Went out to Throttlefest last week. I thought it was kind of a mini version of Rockfest except Rockfest doesn't have chicks riding a motorcycle on a high wire. Thursday night The Rock gave away the Harley and I think the band I saw was called Pop Evil. I kind of enjoyed them.
There were bartender babes slinging beers for $5 behind wooden bar stands. They would reach into these bigs troughs of ice and water to pull out the beers. The first time I ordered a couple of Coors Lights. I noticed that there was a puddle of water on the bar where the girl was setting down the beer and opening the cans. So, the smart-aleck guy in me decides to put my $10 bill in this puddle of water and rub it around until it was soaking wet. The girl looks at me like "What are you doing?" I just smiled and put a dry dollar bill in the tip jar. Of course I did this same thing the rest of the night when I got beer. She was amusingly annoyed that I kept doing it. Saturday night, after the beer ran out in the VIP tent. I went up to one of the bars to get a beer and soaked 5 one dollars bills. The girl starts giving me the "Bitch Wings" and says "I'm not taking those." I pulled out a $5 and put it in the water and rubbed it around a bit and said "I'll give you a $5 tip." She took the money and gave me the beer. There was also a moment while I was in the crowd. Where a girl in front of me lights up a hand rolled cigarette. After taking a puff, she turns around and looks at a guy behind her and offers it. Maybe she knew the guy, I'm not sure, but he didn't reach for it. I say, "I'll help you with that," and took it from her fingers and inhaled a bit of it. I handed it back to her as she's saying "Dude, I don't even know you." I said, "Hi, I'm Jim." She wasn't amused but I got a kick out of it.
Saturday night headliner was Shinedown. They are one of my favorite bands and some of their songs spark some real emotion and feelings in me. When they started playing the song 45 it began to hit me. I don't know what came over me, but I started locking lips with a beautiful girl. I can't remember the last time I kissed a girl as long and hard as I did right then.
I went to the midnight showing of the Dark Knight Rises last week. I got home from the movie about 3:30 and scrolled through FaceBook reading people's thoughts on the movie. I had just turned off my computer. And was about to switch off my T.V. when the ABC News Special report flashed on the screen about 4am. Over the weekend I was as riveted by the news coverage of the shooting as I was riveted by the movie. I was going to come on here and post my smart-assed comments about costumes my fellow movie-goers wore. Or something in regards to Bane/Bain Capitol, Mitt Romney and Rush Limbaugh. But in the wake of the tragedy I just didn't feel like it. The whole thing is very upsetting. Not just because of the horror that befell the victims and their families. But also for the people that want to enjoy some harmless fun and dress up as their favorite heroes at these movie showings. That's not going to be allowed anymore. And Batman, who I have been a fan of since I was a little kid. Will Batman still be brought to the screen with the same intensity as we've seen in recent years. Or does he go back to being portrayed in more of a cornball light as the Joel Silver films of the 90's. And now, as a sports fan, as much as I look forward to being glued to the TV watching Olympic coverage. I pray that nothing tragic happens during the coming weeks in proximity to the games.
I went to the midnight showing of the Dark Knight Rises last week. I got home from the theater about 3:30am and scrolled through FaceBook reading people's thoughts on the movie. I had just turned off my computer. And was about to switch off my TV when the ABC News Special report flashed on the screen about 4am. Over the weekend I was as riveted by the news coverage of the shooting as I was riveted by the movie. I was going to come on here and post my smart-assed comments about costumes my fellow movie-goers wore. I would have made some quips in regards to Bane/Bain Capitol, Mitt Romney and Rush Limbaugh. But in the wake of the tragedy I just didn't feel like it. The whole thing is very upsetting. Not just because of the horror that befell the victims and their families. But also for the people that in the future want to enjoy some harmless fun and dress up as their favorite heroes at these movie showings. That's not going to be allowed anymore. And Batman, who I have been a fan of since I was a little kid. Will Batman still be brought to the screen with the same intensity as we've seen in recent years. Or does he go back to being portrayed in more of a cornball light as the Joel Silver films of the 90's. And now, as a sports fan, as much as I look forward to being glued to the TV watching Olympic coverage. I pray that nothing tragic happens during the coming weeks in proximity to the games.
It was the 4th year that I've had a tent at Rockfest. And for the first time I was happy with the way the banners went up and how things were displayed. I've gone to Rockfest every year for the last 12 years or so. And for all intents and purposes, the event was the same as it ever was. But I didn't have as good a time as I have in the past. I can put my finger on a few reasons why. But I think the biggest culprit was that I didn't have a good breakfast. I've stopped at the McDonald's at 39th and North Oak Trafficway on my way to the site the last 3 years. I didn't do that this time. They wanted vehicles off site by 9am, so I bypassed McD's. When my stomach started grumbling about 10am, I dipped into my cooler for a turkey sandwich. It took care of my hunger. But it didn't make the kind of beer friendly layer in my stomach that a sausage and egg biscuit, has brown and oj would have.
