Monday, July 23, 2007

The Love Me Nots - Double Down Saloon, Las Vegas, July 21, 2007

I saw these cats and kittens last fall in LA and had to get their CD shortly afterwards. After raving about how good they were live and playing the record repeatedly, my wife couldn’t wait for a chance to experience them as well. Since few smaller touring bands make Las Vegas a stop, we weren’t sure if we ever would see them again, but then we saw that they were booked for this Ruckusfest, put on by local band, the Vermin.

The Double Down has often been described as the Al’s Bar of Las Vegas, since it is the dive-iest of local dive bars and is hot, sweaty, ultra-smoky and has a fairly mediocre PA system. It can be a fun place to see a live band, but you can’t really see or hear a band at its best here.

In typical Vegas tradition, no one had any idea when any of the bands were going on, and after running around during the day, we knew that we couldn’t handle spending the entire night here. So we took a stab at it and aimed for arriving around midnight. Parking around the Saloon is not the easiest and after encountering a meth-head who was emphatic that our windows would get broken if we didn’t give him $5, we magically found a space in the Double Down’s parking lot! This is pretty unheard of, and our car was not damaged by the end of the night, so we were thrilled!

We arrived just in time for the last 2 songs from the Wooly Bandits (not to be confused with the 80’s garage band, the Wooly Mammoths!), another multi-gender, stylish garage combo. What we heard sounded great and I’m sorry we didn’t see more of them, but they will be returning with the LMN’s over Labor Day weekend, so we’ll be sure to catch them then.

The Love Me Nots went on to a packed crowd who rocked with them right from the beginning! The sound here was not very good this night, but the band roared and writhed and danced and slammed their way through most, if not all, of their super CD, “In Black and White”, as well as a few newer numbers. I found out that the first time I saw them was only their 3rd or 4th show – and that was better that 98% of any band gigs that I have seen in recent years – and now that they have had almost a year more to play, they seem even wilder on stage. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – drummer Jay is a monster, Christina and Michael practically throw their instruments around while wrestling riffs outta them and Nicole mangles her Farfisa, wrestles it to the ground, plays it backwards and still manages to dance and thrash around while singing, crooning and seducing! Absolutely an amazing live band with great tunes and an incredible style – the guys still wore their suits in the 100+ degree weather and the girls looked sharp and fashionable to the extreme in their (non-matching, for a change!) mini-dresses and boots.

The crowd loved them, but for some reason, Vegas audiences seem even more reluctant to give bands encores than LA audiences, which is mind-boggling! But they definitely won over this diverse group of druggies, punks, garage-rockers and barflys!

The press seems be flipping over the Love Me Nots and they are knockin’ ‘em dead everywhere they play so expect big things from this band. See ‘em while they’re still playing clubs!

Check out the Love Me Nots My Space page here

See the Double Down Saloon's website here


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