Written by GE 138.
After Civilians practice the other day, Jeremy asked me if I wanted to go see Prong with him. Sure, I said, and thought nothing more of it. 2 days later Jeremy sent me a text, asking me if I still wanted to go see Prong with him. Oh, you were serious about that? I asked him, and after a bit of convincing, Jeremy, Bob, and I, were off to the dreaded Downtown area to see Prong, mildly optimistic and ready for anything. After parking and taking the elevator down to Fremont Street just to take the escalator back up to the LVCS, we hung out with Larry from Life's Torment for a bit before meeting up with Jeremy's friend Kevin, who was road manager for the band. We headed off to that greasy ass pizza place a few doors down from the Beauty Bar (where I passed Danny walking along the sidewalk along the way) for some grub and then headed off to the tour bus to chill out for a bit. Prong's got some pretty cool people working for them, and everyone was super friendly to us. After all that shmoozing we headed back to the venue, and on the escalator up I could hear somebody thrashing away on the stage. I said 'Hello' to the promoter Tim and slinked my way into the cavernous venue that was practically empty. Damn. There were 2 diehards standing in front of the stage, and a handful of others looking mildly bored, sitting at the booths and tables to the side of the stage area. The band on stage, Rule Of Thumb, finished playing their song and I swear you could of heard a pin drop. It was silent as fuck, and only a few hand claps and cat calls broke the dead air momentarily. Damn it's quiet in here!, I said a bit loudly, and my words echoed around the building like I shouted them out. A few heads turned in my general direction... oh great. I just became "that guy". Captain Obvious.
Rule Of Thumb didn't seem to let the lack of heads in the venue stop them from raging full on though, playing some heavy ass "Hardcore" music, and when they do, it always reminds me of bands like Helmet or Biohazard. I had a brand new Canon EOS Rebel SL1 to test out, so I took a few shots of the band while they played, not really digging the tunes they were playing, but I wasn't hating it either, ya know? The only guy I recognized from the last time I saw Rule Of Thumb play was the bass player Kenny, and his gruff vocals and thundering bass work lead the bands metallic head charge as usual. The drummer, who I swear looked like an Indian fresh off the Paiute Rez, helped out a lot with that though. Double kick player that was pretty good. Couldn't tell you much about the guitar playing, because, for some reason, I wasn't really paying any attention to him, but he seemed OK at what he was doing. The 2 guys standing next to me in front of the stage area seemed to be digging them, so what can I say? Rule Of Thumb have been around for a while now, and their performance tonight is the reason why they are. Pro act through and through.
It sucks that you have to go to the outside patio area to smoke when you're at the LVCS. It's kind of like they don't want you to see the support bands play, because unless you're there to see a specific band, there's no incentive to go back inside and check things out. You can get drinks out there on the patio. You can get high and people watch on Fremont Street on the patio. You can watch this amazing dancer / DJ / personal Hero put on one Hell of a show while spinning some amazing 80's and 90's dance floor classics, all the while dancing and singing along to every song he played. The guy looks like Pugsly from the Addams Family all grown up, with a shaved head and a shirt that says 'This is what Awesome looks like' written on it. Wow. I missed every other band playing because I, along with Jeremy, Bob, and a whole bunch of other people, were simply captivated by this guy. What a show. I wish I had taken video of him on the sly, because it was seriously that entertaining. You definitely had to be there to appreciate it. Apparently he's a regular there. I hope to run into him again sometime soon. :-)
Our mutual friend Kevin was running around getting the Prong gear on stage all up to snuff, specifically the drum set which was pretty sweet. I don't like rack set ups but it was still pretty sweet. Didn't sound as good as I thought it was going to though, but whatever. The roadies finish up, including the guitar tech who looked lost up there, and the stage is cleared and the show is about to begin. Everyone in the place queues up towards the front of the stage area, probably around 30 in total, and the guys in Prong come out and people are pretty hyped on seeing them, which was cool. The crowd was small but enthusiastic. You could tell the guys in the band weren't happy with the turnout, but they did their best and launched into their opening number and they were off. The walls were rumbling. A few people were jumping around and headbanging. Cool.
I've seen Prong a few times, the last time being in 1994 (?) at the Huntridge, and I thought they were OK. Like a Slayer-lite, not as intense or Satanic. More Black Sabbath than Black Metal. I missed them a few years ago when they played the same venue, but wasn't that worried about it because to me, Prong isn't one of those 'must see' bands. Sorry. Tommy Prong is an interesting dude though, and he's played with some heavy ass bands, Danzig, Ministry, and Nine Inch Nails among them, so to see him thrashng away and growling into a microphone for his own band Prong was a cool treat. The band was touring for a new album, Ruining Lives, and they were loud and proud and laying a blistering wall of sound down on the LVCS and it's meager inhabitants, and they sounded good doing it. The bass player was throwing a hissy fit about his microphone for the first few songs, repeatedly knocking the mic stand over, and then the roadie would set it back up, and then he would knock it back over again, and then the roadie would set it back up again, and then he would knock it back down again. Whatever. Once he got that out of his system, Prong seemed to get comfortable tearing shit up and talking shit up. They lamented the crowd about nobody moving around, they made fun of the people who were just sitting there watching the show, telling them to at least head bang if they were going to just sit there being lame, and generally just put on a really good display of some manly ass man Metal, all meat, no filler. Prong rattled the windows, raging full on, and the longer they played, the more people got into what they were doing. Choice stuff. We made it about 45 minutes into the set before we had to leave. Not because Prong was bad, but just because everyone was tired and had to get up for work in the morning, and besides, there's only so much Metal us Punk guys can take, heh heh heh, so we left. Oh well. It was still cool to see Prong, if even for a little while. Good stuff. :-)
For more Pictures of Prong, please click here. For more Pictures of Rule Of Thumb, please click here.