On May 15 I was back at Jerry's in Lee's Summit for a date in the Battle For Freaker's Ball. This past Tuesday the 22nd, was a Cover Wars. I started doing tuesdays there on March 27. I plan on going with it at least until sometime in September when the Freaker's Battle reaches a cut off point. I'm mostly doing some form of Club Wars on these nights. But I've also booked the Dio Birthday Bash for July 10 and Frank Hannon from Tesla on August 7.
On the 18th I emceed the Project Backstage Awards at Aftershock. I really had a lot of fun doing this and I'm up for being the Bob Hope/Billy Crystal for the show. I've already come up with a few more jokes to ad to my repertoire.
This past Sunday the 20th was a Cover Wars at VooDoo Lounge. There's been a number of changes going on behind the scenes at VooDoo in the last few months. Some of which involve the gaming commission. Just before the show started, the clubs production manager tells me that the gaming commission is not going to allow anyone under 18 to play there anymore. I caught wind that this might happen a couple of weeks earlier when the School Of Rock played in Cover Wars at the VooDoo. Since School Of Rock and another finalist, The Next Generation, all have members under 18. I went ahead and got a hold on July 1, the date of the final, at the Beaumont Club. I sent Terry from Mammoth an email Monday morning telling him I was taking the date. It's going to be the first time I've done a final at the Beaumont in a few years.
Coming up this weekend: Friday night is another double header of Metal Wars and the Ultimate Hip Hop Artist at Aftershock. These are both semi-final rounds. The Ultimate Hip Hop Artist started at the end of November in 2011 and Metal Wars started in January of this year. All of the finalists in both competitions will be determined within the next 2 weeks. Look for the finals to come no earlier than late July.
Sunday it's a Cover Wars at Knuckleheads. I'm looking forward to a little music under the stars. But, if it rains and we have to do it inside. No big deal, I just love doing shows at the place.
A new edition of Cover wars started on Friday night at Aftershock. The winner gets to open the Rock N Roll Dream Concert at Sandstone/Cricket Wireless Amphitheater. It's basically a show with a bunch of tribute bands. So it may not be a coincidence that 5 of the 10 bands in Cover Wars this weekend were tribute bands.
Things started off at Aftershock with Think floyd, a Pink Floyd tribute. This band was a guitarist, 2 vocalists and a laptop. They weren't to bad. The other tribute band on Friday was Size Matters, a Helmet cover band. I knew one of their songs and another sounded familiar. I thought they were really good. I joked with one of the guitar players afterward that they could probably enter the regular Club Wars and people may not notice that they're a cover band. The other 2 bands were Left 2 Chance and The Next Generation. Left 2 Chance did a solid job playing a set of tunes that could be found in 98.9s playlist. The Next Generation is a 3 piece band of 16 year olds who played a handful of blues tunes and some Jimi Hendrix songs. The Next Generation was the band that advanced.
Sunday nights Cover Wars at VooDoo had 3 tribute bands. Mississippi Girl (Faith Hill), Sabbath Disciples (Black Sabbath) and Facelift (Alice Chains). I kind of thought Facelift was the best band of the night. There was also a couple of bands from Topeka, Swift Kick and Simply Driven. They both kicked out sets of hard rock/metal that included stuff by the likes of Sabbath, AC/DC and Godsmack. The band that advanced was the School Of Rock House band. This band featured 14 teenagers that interchanged on each song of the mostly classic rock set of tunes they played. It was almost like they were a basketball team as band members gave high fives when they moved on and offstage as they switched places between songs.
The 2nd date in the Battle For Freaker's Ball went down on Saturday night at Harley's & Horses. This was my first booking in the place and it all went fairly well. The show started at 9, but things started cooking about 45 minutes beforehand. These two hot looking babes, one of which had very nice looking boobs and was basically wearing a bikini and very short skirt, started dancing together. Or should I say grinding on each other on the dance floor. The opening band Samsara and some of their friends were camped out at a couple of tables around the dance floor. And it wasn't long until a couple of girls with them started grinding away also. Sib Delicious was running sound and he started playing some dance tunes and it almost seemed like we were in a strip club.
