Sunday, September 15, 2019

The Implosions CD release party with the Sheiks of Neptune and Franks and Deans at the Mint, Saturday September 14, 2019

I actually do not remember what this space (next to the classic Golden Steer on Sahara) was before it was turned into the Mint - the facade a recreation of the famous old-school casino - but it is now a bar separated into two rooms - one for the bar proper and the other a showroom with a small stage/drum riser with couches'n'tables surrounding the outside walls. Not a bad sized space, but unfortunately, the PA that they have is not really up to the task of handling live acts. Hopefully they will rectify that as it's not a bad place to see groups. (Although they should also lower  the lights to give it more of a night club feel, in my opinion.)

In any case, the wacky Sheiks of Neptune opened up the evening with their bizarre brand of energetically infused, intricate punk metal (sorta/kinda) mixed with surf, exotica, new wave and whatever else that pops into their twisted minds. All instruments - 2 guitars, violin, bass and drums - are constantly interacting'n'interlocking in an almost Zappa-esque level while the singer stalks the audience relentlessly - which is why he is still recovering from a broken foot! They do have a tendency towards loud volumes (I know that I have had that issue before, myself, as any bandmates will remind me) and the acoustics of this room meant that even the un-mic'd drums were insanely thundering, so the vocals were completely inaudible - as I said, the Mint needs to invest in a real PA system. But, nonetheless, their fanbase was out in force and they got people up'n'dancin' and singin' along with their eccentric themed tunes. If you dig science fiction, fezes and costumed cut-ups blasting away in a frenzy of riffs, then be sure to get out to see the Sheiks!

The stars of the night, celebrating the release of their debut CD, the Implosions came on to run through the entire record and while their volume was nowhere near the Sheiks, there were still issues with the PA - singer Adrienne was audible, but just barely, unfortunately, as she has a fine voice that moves from croons to screams pretty effortlessly. But, she made a point of being a showy frontwoman for the evening (and updated version of a Vegas "showgirl"?!) while the group did an excellent performance of the album. While the record is highly enjoyable, as is the norm, the live show adds an extra element and the songs have more of an edge and overall, sounded terrific!

Franks and Deans are the purveyors of punk rock updates/mashups of Rat Pack (and related) material with super tight playing (all are fine musicians) and fairly amazing vocal harmonies. Ironically, as I consider their harmonies one of their stand-out features, they just released an album of surf instrumentals, utilizing their same concept - mashing up classic surf tunes with punk rock numbers, or simply doing Dead Kennedys songs (for instance) in a surf style. But, they did concentrate on their vocals interpretations of numbers like "Splish Splash", "New York, New York" and the like, while dancer Nicole Muse adds a pleasant visual aspect to the show.

This was a truly fun evening at another new venue - I hope that the Mint and the Thunderbird can continue to bring in high quality shows like these as Vegas can use more new live venues. (And yes, I know that I need to bite the bullet and start bringing my regular camera to gigs as my phone camera does not cut it in places like these.)