Written by GE 138.
Now look at this beautiful cake themed flyer over here. It's a perfect example of an annoying thing that goes on here in Vegas. The flyer says the gig starts @ 9, I get to the Motor City Cafe at 8:45, thinking that I'm just in time for the beginning of the night's festivities, and the gig doesn't really start until 10:30, almost 2 hours later! Perfect!! Only in Vegas!! ha ha ha
I didn't care that much really. Getting there early just gave me plenty of time to say my Hello's and give a big hug to the Birthday girl Christy , who is one of the coolest girls I've ever met and who was working behind the bar tonight on her birthday. I bet she made a killing in tips. :-) I stumbled around the place, bored, looking for something to get in to, when I ran into my old pal Flip, who used to be the guitarist for Give 'Em Hell, a kick ass Local Punk band that is long since retired. Flip was lurking in a dark corner, looking like one of those hooded desert creatures that attack R2D2 in one of those Star Wars movies I could give a shit less about. I hadn't eaten all day, so I went to the window and grabbed a couple of slices of pizza from the kitchen area and then settled down with Flip to grub and catch up on old memories and new adventures. We were waiting for something, fucking anything, to start and begin to fill up the dead space in the quiet bar. I don't know about Flip, but I was starting to get bored. Luckily, people were starting to show up. Bands were unloading equipment, people were trickling in from outside, and I was happy to see that there were a lot of familiar faces in attendance. Kei from the Tinglerz was in charge of setting up the P.A., and the opening band The Seriouslys were setting their gear up on stage. Slowly but surely, the night was official starting to take off, a few hours late, but better late than never. The vibe in the Motor City Cafe was party like, which was appropriate since it was Christy's birthday and all that. I had a good feeling about this gig. I think it was going to be a pretty good night for music and fun and merriment.
The Seriouslys drew the shortest straw, which meant that they were opening up the gig, but they did so in a rocking, raucous manner. There was definitely a buzz in the air as the girls took to the small stage area and plugged in, tuned up and got their levels straight. People were climbing off bar stools and getting up out of their seats to come forward and see what the girls were about to do. The band members chatted among themselves for a bit, a few people in the audience started hooting and hollering, Kate starts cranking away at this catchy, buzz saw riff on her sweet looking white Flying V guitar, and then the bass and drums come kicking in, and just like that, The Seriouslys are off and running, and it sounds really fucking good - better than I've ever heard them sound before. The songs they're playing are short, sweet, catchy, and hooky. They're like a mixture of The Vibrators and The Gits, just total old school Punk Rock goodness, loud and in your face. Kate gets a pretty awesome sound out of her guitar equipment (I think Turbo helps her out a bit with that), and Xtal on bass just keeps everything jumping and popping with her fast right hand, and nimble monkey fingered left hand bass riffs. Emma on drums pounds the ever loving shit out of her pretty blue drum kit. Her drumming is sloppy, loud, hard hitting, and I don't have a problem with that. That's pretty much how I like everything in my Life. ;-) The Seriouslys are just killing it, thrashing out one catchy tune after another, and the crowd is loving every minute of it. It all comes crashing to a climactic ending after a bit, and everyone seemed satisfied with what they heard. Check out The Seriouslys when you get the chance. They're a really good band. Sweet to watch too.