The show started and all of the bands did great job and things were moving along smoothly. Then I started counting the ballots as the final band of the evening, Collapse, announced their last song. As they finished the song, I had counted out 26 votes for Collapse, 24 votes each for Untamed and Stoneyard and 23 votes for Samsara. Collapse finished the song and a few shouts for an encore came out from the crowd. I jumped on stage and said they're going to play one more song, turn in your votes if you haven't voted. I collected the judge scores and totaled them up, Collapse was the unanimous selection of the judges. Two bands advance from the first round, the band with the high judge score and the band with the most fan votes. Collapse had both the high judge score and the most fan votes. In that case, the band with the 2nd most fan votes advances. And in the event of a tie, there's no tie breaker, everyone that ties advances. This would mean that all of the bands except Samsara would advance. Collapse finished the song and I saw a girl turning in a ballot. I thought, this vote could determine the outcome. She voted for Collapse. The vote totals were: Collapse 27, Untamed and Stoneyard 24 and Samsara 23. I went and announced the results and then said something to the bands that advanced about the next date. Then I started talking to the guys in Samsara and told them if they wanted to re-enter I could give them another spot. And how they were basically one vote short from advancing. It was at that point when a guy listening in on the conversation stopped me and queried, "They lost by one vote?" I explained how it all worked and that yes, one vote would have made the difference. The guy then goes over to the table were he and his buddies were sitting and brings back a beer soaked ballot with Samsara written on it. He says, "I didn't think it was going to matter so I didn't turn it in." I went ahead and accepted the vote. So everyone advanced. It's not the first time everyone advanced in one of these Wars. But all of the other times when everyone advanced, it was only 2 bands on the bill.
The Club Wars Battle For Freaker's Ball starts tonight at Jerry's Bait Shop in Lee's Summit. The Final is scheduled for September 28 at the Uptown Theater. Bands will play through 2 rounds before making the final. After several years of having the winner of the Final being chosen by an all judge vote, I'm changing it up. The winner of the final this year will be chosen by an all fan vote.
It's going to go like this:
QUALIFIER ROUND: 2 bands will advance, the band with the high judge score and the band with the high fan vote.
SEMI-FINAL ROUND: 1 band will advance from the Semi-Final round. It will be an all judge vote.
CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND: The winner of the Championship will be chosen by an all fan vote.
Will it be a reprise of the year of the Lowkuss? The first year that I did the Battle For Freaker's Ball in 2005. Many of the heavy hitters of the local scene entered and faced off in the final. The following year, not a single one of those finalists even entered Club Wars. At first I thought it was weird but it ended up being a great year for it. And the winner was a band called Lowkuss. Previous to winning Club Wars, they were unknown. That's could be how it goes this year. Because out of the bands that were in the final last year. Several have already indicated they are passing. And out of the rest, I think it's iffy that more than 1 or 2 of them will enter. Which is good news for those Lowkuss type bands out there.
And let me also ad, for anyone that might have any doubts or suspicions. Tyler Lyon is retired from Club Wars.
Thursday the 22nd at the Granada in Lawrence was a combo of the Metal Wars and Ultimate Hip Hop Artist. Three bands were scheduled to be in the Metal Wars but one cancelled out the day before the gig. Two bands advance in Metal Wars, so both Population Not and Aurora Skyline moved on to the next round. Population Not is a solo project for artist/guitarist Patrick Hart. I told him that he needed to have at least 2 people in the band to qualify. So rapper chick Wonder Woe-Man accompanied him on one tune and Johnny Rokker went on a tyrannical rant during another. Also on stage with Patrick was Ryan F'n Mahoney. Ryan, who is the drummer in the Metal Mercenaries band that backs up Johnny Rokker, ran a popcorn maker on stage. He tossed small bags of the snack into the crowd. I thought it was to salty.
Friday night I had 2 bookings, one at Aftershock and the other at VooDoo Lounge. I started out the night at Aftershock. The show was the March Fest and the first band on was called The Next Generation. The guitarist is 16 year old Ethan Ridings. I make up "short lists" when I consider people for the Banzai Awards. He just got on the list. Due to a scheduling mix up, a group called Blameshift got put on the bill at the last moment. I left Aftershock to go to the VooDoo in the middle of the show. So, I didn't get to see the band, who hail from Long Island, NY. But I was intrigued by their touring bus. It was converted to run on used vegetable oil. They try and always fuel up at Arby's because their used oil/grease is cleaner than burger joints.
Meanwhile at VooDoo Lounge I had booked Van McLain of Shooting Star fame. Backed by a 9 piece band, Van debuted a very impressive set of songs. It was like a slick mix of Memphis soul and Shooting Star. Of course he played some Shooting Star tunes including the closer Last Chance.
Saturday night at the Beaumont Club was another combo of Metal Wars and Ultimate Hip Hop. Putting these 2 events in the same night has been working out fairly well. This was the first semi-final in Metal Wars, Until The Worlds End advanced. And the second semi-final in the Ultimate Hip Hop, S.O.L.D.I.E.R. advanced to the final.
