4/24/2015 0 Comments
Written by GE 138. Pictures by "Daddy" Pound Town Brown and GE 138. Flyers by Trueland Morrison and whoever did the Tempe flyer.
Tempe, AZ. Time Out Lounge. Bring it. :-)
After the usual pre-going out of town ritual of removing the back seats from the rental van, the old guys in the band loaded up the gear in the rear and once Jeremy was done running some chores, we all climbed aboard our road vessel and hit the freeway for the quick 5 hour drive to the gig, which included a random stop in Wickenburg for some Filiberto's, and a drive across that newly constructed bridge that people keep jumping off of, and where the creepy fact that the FNG Matt has Siri call him 'Daddy' brought us hours of hilarity every time he asked her to do something... LOL We're such easily amused primates, I tell you. Once we got to AZ., we made a bee line to our hotel, checked into our rooms, relaxed for a bit, and then quickly got thirsty and hungry and then we decided to head off to the venue to suss things out and look for some close by grub. There were already a bunch of people hanging out in front of the Time Out Lounge, which we took as a sign of good things to come, and after parking the van we headed in to figure out what was going on. Everything seemed Kosher. Our only concern was that we were playing last, with 6 bands on the bill total, and that people weren't going to stick around to watch us play. Don't worry, the Booker /Lead Singer from The Industry assured us. They've already seen us. They've all come out to see you. They're gonna stick around. Promise! hahaha OK. With that cleared up I headed off to the bar for some much needed booze, while everyone else just sort of scattered about. Matt set up the merch table, Bob skated the parking lot, Jeff, Trueland and Jeremy were busy chatting up the Locals. I played some Creature From The Black Lagoon pinball, but the left flipper was dead and fucking my game up, and since the first band, We Might Be Wasted were starting up, I decided to head past the pool tables in the back and towards the front of the stage area to check the band out. I didn't come to AZ. to get drunk and play pinball. I can do that at home. I wanted to hear some music. I wanted to check out some of the Local talent.
We Might Be Wasted were pretty cool. They had a catchy, Drunk Punk style of singalong songs going on, and there was something happening up on the tiny stage, something I couldn't couldn't quite put my finger on, but whatever it was, I was digging what I was seeing / hearing from the band. The singer was wearing a DIE HIPSTER SCUM shirt, which Jeremy told me I should own, and he seemed to be a pretty confident, fearless guy. I was especially digging the Drummer, who was this little guy just flailing away as hard as he could behind this tiny ass kit, coming up with quirky fills and lots of pocket noise to supplement the bands hard rocking, pounding sound. The band kind of reminded me of early Guttermouth, because I think they were just singing these crazy, goofy, borderline retarded lyrics to their standout Punk tunes, but it was hard to tell through the tiny PA. The guitarist sporting the PBR shirt had this great guitar line during a slow song they played, a song that reminded me of the Crucifucks, believe it or not, and that damn riff was stuck in my head for the rest of the night. Bastard! ha ha A few drunk Punx slammed around while We Might Be Wasted played, and the Singer worked the room like a pro, keeping people interested and never letting any dead air fill the place. They played a few more songs and then called it a night. Nothing new or ground breaking, but still, pretty impressive. I wasn't the only one in the room that thought so A lot of people dug them and so did I. We Might Be Wasted played a pretty tight set. I'm definitely a fan.
All of us, except the FNG Matt, headed off to this greasy pizza joint down the way from the venue, right next to Zia Records, and the guy who was working there seemed happy for the business. He was giving us great deals for some pretty good grub, and being the fat boys that we are, we took full advantage of the man's generosity. I completely missed The Dime Museum (sorry) and we came back just as Buried In Red were tearing things up. They were a Rockabilly trio playing some high energy tunes, but people didn't seem too hyped on them for whatever reason, but a few in the crowd were digging them, and the band didn't seem to care that people weren't digging them, so yeah. I watched a few songs, took a few pictures, and then left.
