Monday, October 17, 2011

The Flamin' Groovies, Las Vegas Shakedown, Oct 15, 2011 LV Country Saloon

We don't have the stamina to endure entire weekenders any more, but this Saturday night show seemed like the best of the weekend anyway, so we made it a point to get out of the house after an afternoon nap!

We got to the Las Vegas Country Saloon in time to catch most of the set of Boston's Muck and the Mires doing their garagey power-pop. They've got a cool sound, great harmonies (they do a spot-on version of the Knickerbockers "Lies"), a neat look (matching black outfits with Beatle boots) and a rockin' female drummer, though, in general, I like my garage a little less slick. Still, a fun combo.

Up next was San Diego's fabulous Loons, featuring Mike Stax (ex of many bands, including the Tell Tale Hearts and Crawdaddies) and his lovely wife Anja (ex of the Diaboliks). They've gone through some changes over the years, but I've got to say that they are better than ever. Mike is in constant motion on stage, and his voice just keeps getting stronger, the rhythm section (Anja and Mike Kamoo) is tight and powerful and the twin guitar team of Marc Schroeder and Chris Marsteller gives the band many sonic options (from 12 string to slide to clean sounds to heavy distortion). While the songs are still multi-faceted, the group is a little more garagey and less psychedelic and a ton of fun on stage! Definitely see 'em if ya can and pick up the great new CD, Red Dissolving Rays of Light.

LA's Hangmen seemed slightly out of place on this night of mostly garage-oriented bands, but the crowd (sparse as it was - unfortunately, the Shakedown is not bringing in as many people as it once did) certainly did not mind as Brian and his crew (including ex-Supersuckers Ron Heathman) pounded their way through their own brand of sleazy Hollywood r'n'r. Brian has some excellent new songs, but still fits in old crowd pleasers like "Downtown". They looked terrific, sounded terrific and tore the place up!

Before the Untamed Youth took the stage, Deke informed the crowd that the bands were not getting paid that night, which was kind of a downer and seems like a death knell for any further Shakedowns. But, the band was determined to entertain and blasted out their wild'n'crazy beer-soaked frat rock to much audience adoration! Apparently, they reformed just for this show, but you would never know it as they were a strong, r'n'r unit!

Closing the night and starting well after 2:00am (I don't know why LV shows go on so late - nobody likes this custom - not the audience and certainly not the bands) were the Flamin' Groovies, staring Cyril Jordan and the incomparable Roy Loney! I never heard for sure (and I can't find anything online) but I think that other members were from the original band, as well. In any case, they only did Loney-era tunes - which is the stuff that I love (Flamingo and Teenage Head are a couple of my all time favorite albums) - with the exception of the set closer, "Shake Some Action". I didn't write down the song titles, but I don't think that anyone could argue with the song choices - all fantastic material. Unfortunately, the band was a bit sloppy - I assume that they have not played together in a long time - but they had spirit and seemed to be having a good time and Loney was in excellent voice. Roy has gained a number of pounds over the years and is nowhere near as spry on stage as he once was, but still has a cool presence and had no problem rolling around on stage (as he did in the encore, "Slow Death"). After hearing that the band wasn't getting paid, the audience (which grew considerably for their set, coming from the other Shakedown locations to see this historic event) showered the band with cash during their set to show their support and appreciation!

A fun night of cool rock'n'roll in Las Vegas! Whoo-hoo!