I stayed off the internet on Sunday and pretty much worked in the yard all day. Planted onions in one of my raised gardens and mowed the lawn. I went to Home Depot and bought a new grass trimmer after the old one reached the point where I didn't want to use it anymore. After grilling up dinner and watching The Celebrity Apprentice (I knew Trump wasn't going to fire the chick that won the Miss Universe) it was nighty night.
Started the Hip Hop version of Club Wars, called the Ultimate Hip Hop Artist, back in November. There's been a couple of "technical difficulties" and some of the artists I booked have been no-shows. But for the most part, it's been incident free. Which is kind of funny considering that when I first announced that I was doing this. Everybody and their brother was telling me how brave I was for doing it. Like everyone that entered the thing was going to be carrying a gun and threatening or intimidating me if they didn't win. The reality is, it has pretty much gone just like all the other battles I'm putting on. Except for one thing...
I don't announce at the show who is moving on to the next round. You have to go to www.ultimatehiphopkc.com to see who advanced. And I usually post it the next morning by 10am.
So what's happening is that everybody is leaving the venue in a better mood. It's made it more enjoyable. I'm thinking about doing this for the Battle For Freaker's Ball when that starts in May.
Watched a good portion of Whitney Huston's funeral service on CNN yesterday. I found it to be a more moving and touching service than the one for Michael Jackson. Maybe it was because they held it in a baptist church and it was packed with some powerful gospel music.
I thought that it was a bit of a stretch for Governor Christie to fly the flags at half staff for her. But then I started thinking. Aside from the fact that she was a Jersey native. Her singing of the Star Spangled Banner at the Super Bowl IS the highlight reel for the national anthem. Seriously, of all the Super Bowls, of all the World Series, NBA Championships and the hundreds of thousands of sporting events that take place in our nation every year. Who else is noted for singing it? What other version is shown when it's time to demonstrate the power and the pride that fills people when they hear the song. Not only was that an iconic moment for Whitney. It was an iconic moment in American history.
Saw a much younger and more diverse crowd at the Elvis Birthday Bash this past weekend. What I would describe as an abundance of hot chicks were there as we started everything off on Friday night at the Record Bar. Numerous blonde babes were drawn to leather clad Elvi like moths to a flame on Saturday night at Knuckleheads. And for the 3rd year in a row at the VooDoo Lounge. There was a wide range of people from their 20s on up. Then the hardcore Elvis crowd showed on Sunday morning for the Gospel Brunch at the Flamingo in Independence.
Last year I did the birthday bash with shows on friday and saturday. This year, the saturday afternoon and sunday morning shows were added. I did a few shows at the old Lone Star in Westport back in 1993-94 that started in the afternoon. But those events had a light attendance early and a big crowd later. When we opened the doors about 2:45 at the VooDoo, almost everyone that was coming to the show was there. The 11am doors on sunday morning for the Gospel Brunch was a first in my career.
This was the 8th year I've done the Elvis Birthday Bash. It was the first time that I had a contest and a gospel show as part of it. Honestly, from the bottom line perspective, I could have done without these as part of the weekend and made a lot more money. The contest part was kind of discouraging to me. I wanted to get 10 contestants, I ended up with only 5. But, both events were well received by all the Elvis fans that showed up. And there are things I could have done differently. So, I'm going to say that I would probably try one or both of these again at a future Elvis Bash.
As far as what else is in store for the Elvis Bash. There's going to be the Spring Elvis Bash on Saturday, April 14 at Knuckleheads. This coming August will mark the 35th anniversary of his death. If I book one in August, it will be either before or after Elvis Week in Memphis because I'm thinking about going this year and checking it out. The Chiefs pre-season schedule will also factor into anything I might do around that time with the Elvis Bash. Then next year for the Elvis Bash and really for the next several years. Elvis birthday will happen during the week. This would allow me to possibly do events the weekend before and after as part of the whole deal.
Hail to The King and long live rock-n-roll!
Spent Friday and Saturday night hanging out at Damage Control. Friday night was the release party for the latest Club Wars DVD. I advertised that proceeds from the show were being donated to relief efforts in Haiti. The cover charge and the DVDs were $5 each. I'll be writing out a check to the Red Cross for $350 from this event. The bands playing the show and in the DVD were all in the Fall Club Wars Final back in December. I guess some of these guys didn't watch much of that show because a few of them came up to me and said how good they thought the other bands were. Saturday night at Damage was Bobby Simkins. There's a number of guys around the area that do the Elvis thing. I think Bobby is probably the best one. He joked around quite a bit in his first set. At one point he did the "Pants On The Ground" song from American Idol. But he kept saying it as "Pants On The Floor." Last night was the Valentine's Jam at the Uptown. The turn out was decent and the bands all did a good job. But, I think I'll stick to doing these kind of things at the Uptown on a Friday or Saturday night.
