Sunday, January 29, 2012

Acton Town/Party Talk at the Beauty Bar, Las Vegas Saturday Jan 28

Even though I am now starting to play out in Las Vegas, it still takes a lot for me to check out new bands in the city, even on weekend nights. But, I finally got off my butt and went down to the Beauty Bar for this Saturday night free show. I have been meaning to check out Acton Town since becoming Facebook friends with the guitarist's father, John Fallon, who was in the 80's mod/psych/garage band the Steppes. I still find it odd that we both ended up in Vegas but never knew each other.

Anyway, this evening at the Beauty Bar was some kind of multi-media event with bands, DJs, fashion show and gawd knows what else. A ton of people came out for this and it was one of the more crowded shows I've been to in a long time. The live music was all provided by young bands (I think all of the musicians were under 21), but they were all influenced by early punk, mod & garage groups, which makes me feel better about the future of live music.

I arrived in time to see a couple of songs by Party Talk - not the best name for a band - who are a 3 piece that sounded to me like a more garagey take on "Boys Don't Cry"-era Cure. I always dug that sound and the sharp, piercing guitar, strong rhythm section, good vocals and rockin' tunes certainly made me want to see and hear more from these cats.


In between bands the awful DJ played some horrendous, mindless techno crap with soul-shatteringly loud bass, making it impossible to relax and positively impossible to carry on a conversation. Maybe I'm just too old, but I still want to hear music when I go to a club - not just a pulsing bass with nothing notable or memorable going along with it. OK, that's my old man rant...

In any case, Acton Town came up next and immediately stood out as a stylish trio of neo-mods with songs combining punk, mod & garage - not unlike bands did in the late 70's/early 80's. Unfortunately, the set was marred by a terrible mix - the Beauty Bar is not known for great sound - with Anthony Vitiello's bass overpowering and drowning out everything else. Thankfully, he is a good player and had a cool fuzz-driven tone, but it would have been nice to hear the rest of the band! Drummer Ron Paul Gavino & guitarist Cromm Fallon looked sharp in their suits, shared vocal duties and pummeled their respective instruments with tons of energy and precision, and despite the muddy mix you could tell that there were gems waiting to be heard in there. I will definitely make the effort to see them at a venue with better sound.

Again, it's good to know that at least some of the youth of Las Vegas are working to make a better music scene, despite the lack of venues that cater to all-age shows. Checks these cats out whenever ya can!