Monday, July 18, 2016

The B Movie Rats reunion show with the Humpers, The Crazy Squeeze and the Resolutions at Alex's Bar, Long Beach, CA, Saturday July 16, 2016

A second great night of rock'n'roll for the B Movie Rats' reunion weekend, this time in Long Beach, CA. Again, we had never been to this dive bar, but it was a good size (I was told a capacity of 300), with a real stage and sound man - and a full bar (the drawback for me at Cafe Nela)! Definitely a cool place to see good bands!

Opening were the Resolutions, with guitarist Hans from the Hellbenders, who were r'n'r brothers to the Rats back in the day. This combo had a similar style to his previous group, highlighted by Hans' guitar work, with plenty of chant-along songs. I wasn't familiar with their tunes, but they were tight'n'powerful and a good start to the night.

Up next were The Crazy Squeeze with Hollywood rocker Johnny Witmer on guitar'n'vocals, along with Frankie Delmane, Dat Ngo and Ian Harrower. The sound was a bit more glam/pop, with nods to groups like the Boys and the Rezillos, along with the mandatory Johnny Thunders references.

Then the Rats hit the stage and, if anything, were even wilder'n'more rockin' than the night before! I think the sound was dialed in a bit better (at least from my side of the stage) and the boys had a bit more room to roam, which they took advantage of! I loved Curt's guitar sound'n'antics (truly one of my favorite players'n'showmen), Derek seemed to appreciate the space and twirled'n'tossed the mic stand around, while Bill's fluid runs and Rick's snappy drums kept it all movin'. The place was packed for their set and, in fact, Curt mentioned that this might have been the biggest crowd that they ever played for (which is kind of a sin, but...). Absolutely amazing rock'n'roll and essentially the same set list as Cafe Nela, natch, although they had several numbers cut from their set - they one serious bummer of the night. Otherwise, everyone had an absolute blast and the Rats renewed everyone's faith in the healing powers of r'n'r!

Hometown boys the Humpers headlined and jammed the place for their brand of chanting punk rock. We've seen a number of their shows where they were a little more than...loose...but this time they had the proper balance of tight'n'loose and put on a cool show while blasting out their classics like "Hey Shadow" and "Space Station Love". I didn't brave the crowds to get up close for them, so no good pix of the band, but here is the crowd rockin' to the rafters! Obviously, as headliners they were entitled, but they played for an exceptionally long time - even hard core fans mentioned this - which made it doubly a bummer that the Rats were cut short - what can ya do?

Thanks to Alex's Bar for hosting this evening of fine, fun-time rock'n'roll! I had never really explored Long Beach and really enjoyed what I saw, so a multi-purpose trip! Let's do it again!