It was another big party tonight at the Uptown. There were really a lot more people than last night. The 2nd stage in the Nowhere was packed for most of the show. It seemed to me that the performances in the Nowhere were more intense than those on the main stage. The karaoke stage was again very entertaining. I'm looking forward to the next one.
Just finished up the first night of the Rock & Metalfest at the Uptown Theater. I had a good time. The only thing that really would have made it better. If it was 40 degrees or warmer. The Karaoke stage was very entertaining. I might have pushed my voice a little to much the 2nd time I sang American Trilogy. For the day after New Year's Eve it went well. I'm thinking tomorrow night could be better.
The Oktoberfest that I did last Friday at the Uptown, it was a blast. Probably one of the more enjoyable things I've put together in awhile. The stages with the bands flowed smoothly. I didn't really catch more than snippets from most of the bands. I would say that the set by Shudder was probably the one that stands out to me the most. The Hip Hop stage had a little drama attached to it. One of the acts was kicked out of the venue before they performed. Somebody with them or in the act had an issue with one of the other acts. They got kicked out after one of them told the police officer on hand that he had a couple guns in his car. Other than that it went well. I'm thinking of a way to squeeze another stage in for the next one.
It was last big weekend of the summer for me.
Things kicked off with the Battle For Freaker's Ball on Friday night at VooDoo Lounge. This was like a Battle Royale of a line up and the turn out was the best for a non-final since last year. I thought Seeking Surreal was the best of the bill with Changing Faith a close second. The other judges had Changing Faith as the best with Seeking Surreal in 2nd. It was a close one to say the least.
Saturday night the Battle For Freaker's Ball descended on the Mission Theatre. It was probably the best turn out I've ever had for a show there. Unfortunately, I can't say the same for the sound. Shows that I've booked at this venue have been successful. But the sound is always inconsistent and it's never been good. I'm probably going to book something there again. But at this time, I think I'm going to try and book around it.
Last night I did the Elvis Memorial Bash at Knucklehead's. It was the third Elvis Bash I've done this year at Knucklehead's and the first one outside. The turn out wasn't bad, I think it would have been much better if it had been on a Friday or Saturday. Before singing the last song of the night. Tarry Westley announced that this was his last time at an Elvis Bash. He told me afterwards that he felt like he was getting to old for this and it was time to get out. It's kind of a bummer, he's been in every Elvis Bash I've put together. I knew there was going to be a time that he wasn't going to do it anymore. This is just a little sooner than I expected. I said to him that I was still going to call him. I kind of think I can get him to come back and do the Elvis Birthday Bash at VooDoo Lounge in January.
Went to see the Michael Jackson tribute band Who's Bad last night at the Granada in Lawrence. I found these guys back in January and inquired about booking them. Their agent came back with kind of a high asking price, so I didn't really pursue it. Then when MJ died, I kind of kicked myself for not keeping after them a little more. I e-mailed their agent a couple of days ago and like I figured, they want more money now. Well, if they even got half of what they were asking before, someone lost money on this. The mostly female college age crowd in attendance numbered around 125. They all crowded up to the stage when the band came on. I thought they were OK. It seemed like they were using some tracks for the back up vocals and the horns. One of the horn players looked like he was playing air trumpet. The lead vocalist resembled MJ and he danced and moved around the stage ala the King Of Pop. He also peppered in quite a few of MJ's signature "Woo-Hoo" between and during the songs in their set. My luck with booking tribute bands has been hit and miss. Not sure if I will end up bringing these guys to the VooDoo or not.
Went to go see the band Chickenfoot last night at the Uptown Theater. I thought they were pretty good. It was about what I was expecting it to be, Sammy Hagar fronting a very kick ass rock band. They played their album and then did a couple of encores. "Bad Motor Scooter" for Sammy and "Highway Star" so Joe Satriani could medley, medley for all of the guitar heads in the crowd. I didn't get to see what the crowd looked like in the balcony but most of the seats on the floor were taken. In addition to running into lots of band guys, I saw Frank from Knucklehead's and Skid Roadie at the show.
Last night at Aftershock was another Qualifier date in the Battle For Freaker's Ball. There's been a few bands in the Qualifier Round this year that I couldn't wait for them to be finished. Though none of this evenings bands really stood out to me more than the others. I thought each of them had some redeeming qualities. Maybe that's why we had a tie between two of the bands and very easily could have had a 3-way tie.
The opener was a punk band called Rightskill. They played a bunch of short, fast songs including one that was in the 30-40 second range. "That was a song," proclaimed vocalist/guitarist Charlie. He was a very lively frontman who did a good job of getting some reaction out of a crowd that was mostly there for the other bands.
The second band up was Kallust. They're a new metal band on the scene. The band was pretty crunchy. I think their vocalist Jonathon needs to mix those growly vox with some singing parts. Kallust was one of the bands that moved on.