Whiskey And The Barrels were up next, and they had the PBR shirt wearing guitarist from opening band We Might Be Wasted on mandolin, and they had an accordion player too, which had our new guy Matt straining his neck from way in the back at the merch table to watch and hear and maybe steal a few riffs from. ;-) Whiskey And The Barrels were hardcore Pogues disciples, doing a few covers from them and sounding a bit like Leftover Crack or some generic Punk shit like that when they weren't. Everyone in the band was speaking / singing in a thick Irish brogue, and one of the lead singers / guitarists was wearing a kilt, which is enough of a Jesse Nabers thing to creep me out now when I see someone wearing one, and the wild eyed Bassist / Singer had me in stitches when he pulled out a bag of potatoes mid-set and asked the crowd, while sounding like the Priest from Gangs Of New York, if anyone was hungry. When a few in the crowd said 'yes', he then announced that There will be noooooo famine here, as long as we got poooo-tate-ooooohs... while throwing potatoes at various people in the crowd LOL On personality alone Whiskey And The Barrels had me, but musically, I was kinda zoning. Not my cup of tea. The crowd dug them though. Check them out if you like the Pogues and Irish stereotypes. I spent the majority of Whiskey And The Barrels set getting ripped off by that damn Creature From The Black Lagoon pinball machine tucked into the back of the venue. It took all my money. Fucker.
Watching the next band up, The Industry, was a bit painful. Either the band wasn't well rehearsed, or well too buzzed to play, and it seemed to me like the singer just spent the first 10 minutes of their set yelling at the others in the band on their musical shortcomings and incompetence. I don't think it was shtick? Was it? I dunno. The Industry seemed to have a few moments of Oi! inspired brilliance, sounding a bit like Combat 84 at times, and a few of their hardcore fans were jumping around while the band played, but I dunno. I wasn't feeling it. I think it was a bad night for The Industry, but I'd check them out again to see if I caught them on a bad night or something. I could hear what they were trying for, but they just didn't seem to be able to make it happen. Oh well. I rushed outside to see if Bob needed help with the drum kit. He didn't, but I stayed outside anyways. I didn't think the band was going to get any better. I needed to smoke.
More than a few people came up to us while we were all hanging around outside, getting into that 'about to perform' state of mind, asking if we were The Civilians, and mentioning that they came out specifically to see us, chat us up, wish us well, whatnot. Very cool stuff. There was a good turn out of people at the Time Out Lounge, but who knew if they were gonna stay around, ya know? So The Industry finish up, and we rush our gear onto the tiny stage area, hoping people don't leave, and people are just sticking around, queuing up, standing around looking at us. Nobody's leaving, and everyone that was outside is now inside and fully focused on us. Trueland and Jeremy are joking with them like they always do... it was a good vibe in the room. Cool to be playing a gig in AZ. on a Friday night. Let's get this shit going NOW!
So we start to play, and people are digging it. A few of those people who introduced themselves to us outside were singing along, obviously taking advantage of the lyric sheet that comes with each and every Civilians CD sold. I haven't read the thing, but I encourage you all to do so, and then tell me what the songs are all about. I really don't know. I'm just the Drummer. All I know is that my drum set sounds awesome in the room, and the band sounds pretty good too. Jeremy is sweating, which means he's having fun and rocking out, noodling his fingers off, and Trueland won't shut up in between songs, which means he's had a bit to drink and is having a fun time, and Jeff is actually talking into the mic, and constantly tuning his geetar, which means he's having fun too. Matt give the thumbs up sign from the merch booth way in the back, and Bob is sitting at the bar drinking cheap beer, which means he's having fun and that everything is OK on his end as well. We had a set list written, but it went out at the window, because people were calling out for songs that weren't on the set list, songs we hadn't played in months (Happy), songs we luckily bluffed and stumbled our way through. HA! How did they know??? We finished up our set to some very generous applause and words of praise, and just like that Day 1 of our little excursion was done. We came to the Time Out Lounge to conquer and impress, and I think we did, and we met some very cool people while we were there, and we played a great set, and we had some major fun in the process, and sold a shitload of merch on top of everything. So much merch, in fact, that it paid for our annual after gig feast at the Waffle House, so next time you see someone wearing a Civilians tee shirt, just remember that the proceeds from that shirt probably paid for some band grub somewhere along the way... ha ha ha Not really, but that's a funny thought. ;-)
We did go to the Waffle House though, only after hanging out and saying goodbye to all our new friends and comrades, some of whom were making the trek out to Cottonwood to see us play again on Sat. FUCK THE WAFFLE HOUSE!!!! is all I'm gonna say about that once we got there... ha ha ha Yeah, lots of good people in AZ. It's been a while. I have forgotten, because it's been so long, but I'm gonna work on that not happening again. At least for a while anyways. I always have fun in AZ. I got stories. ;-)
For more Pictures of We Might Be Wasted, click here. For more Pictures of Buried In Red, please click here.