Friday nights gig @ Atomic Liquors was majorly fun, despite the over-attendance of all the attention whores and poseurs in patched up Levi vests riding their kiddie bikes around the place. Can this trend just go die already? Seriously? I'm sure it started out as something fun and different and whatever but it's evolved into something else entirely, something dooshy and cliquey. Sometimes I wish a real "Outlaw Bike Club" would just come to town and take all their cuts right off their pretendo Hipster backs. Ugh. Whatever. So here I am heading to their habitat Downtown, a celebration for them and their like, and I told everyone this once I got there, that the only reason I was even in attendance , was to see Alan Six (or Sixx, depending on who you ask in the band), because I dig the band that much. I mean, I knew the Mapes were going to be as amazing as they always are, but if Alan Six weren't on the bill, I probably wouldn't of made the trek Downtown for the gig. Just saying. ;-)
Parking was a nightmare, of course, because everything Downtown was closed off for some sort of big event / sheeple fleecing / dooshbag round up, and after driving around in circles for a while, looking for an available spot to park, and right as I was about to give up on finding one, a perfect spot opened up, which was a quick walk away from Atomic Liquors, so Erika and I - plus Bob, of course, ambled over to the venue, passing through a semi-chained, locked fence of some sorts to get there, and it was while walking through all the blatantly open spaces and hundreds of not being used Port-A-Potty's, that it occurred to me how clueless the Downtown mentality is, and just how desperate and pathetic the people that embrace it truly are. It's only from the outside that you can see what's really going on inside. Downtown used to be such a cool, dirty little place. This Disneyfication of the place is terrible. The cleaner it looks, the worse it smells. Ugh.
It was while thinking all this that I stood around waiting for Alan Six to play. After a quick talk to Lemonhead and his girl on the way into Atomic Liquors, I grabbed some booze and went outside to smoke everything I could get my hands on while Bob and Erika worked the room, saying 'Hello' to people they knew and whatnot. Must be nice to have friends. LOL Alan Six set their gear up pretty quickly, choosing a far corner of the courtyard to launch their aural attack on everyone, and after a much too long wait they kicked off the nights festivities with little fanfare but lots and lots of rocking. I dig this band. They sounded terribly nervous though. The bands sound was thin outside, but people were coming closer to their little corner of the courtyard to check out what they were throwing down, and once Alan Six got warmed up and found their footing, the band sounded great! I really dig them. Adrienne is definitely the Star of the show, putting everything she's got into the vocals she screams / sings on ever song, and her enthusiastic bass playing on that cute little whatever color it is bass of hers is fun to watch. Same with Dave's drumming. For a guy who just started playing the drums he's getting pretty good at it. More of a basher than a finesse player, his enthusiastic, uneven drumming keeps the band on a pretty steady keel on the rockin' high seas. I don't know what he was thinking by committing to performing twice in one night like he was doing tonight, but he's a madman for doing so, and he was hitting the drums pretty hard and looking cool while doing it. The guitar player of the band, Lance, is known around town as a bit of a curmudgeon ball buster, but despite all that, he's a decent guitar player that just hammers away on the Ramones like riffs of Alan Six with endless gusto, and he adds vocals to everything the band plays, but I doubt anyone's looking at him while he's doing so because again, it's all about Adrienne. She's what makes Alan Six so good, and after a much too short of a set, the band wrapped it up to well deserved rounds of applause. Alan Six played a sloppy good drunk set, and made more than a few fans along the way while doing so. Good stuff. Check them out every chance you get. You'll dig them.
The Maxies were up next, and a lot of people seemed hyped on their playing. I had seen them a while ago at the Dive, and didn't really dig what they were all about, which is just some total Pop Punk / Ska musical overload, but since I was there, and buzzed, with not a lot else to do, I thought I'd give the band another chance and check them out and see if it was just me or if the band just sucked. I figure it's just me, because when The Maxies started playing, the crowd started rocking out, and the wannabe's in the denim vests started going ape shit, and I just kind of stood there going 'Meh' at the whole spectacle. I don't get it but again, I seemed to be the only one who didn't, because everybody in the place was digging the band, so I just sat at a table chugging whiskey and taking it all in. People dug the Maxies. Lots of applause and yells. They didn't play for long though. Seemed like they played a short set to give tonight's headliners The Mapes more time for their sure to be debaucherous set.