Next up was Auternus. These guys had an interesting sound and I thought they were all really good players. They maybe were a little to laid back though for the Battle For Freaker's Ball. If this would have been the Club Wars Fall-Free-For-All, they probably would've been the band who moved on.
The last band was Mynd Riot, one of the bands who advanced to the next round. They brought a large and mostly partisan crowd. Probably not the tightest band of the night, but I though they brought the rock harder than the other bands on the bill. A girl who told me she was a cousin to one of the band members. Said she would cry if they didn't win. No waterworks this time, but she might want to bring tissues to the next one.
It's been awhile since I chimed in here.
I finally won the Achiever Of The Year Award at the Heavy Frequency Award Show. After being nominated for it 3 years in a row. And after close to 20 years of handing out awards to local bands and musicians at awards shows I've produced. Someone presented me with an award. It's cool to get one. During my acceptance speech, I mentioned how I would like to see the HFAs go on. Then Heather got up there and said how it was the last awards show and that the HF site was going to be inactive by the end of the year. WelI, I talked to her earlier today. I'm interested in seeing it continue and I think some others have expressed an interest as well. I wouldn't be surprised to see it happen again next year. On a side note: I haven't picked a date yet for the Banzai Awards Show. I'm getting close to announcing one.
Here's my 4.20 entry:
Went to see Daughtry at the Voodoo Lounge last night. We got there and he was already onstage with his band. People were singing along with these tunes I had never heard before. I was waiting for the covers. They played "Black" by Pearl Jam and that song they play on American Idol after someone gets kicked off.
There was a ton of people there. When it was over most of the crowd started heading for the exits. It seemed to me like there were lots of eligible girls there trying to make eye contact. It made me think of that episode of Happy Days. The one where Fonzi tells Richie and Potsie that he's going to the train station to catch the Elvis train when it rolls through town. He surmises that there will be lots of heart broken girls there that will need comforting. Well, I don't think any of these girls were heart broken. But this evenings made from TV rock star had them revved and ready.
I thought it was a pretty good bill I put together at the Beaumont Club on Friday the 13th. It rained during the night and there was snow in the forecast. I think it threw a damper on Westport in general, but I still thought we had a decent turnout. Anna Cole, vocalist for Anvil Chorus, apologized for a bunch of their fans not coming to the show. She told me that their crowd is a bunch of snobs and weren't into the other bands on the bill. Apparently, playing a "Kilroy" show isn't to cool either. Well, it wasn't anywhere near "A Tale Of Two Cliques" because I didn't think much of the rockers clique was there either. Not like they were when Redline Chemistry played at Davey's a few weeks ago.
Winter weather kind of ruined most of my weekend. Only one of three Metal Wars dates took place. It was Saturday night at the Grand Emporium and we had a good turn out. Helen Hunt took Muffin over to Mike's Tavern after I announced the winner. I hung out at the GE for a little bit and packed up my gear. Then I rode over to Mike's with Susan and her new boyfriend Andy. We got there and Dora Dank was playing. It was pretty frickin' smoky in there. I stepped outside for some fresh air while the Dank guys loaded out. Andy bought Muffin and Susan some shots, then we took off for the Hurricane. There wasn't a big crowd there. Voodoo Kitchin and the Seastrings were kind of sharing gear. They traded off on a set or two before an impromtptu megr of the bands that resulted in a few tunes. I jumped onstage and sang "Breakin' The Law" as the night ended.
Last night was the Elvis Birthday Bash at the Grand Emporium. This was the third year in a row I've done the Elvis B'day Bash. We had a good crowd. I think the Chiefs game effected the turn out some. There wasn't a back up band this time. All of the Elvi sang with recorded music. It was a little different not having the band but I still thought it went very well. I can't wait to do it again next year.
The Elvis show ended a little after 10 and then I headed over to the Hurricane. I had a beer or two while Cruxed played. You know, the Hurricane closed last summer. Then it reopened with new ownership and they made some subtle changes. But to me it seems the same as it ever was.
I fell off the wagon with this blog. There's been lots of stuff I was going to comment about here. I guess I got a little distracted. There was even a time last Summer that I thought it would be no problem printing what would have been a 20th Anniversary issue of Banzai by now. Doesn't look like it's going to happen. Well, it's the New Year, time to get back on track.
Went to see Trans Siberian Orchestra last week. It was a bit of a Christmas present. It was my first time seeing this band. After they sold out Kemper Arena last year, I decided I was going to buy some tickets shortly after they went on sale the next time they came back. They put on a very impressive show. Lots of pyrotechnics and tons of lights. It seemed like I spent whole parts of the show with my eyes closed from the glare. I enjoyed it, I would go see them again.
