybe it was the crowd made up of Skaters, Artists and Downtown Hipsters, but whatever it was, Unfair Fight had their sights set to kill and just played an intense, massive sounding set which was highly energized and full of malicious intent. Chris' guitar playing was as sharp as ever, and Liz was jumping around all over the place while bringing the thunder down with her bass equipment. Pete's still my favorite drummer to watch, and Dan was yelling and screaming and getting all up in people's faces while evoking a reaction from the crowd, and the combo of all 4 was setting the bar pretty high for the rest of us that had to follow them on stage, performance wise, that's for sure. The crowd was eating it up, and every bit of applause they lauded out was well deserved. I love Unfair Fight. I've seen them dozens of times before, but this was one of the best performances I've ever been witnessed to. Yup! :-)
My band American Buckshot was up next, and we had been practicing hard for weeks to play this gig, going over the set list again and again and again to get things as tight and cohesive as possible. Why? I don't know, because once we got on stage, Dean was changing the order of the songs up and calling out for songs that we didn't even rehearse... LOL Rusty was looking like, well, a Rusty smurf, and he was playing as good as I've ever heard him, which ain't saying much, because I couldn't hear either Dean or Rusty very well. Not at all, actually. I couldn't hear a thing, so I just bashed the ever loving shit out of my drum set, looking at the lights in the sky, watching the guys on the ramp shred it up, and hoping that my band mates were in time with me. People seemed to like us, which was cool, and when Dean called up his nephew Jacob from Mersa to sing lead vocals for our cover of Bullet, things just sort of went to Hell for me after that and I stumbled to the end of our set, sweaty and smelly, sober and tired - as usual. Thanks to everyone for the compliments afterwords. It was much appreciated. :-)
I was surrounded by Friends and Family inside the Beauty Bar when I heard Mersa starting up on the stage outside. I dig that band, but I couldn't pull myself away from the circle I was in, so appy polly loggies to thee and thine for missing out on that. I was tired, soaking wet, and I just wanted to get my ass Home and pass the fuck out, so after walking my girl to her car, I headed back to the venue, packed my stuff up, said my good byes to everyone inside, grabbed Bob, smoked the last of my weed with Fuzz and some guy with a Spitfire tattoo on his neck, and then avoided the Po-Po's downtown on my way back to mi casa. It was a cool gig that, hopefully, raised some money for the Push Forward Skateboarding foundation. Hopefully the next fundraising event for it happens sooner than later. :-)
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