You know what else was sweet to watch? The next band up to play - The Civilians. This was their debut gig, believe it or not, and they were pretty good. They're a straight up, Spirit of '77 / Motörhead type of Punk Rock band, complete with dual buzz saw strumming guitars, singalong Oi! Oi! soccer hooligan type of back up vocals, and a brutally painful sounding bass tone. When the band first started it was just a blinding hot blast of white noise that just overwhelmed every set of ears in the room; nothing but top end brightness and tinniness. People were looking for something, anything, to stuff in their ears. Good thing? Bad thing? Not for me to say. I'm so deaf it didn't really bother me. :-) Once they band settled down, toned in, and turned things down to a bit less painful level on their amps, the music sounded much better. The Civilians sound like every British Punk band you can think of, 999, The Partisans, Sham 69, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. The Music is Strong. The Music is Loud. The Music is Good. What makes the band stand out in the crowd is their English sounding vocalist Trueland, who dresses sharp and sings Loud and Proud. What he's singing about, I don't know, but he sounds good doing it. Jason on bass helps out with the English vocal slant, plus, he has that crappy, Captain Sensible from The Damned bass tone, which everyone in the place was complaining about. Ugh. The band is rounded out by N.J. Pete on drums, looking much more relaxed playing this style of Punk Rock than his normal Hardcore Punk type of kit bashing. Pete's one of the best drummers in town, and I love watching him play his set. Plus he's always sporting an Oi! boy type of hat, so he adds to the visual charm of the band as well. ;-) Last but not least, and easily the most visually shocking member of the band, is Tony "Grandpa Spooky" Lopez on guitar, who looks like he would be more prone to being in a T.S.O.L. / Christian Death type of Punk band than The Civilians, but yet there he is, cigarette dangling from the corner of his mouth, chugging away at one catchy riff after another, occasionally screaming into the mic when appropriate. He also gave me and the website a shout out for some reason, which quickly killed the vibe in the room... hahaha Whatever. The Civilians played a much too short set, finishing up with some really fantastic song that the Singer explained was about him and his old biker buddy back in OK. Great stuff. The crowd really dug them too. I'm glad I was there to see the debut of The Civilians. When they become big Rock Stars I can say I was there when they first started to take over the world, Pinky. :-)
Next up on the bill of festivities was The People's Whiskey, one of my favorite Local bands at the moment. They're a groovy, heavy riff oriented Punk band with a bit of a Country emphasis in their music and lots and lots of Pop sensibilities in their arsenal. They're like a cross between Green Day and Sublime, with a bit of Hank Williams thrown in for flavor. They hail straight out of Hendertucky, a fact that they loudly vocalize at any given opportunity, and they have a very unique sound. Not exactly Punk, not exactly Rock, not exactly Pop. Must be something in the water out there. They got a bit of a buzz going around them right now, and the crowd was queued up and interested in what the band was about to lay down. Instead of beating them about the head and shoulders with one of their fast, more Punk Rock tunes, they instead started their set off with this hypnotic, groove heavy, bombastic piece of music that just hit everyone right in the face with it's powerful refrains and musical ebbs and flows. I had never heard it before and it was hooking me right in, that's for sure. It was a great way to start their set, and after that, they had the crowd eating out of their hands. The People's Whiskey have sort of a dual vocal thing going on, with J's vocal's being a bit more twangy and subdued than bassist Cody's vocals, whose passionate, animated style of singing is infectious and fun to watch. Steve on the other guitar adds all sorts of musical depth to the bands sound with his chops and diverse musical references, and Luis on drums is one of the sickest dudes I've ever seen play. He's like a Mexican Dave Grohl with the hair and the flailing arms and the chops and the force and style that he plays with. I find it hard to watch anyone but him while The People's Whiskey plays, because he's just that damn good of a drummer. Simply phenomenal behind the kit, and makes me ashamed to call myself a drummer. The People's Whiskey played a strong set of Punk tunes about drinking and drugging, fighting and fucking, and Love lost and found and then fucked up again, and they did it with a youthful swagger and with loads of energy to burn. The crowd, comprised of old friends and new fans, loved every minute of it, and so did I. The People's Whiskey played an amazing set. Check them out each and every chance you get. You will NOT be disappointed. One of the best bands in Vegas... ever?
Last but certainly not least on the night's bill was the almighty Tinglerz. They had the lion's share of the people inside the Motor City Cafe in their pocket, seemed like everybody was there just to see them. It was getting pretty crowded up near the stage area, and everyone was buzzed and feeling obnoxious. The Tinglerz, for those of you who don't know, are a kick ass Punk Rock power trio along the lines of Agent Orange or The Plugz. They have the amazing Kei on guitar / vocals, straight outta Japan and one of the nicest guys you will ever meet, Turbo from The Vermin on drums, and the latest new guy Eric on bass. Eric reminds me of Mike Dirnt from Green Day so much it's not funny. Same playing style, they sort of look the same, and they bounce around on stage with the same crazed, youthful energy. Maybe the same bass guitar too? I dunno. Maybe he was trying to out crazy Cody from The People's Whiskey on bass and stage presence, but whatever the cause, he's great to watch and definitely adds to the bands powerful sound. The Tinglerz were killing it. They had the chicks up front dancing and shaking their asses to the catchy beat, and the guys were slamming around into each other and getting rough and rowdy. I took that as my sign to leave, so I headed for higher ground, took a few pictures from my vantage point, and then headed to the bar to stock up on refreshments. I was spent. My back hurt. I had enough. I hung around for a bit, chatted with some people, and watched as the Tinglerz finished up their rocking set to the joy of the people standing around watching them play. It was definitely a fun night. Thanx! to everyone for hanging out, and Thanx! to The Civilians, The People's Whiskey, The Seriouslys, and the Tinglerz for playing such great sets. Happy Birthday Christy!!! XOXOXOXO Let's do it again next year, but this time, someplace where we can get you drunk and where you're not working. ;-)