Saturday, August 14, 2010

Las Vegas Shakedown, Friday the 13th, August 2010, Las Vegas Country Saloon

Living in the suburbs of Las Vegas makes the participation in these Vegas r'n'r weekenders much more difficult than it is when you simply come to town for the show and stay at a hotel in the vicinity. Having to still take care of your errands, your dog, your house, etc, means that you are less likely to make the 1/2 hour drive downtown to see a band or two and then go back home until the next band that you want to see goes on. It's much simpler when your hotel is feet away!

So, that said, we have already missed several bands that we would have liked to have seen and we haven't even gone out for the second night! So, sorry to anyone we know who we have missed!

Friday night we just went to the Las Vegas Country Saloon and did not venture over to the nearby Beauty Bar to see the acts playing there. The Country Saloon is a decent sized, professional venue with great stage, sound and lighting, so a fine place to see a band. We got there as the Omens were playing. These cats (and cute female keyboardist) are another semi-trashy garage act - not bad, just not doing anything new with the genre. Since I was involved in the revival in the early 80's, hearing bands do similar things 30 years later doesn't do a whole lot for me any more. But, those who are still into the genre are sure to dig this band.

Muck and the Mires won the Little Steven garage band talent search and are a cleaned up garage/pop act that probably take as much from the Knack as from the original 60's garage bands (that the Knack was borrowing from, as well). Talented and tight, they got to be a little samey after awhile, though their closing number (and their current video), the rockin' "Doreen", is a terrific r'n'r tune and really stood out from the rest of the set. Oh, they did a fab take on the Knickerbockers' "Lies", with the vocals to pull it off, as well!

For some reason there was an extraordinarily long wait until the Superbees went on that was never explained, as the band was obviously ready long before they started. This pushed the rest of the night back a good hour or more, which was a bit of a drag. But, the 'Bees - who, as far as I know have not played for years - put on their usual high-energy, Detroit-styled r'n'r show, fronted by the talented Dave James, who has played in numerous LA r'n'r combos. Truly one of the highlights of the night and a group that we haven't see in forever. They also had a guest appearance by Thunderbolt Patterson, the drummer of the Dictators, on vocals for a version of the Dics' "Minnesota Strip".

This was followed by the 60's biker-rock frenzy of the Lords of Altamont. Led by organist Jake Cavaliere, the group has has one of the strongest images in existence today, has fans around the world and puts on an amazing live show. The group is flanked by sexy go-go girls (a blond, a brunette and a redhead, so that all of the bases are covered) and Jake spends as much time on top of his organ and he does playing it. He sets fire to it for the show's climax and tries not to immolate himself in the process (as he has done a time or two in the past)!

The extreme trash-rock of the Rip Offs came next and they put on their usual act of insulting their audience in a Don-Rickles-on-crack kinda way while decimating 3 chord punk rock songs that tend to fall apart due to trash being thrown at them by adoring fans and their own flailing around. The audience loved them and were more-than-willing participants in the madness that went on and on.

Finally, the act that everyone had come to see, but not everyone make it til the end to experience - the fantastic Zeros! These cats started as young teenagers in the mid-70's and still manage to put out a rockin' set of some of the best and coolest punk rock (with a poppy edge) ever put together. Javier Escovedo is as stylish as he was in 1977 and is joined by original members and all around good guys Baba Chenelle on drums and Hector Penalosa on bass (and vocals - everyone wrote for the group, which makes their utterly cohesive sound all that much more amazing). For some reason Robert Lopez (now El Vez) couldn't make it to the gig so Javier's supremely talented brother (and front man for the Dragons), Mario, sat in and fit in perfectly. A truly excellent set of excellent tunes and everyone went home tired but happy to have seen these legends!

See Las Vegas Lass' photo stream for some cool pix of the night!