The People's Whiskey / Love Vendetta / The Civilians / Whiskey Southern Band / Sweetest Morphine / Meade Ave. / The Sound Collage @ the Hard Rock Cafe
Written by GE 138.
This day was a long time coming. It was heavily promoted, but I was still worried about the turnout for a benefit concert on a Sunday at the Hard Rock Cafe. I mean, I had nothing better to do on a Sunday afternoon, but that doesn't mean others did not. Some people still care about football season, ya know. ;-) So Anne, Bob, and I headed to the Strip, paid our $3 to park, and worked our way through the myriad of mazes made up of backstage walkways and grimy service elevators, and we eventually found our way to the green room, which had all sorts of cool Rock 'N' Roll memorabilia adorning it's walls, of course. Ringo Starr's old suit hung alongside Ray Davie's bloodied guitar, and there was a food layout in the corner, with chicken fingers and some bomb ass veggie taquitos. Nice. After we ate we wandered around like Tourists taking pictures and taking everything in, including this pink ass suit that was supposedly worn by Sid Vicious. Funny, I don't remember Sid Vicious ever being in a pink suit, but whatever.
So the whole reason why we were here was for this Love Has No Bounds concert, which was a charity event put together by Danielle and Ryan from Nevermore Productions, and it was to raise money for this thing called Operation Homefront, which provides financial help and assistance to the families of people in the service and to wounded warriors. They were holding raffles with all sorts of glorious swag as the prize incentives, there was a photo booth set up by NSM Photography, these crazy girls from Pinups For Patriots were roaming around distracting every guy in the place, and there was some eye catching Art stuff set up in a corner of the venue, with a cool gathering of Artists just hanging out and talking shop, with various pieces of their work on display, neatly arranged on top of fold up tables or hanging from wire mesh. Of course, I'm always partial to Dan 45 and his colorful take on things, and it's his artwork featured in the picture right there. I like it. There was a cool vibe in the room, and everyone seemed to know everyone, and we all just kind of hung around and waited for the bands to start playing while the room filled in with the punters. They told us load in was at 2. The gig didn't start until 6. We definitely had some time to kill.
To help the time go by, I headed down to the Strip to watch Jeremy and Ryan promote the gig to people strolling by, which was fun, because Ryan was being obnoxious to some people, and Security wanted to kick us out of there, but since they saw we were promoting the gig upstairs, they kind of just let us do our thing. The Pinups For Patriots girls were downstairs as well promoting, and Jeremy arranged for the photo you see here. It was almost time for the gig to begin so we all headed back upstairs. I almost wished I had stayed downstairs... LOL
The bands that played were... uhhhmmm... interesting? Opening act The Sound Collage were utter shite - as expected. Pretty vacant people led by some dooshbag in a faux hawk singing to prerecorded tracks was an odd way to begin the gig. The next band Meade Ave. were OK. Little too 'dreamy' for me though. The singer/guitarist had a crazy ass hand carved flying V guitar in his hand that just screamed out METAL, but he was playing this jangly, limp wristed Indie music with it. Meh. Sweetest Morphine had their heads so far up Interpol's ass that it was disgusting. They literally sucked the life out of the room, and with the lame Macbook video thing they had going on while they played, well, the pretentiousness coming off the stage was enough to send everyone in the joint elsewhere. Phooey. The Whiskey Southern Band picked up the slack and got things going again, bringing the RAWK back into the room, and getting people back to the stage area. Cool guys too. Their drummer let me use his kick drum pedals, because apparently, I was supposed to bring my own pedals to the thing, even though the Promoter nor my band mates told me to bring my pedals. well, Jeremy did, but I chose not to listen to him because, well, I'm a dick.
And then the fun began. The Civilians played next and I think we were cut off after 4 or 5 songs? Why? Well because all the shitty bands that played before us played too long, and because there was no stage manager working and thus, nobody was there to tell bands when to get on and off the fucking stage. Well, except when we were playing, apparently. Somebody told us we were done and that was pretty much it. Our set was over. We stood around for a bit waiting for someone to introduce us or to tell us our set time was beginning, but nobody ever did, so we just started our set off, with Ryan standing tall and proud center stage playing this Armed Services melody on his pipes, while everyone in the place clapped their hands along to the melody. After he was done we crashed into our intro, and then it was right Doin' Time, and we were off and running. People seemed to be digging us. We played a few more songs and that was it. They cut off the amps and played the house music over the PA to let us know we were finished. Fucking bullshit, but whatever. We were pretty good for the whole 15 minutes we were on stage. Load in at 2 pm, sit around for 6 hours, get on stage to play for 10 minutes. This is why I love playing in a band... hahaha Just because I'm a dick, I set my timer on my iPhone to check the next bands - Love Vendetta - set length. Came out to almost 27 minutes. Go figure, right? It was horrible and they sucked, but they were well dressed, nice music playing automatons so whatever.No wonder they were allowed to play a complete set. I wasn't really paying attention to them though, because we were all goofing around taking silly pictures with the Pinups For Patriots girls for some reason... lol
Then The People's Whiskey came up to the stage, I hit the Record button on my trusty TASCAM, and then they started to play, opening up with Tall Can, and they sounded glorious! Sooooooooo fucking good on a proper stage. Steve's guitar sounded amazing, and Cody was all over the place, sporting a brand new onethirtyeight.org shirt I had given him earlier to cover up the embarrassingly bad looking Sounds Of Shit shirt he was wearing. The band was ragin', just fucking murdering it, going right from Pills into Alley into Fist Fights & Miller Lites into Bar Esteem, one song right into another, because I'm sure they had a feeling that time was running out. They even played some new song that sounded creepy and great, and then right after they were done playing this one song I haven't heard them play in forever, an unreleased little Ska infused ditty, power to the stage was cut, the stage lights went dark, the house music started playing over the PA, and unceremoniously, the set from The People's Whiskey was over. Gawd, who the fuck was running this shit?? I checked the timer on my recorder - 19 minutes. Boooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. Such a bullshit ending to a great set by The People's Whiskey. Gawd damn do I LOVE that band. <3
It was the usual Love fest in the green room after the gig - Promoters congratulating the Bands, Bands complimenting each other on the sets they played, and Roadies humping the gear out to the rides. It was a cool thing to hang out and take everything in, not so much a good day to play some Punk Rock music, but oh well. Live and Learn, right? Right! We said our goodbye's and so long's to everyone before getting in the car and heading to Felipito's for some grub, which is always a great way to end a day. :-)