Saturday night I went down to the Record Bar and saw The Pornhuskers play a few tunes. They're a fun band. There was a pretty good crowd. I saw a few people I knew. I think all of their employees formerly worked at the Hurricane.
Sunday was the Chiefs at Arrowhead. It was my favorite kind of weather for a Chiefs game, cold and gray. It even snowed during the game. I ended up going to 6 of the 10 games held at Arrowhead during the season. I can't believe they made the play-offs.
It was billed as a "Night Of Pure Guitar" at the Grand Emporium. The show took place last night and the headliner was Dave Weiner, a guitarist in Steve Vai's touring band. The guy that promoted it, Todd Strickland, called me about this a month or so back. I've known Todd for awhile and he's always been a bit of an aspiring promoter type. I thought this show might be a sort of a money loser, so I didn't really want to get involved. He was all gung ho about it and booked the show and took it on himself. I offered up whatever advice I could and I thought he did an ok job trying to get the word out. I really expected to see a few more people in attendance. It's too bad there weren't because Dave and his band put on a great show. The guy is a smokin' guitarist, I guess that should be expected since he plays with Vai. Todd had the "I'm losing my ass look" on his face when he told me that most of the 40-50 people in the place got in free. You have to expect this kind of thing if you want to become a promoter. Losing money is no fun, I've been there before. It was bit of a blast from the past when I ran into Dennis Dailey. Dailey was lead guitarist/vocalist of Champion, a band that was on the scene "Back in the day" as it were. He's manufacturing guitar cabinets and amp heads under the name Dailey Guitar Systems. The band had some of the amp heads onstage. He told me that he was wanting to get back out and start playing. He's looking for a drummer.
I went to Harry T's for the TNT earlier tonight. Red Eye Russ has been booking bands and running sound on Thursday nights at this bar for the past few months. I've seen some bands at the club before, but it was my first Thursday night trip to the place. Muffin and Helen Hunt have gone down there a few times before to check it out. Helen works nights at the NKC Hospital but Thursday is her night off, so it's a good night for them to go out together. Anyway, they had a pretty good turnout for this show. Harry T's is a small club, so 35+ people and it's crowded. I got there just after Pull had finished. I was able to drink a few beers before Mynera took the stage. Since Mynera pulled a good crowd for their Club Wars date at Jerry's, I figured they would do the same here. They plugged their upcoming Club Wars show a few times during the set. They're going to be on the bill with Stonewalk on August 4 at the Grand Emporium. Davy B of Stonewalk came into the club just before Mynera started. He told me that he wanted to check out the competition. I thought the Mynera guys played a decent set. The sound wasn't that great but I think people were having a good time.
It was 4 straight nights of rock and a day of blowing stuff up.
I started the 4th of July weekend at the Beaumont Club. I had booked a 4 band bill that turned into a 5 band bill the day of the show. The show was headlined by the Architects. This was my first time booking this band. They have attained a great deal of renown on the local scene and I would say deservedly so. They put on a good show and had some loyal fans upfront during their set. Redline Chemistry played before them and they drew the biggest crowd of the night. They sounded really top notch. They're recording an album with Wes West, it's probably a few more months until it's released. I booked Indira to open and Flak to close. The band National Fire Theory jumped on the bill at the last minute when a show for the Hurricane got cancelled. (The Hurricane closed last week and there was supposed to be a farewell party at the Madrid.) It was my first time seeing these guys. I thought they put on a great show. The guitar player Doug is a good showman.
Saturday night saw the Peppermint Creeps from LA onstage at the Bottleneck in Lawrence. I wasn't really to crazy about booking this band. I don't do to well booking bands from out of town. I went ahead and did it though and it might be awhile until I do it again. We had over 375 at the Beaumont the night before. This one might have had over 75. That's including band guys and guests. It was an all ages show, so I threw on a couple of kid bands as openers. They were Reign Of Honor and Black Oxygen. Neither drew much of a crowd. Black Oxygen though, drew some people a few nights later for their Club Wars date at the GE. Swill took the stage before the Creeps. They've played with them before in KC and Phil of Swill was the one that first told me they were looking for a place to play on July 1. Toby is Swill's new drummer. Honestly, I thought Swill was a much better band than the Peppermint Creeps. I think though, that the Creeps are in need of a guitar player. They played this show as a 3 piece and there's 4 guys in the pics. They had some interesting back drops that were pink and neon green. Their music is basically punk rock.
Sunday and Monday it was Club Wars at Jerry's East and the Grand Emporium respectively. Both these shows had pretty good crowds and overall the Summer Club Wars is doing well. There are a handfull of Qualifier dates left before the Semi-Finals start. I've got some radio kicking in to promote the semi's, I think this thing is going to build all the way up to Championship. Once again it's going to be hard to follow this up with the Fall Club Wars. I felt like the Fall was the weakest of the 3 last year. I think it will fare much better this time.