Holy shit was there a buzz in the air while The Mapes were getting ready to play. I'm not sure why, but tonight's gig seemed special, it seemed crazed. Maybe it was the Downtown location, maybe it was the extra high level of intoxicants that everyone in the place seemed to be suffering from? There was some company set up on the patio of Atomic Liquors giving away free shots of some gawd awful tasting whiskey, and people were taking full advantage of the free booze, which isn't the best thing to give to fans and friends of The Mapes... heh heh heh
OK, so after what seemed like a zillion years, and with lots of jockeying for position from those of us dumb enough to be standing near the front, especially since all the foods and whatever else they were planning to throw at the crowd was in shopping bags by the amps, bulging bags full of dirty surprises, and it looks like the band is ready to start shit up. The mics are turned on, and The Mapes start egging the crowd on, hurling insults, preparing the crowd for the worst, like poking the lion with a stick, telling them what's about to happen, and nobody cares. It's not our first time at this retarded sexy rodeo. We can take it. Horns are being blown, drinks are being consumed in mass quantities, cameras are set to record, and Sherif Turlett starts cranking out the riff to Me So Horny, and the crowd lets loose a humongous howl of appreciation, and just like that, The Mapes are off and running. Holy fuck is this shit Epic.
The crowd is alive and moving. The Mapes have a horn section tonight, comprised of 2 Local musicians so ashamed of themselves and what they're participating in that they had to wear masks and comical hats to conceal their real identities. ;-) They are making Me So Horny sound better than it ever has before, playing perfectly demented brass instrumental leads during the song and the crowd is eating it all up, jumping around, dancing around, just loosing their minds to this musical malady that The Mapes are putting out there. People are tossing around full rolls of toilet paper, and other people are picking them up just as quickly as they hit the ground and throwing them right back in the air, and the rolls of paper are crisscrossing the crowd, like a fibrous pie crust topping, which is only adding to the spectacle. Band members have no idea of what's going on. They cant hear a thing, and they don't seem to care. They're too busy watching the crowd and the craziness that's going on. Full bags of confetti are being unleashed onto the crowd, and it's so thick in the air that it's hard to breathe. It's controlled chaos within a 30 foot area, with technical difficulties to make things awkward, and I'm loving every minute of it. I always do. :-) Captain Whiskey is powering things along behind the drum kit, and the rest of the Mapes just seem to try to follow along. Haywood J. Blowme is climbing on top of his guitar amp, taking in all the chaos with a huge grin on his drunken face, and the band is just plowing through one classic song after another, playing an incredibly sharp and extra fast version of Voltron that was a joy to my ears. It's auto-destructive art, and The Mapes are the Masters at it.
The madness had to slow down sometime. It couldn't go along at the pace and level it was for the first half of The Mapes set. No fucking way. The band area is a mess. The crowd area is no better. There's food stuff, flour, fluids, wasted booze, and mounds and mounds of paper everywhere; both confetti and shredded. As the band is settling the crowd down with their slow ballad I Hope You're Just Getting Fat, some brain dead genius (aka Clay) decides to add a little fire to the nights festivities, with lighter fluid on his ride cymbal no less, so just when the band is coming back into the song at the fast part, Captain Whiskey is bashing away at this on fire ride cymbal, sending little balls of fire flying around everywhere, setting multiple little fires everywhere around him. The band finishes up the song, the crowd puts out the rapidly spreading paper fire that's engulfing everything it can feed on with lots of foot stomps and poured out beer, and all is well again. After that little almost disaster, it was all downhill from there, as The Mapes just struggled with one technical difficulty / minor calamity after another, but always winning, and never giving up. They played a few more tunes, ending the night (I think) with Reptillicus, which then morphed into some sort of drunken free for all jam sesh, very Flipper like, and despite the crowd relentlessly begging / daring them to play more songs, they didn't. The Mapes were done. The moment was lost. It now seemed that everyone was too drunk, or would rather be drinking and trying to get drunk, to even care about either playing music, or watching people play music, and so The Mapes called it a night, ending their yearly performance at Atomic Liquors the same as they did before, and as they always do - leaving the stage a huge, sticky, messy, sexy looking crime scene. I took it all in, savoring the moment, and then walked away and off to my vehicle. Perfect ending to a debaucherous night. The Mapes killed it in their own special, dementedly unique way. They always do. I love this band. <3
For more Pictures of Alan Six, please click here. For more Pictures of The Mapes, please click here.