Tuesday was the 4th. Usually my son and I head out to Crazy Joe's and Fireworks City on Holmes Rd. in south KC. Well, we recently moved to Riverside, so we literally live in fireworks city now. The tents went up a few weeks back and we cruised through a number of them checking out the prices. I think I spent a whole lot less this year and got more bang for my buck. That wasn't me that set off that roll of Black Cats outside the door of the GE after Club Wars on Monday night.
Last night was the show billed as the Westport Meltdown and it took place at the Westport Beach Club. I mainly billed it as the Meltdown because we have a page for it on this new website. I booked this thing outdoors on the Beach Club after soundman Bruce Ward called me up and said he had some new gear and wanted to give it a test run at an outdoor gig. I figured since he was willing to give me a good deal I might as well give the idea of an outdoor show some thought. I've never been into these local band shows at a park. They don't seem to draw well. I figured if we are only going to get 70-80 people at something on a Saturday afternoon why not give the deck of the Beach Club a shot. Well, it turned out to be a 70-80 person crowd for this little rock-n-roll party. It had a definite beach party feel to it. Openers No Cause No Cure played the show in beach clothes and swim trunks. Frontman Erik the Jager God even sported floaties on each arm. "These enhance my ability to rock," he announced to the crowd. The NC/NC guys and their antics set the stage for the more musically intense bands that followed: Seeking Surreal, One Degree Difference and A Cold Day In August. It was my second time seeing ODD with Justin fronting the band. Bassist W2 told me that they would soon be dumping all their old material and play all new stuff at gigs in the next month or two. The show went pretty smoothly and even though it was'nt a huge turnout, I might do it again sometime.
Saturday was Rock Fest once again at Liberty Memorial. I like the set up they've used there the last two years. I didn't really go out into the crowd, I hung out in The Rock's VIP area for most of the show. We were right next to the main stage and the view of the band wasn't good. The topless chicks on guys shoulders view wasn't bad though. It was a trip to look out over the sea of people that filled the lawn. Rain has affected the last several Rock sponsored events including the last 2 years at Rock Fest and Freaker's Ball. It was mostly dry for this one. It rained a little off an on. It started coming down pretty steady for a time during the closing set by Staind. When I saw some hail hitting the ground I decided it was time to go. All in all, I think it was one of the better Rockfest's in recent memory.
Alright! Alright! Alright! It's my first entry on the Banzai Blog. It seems like the dawn of a new age. I remember when the Club Wars website first got started. I wanted to have a diary on there were I wrote about the shows. I think it's been something that's had an impact and at times been influential for Club Wars. Now, at long last, I have a blog on the Banzai website. This will be the place where I write about what's going on outside of the world of Club Wars. Of course, Club Wars permeates, so I'm sure word of Club Wars will be here as well. But there are lots of other shows and bands out there to write about. This really could pave the way for me to print an issue of Banzai in the near future.
So, here we go. I got home an hour ago from the Grand Emporium. It was Tribute Jam III. The first of these was at the Beaumont Club and the crowd was close to 200 or more. The second one had about 40 and this one had 75-80. I don't know if I want to do anymore of these shows. I've been thinking about doing another one in August on the 11th at the GE. It's the same day as the Elvis Parade that 99.7 KY promotes every year. It would be an Elvis themed Tribute Jam if I do it. I'm kind of leaning towards punting the idea and just waiting until the first of January to throw down on the Elvis Birthday Bash again. I'm going to probably decide on Monday.
Anyway, the opener was Hemispheres, a Rush tribute band. I think they're a pretty decent act. I would have liked to let them play a little longer. But I found out prior to their set that we had a DJ starting at midnight. I've had a little problem with this before at the Grand Emporium. The last time they wanted us to end much earlier and it was a Club Wars date. This wasn't Club Wars and the time we needed to end was much more manageable. It still kind of stressed me out. I was really planning on this thing rocking until 1am. My 13 year old son Chris came to the show with me. He really wanted to stay at home. He doesn't seem to interested in the local music scene. I told him that I was going to take him home once the second band started. The second band was Sabbath Disciples, the all Black Sabbath cover band. I introduced them and headed out the door. I got back as they were playing their last song. I didn't get any positive vibe on these guys. One guy comes up to me and says, "I wouldn't have these guys at a Tribute Jam again, they suck." I don't know if they suck or not. But I did flip the singer Jonathon some shit over the way he dressed onstage in previous gigs I booked for them. This time he dressed all in black and had a big cross around his neck. Closing it out was Seattle, the dominating tribute to Grunge. Most of the crowd was there to see them. They got cut off during the last song, just a minute or two after midnight. Nobody got pissed off.