Thursday, August 22, 2019

recommended gigs

Thursday August 22 - the Surfbroads at the Double Down

Friday Aug 23 - Thee Swank Bastards at Tiki di Amore
Friday Aug 23 - the New Waves at Hardway 8

Saturday August 24 - the Hypnotiques at Tiki di Amore
Saturday August 24 - Thee Swank Bastards at Brooklyn Bowl
Saturday August 24 - Franks'n'Deans, Strange Mistress, Dead Money at Vinyl

Sunday August 25 - Shonen Knife at Vinyl
Sunday August 25 - Soldiers of Destruction at Island Bar and Lounge

Monday August 26 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Golden Tiki
Monday August 26 - No Que No, Lil Sure and the Cowtippers and Ruff Enuff at the Dive Bar

Wednesday August 28 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Double Down

Friday August 30 - the Tiki Bandits at the Golden Tiki
Friday August 30 - Frankie Lee and the Infernos, No Que No, the HIdeaway, Damaris at Ocha Bar
Friday Aug 30 - Sept 1 - Soul Invasion 13 at Backstage Bar and Billiards

Saturday August 31 - Shanda and the Howlers, Cherry Rat, Becky Lynn Blanca at the Sand Dollar

Sunday Sept 1 - the Hypnotiques at the Golden Tiki

Monday Sept 2 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Golden Tiki

Tuesday Sept 3 - LV Blues Society Jam at the Sand Dollar

Friday Sept 6 - Thee Swank Bastards at Tiki di Amore

Saturday Sept 7 - The Swamp Gospel with the Implosions and the Ven der Rohe at the Huntridge Tavern

Monday Sept 9 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Golden Tiki

Tuesday Sept 10 - Tin Can Screamers at the Golden Tiki

Friday Sept 13 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Thunderbird Lounge

Saturday Sept 14 - Franks’n’Deans, the Implosions, Sheiks of Neptune at the Mint

Monday Sept 16 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Golden Tiki
Monday Sept 16 - Mean Motor Scooter, Cromm Fallon and the P200, Cole Maxwell at the BUnkhouse

Tuesday Sept 17 - the Rhyolite Sound at Hogs'n'Heifers

Thursday Sept 19 - the Psyatics at the Double Down

Friday Sept 20 - Thee Swank Bastards at Tiki di Amore

Saturday Sept 21 - Johnny Hootrock with the Vooduo at the Double Down

Sunday Sept 22 - one man band Jacob Skeen with the Dead End and Bloodbelly Blues at the Double Down

Monday Sept 23 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Golden Tiki

Wednesday Sept 25 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Double Down

Saturday Sept 28 - the Psyatics, Water Landing, Big Like Texas, Dead Dolls at the Double Down

Sunday Sept 29 - the Goddam Gallows at the Dive Bar

Monday Sept 30 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Golden Tiki

Friday Oct 4 - LV Blues Society Jam at the Sand Dollar
Friday Oct 4 - 68 at Backstage Bar and Billiards

Sunday Oct 6 - The Hypnotiques at the Golden Tiki

Friday Oct 18 - US Bombs at the Dive Bar
Friday Oct 18 - Monster Zero at the Golden Tiki

Wednesday Oct 23 - Mephiskapheles, Franks'n'Deans, SD and the Jellyfish at Evel Pie

Saturday Oct 26 - GWAR with Sacred Reich, Toxic Holocaust and Against the Grain at the Fremont Country Club

Sunday Oct 27 - Michael Graves at the Dive Bar

Friday Nov 1 - the Psyatics at the Double Down

Tuesday Nov 5 - Redd Kross with the Melvins and Shitkid at the Bunkhouse

Saturday Nov 9 - the Psyatics at Tecopa Hot Springs

Saturday Nov 16 - The Swamp Gospel at the Double Down

Saturday Dec 7 - Agent Orange with The Psyatics , the Sheiks of Neptune and the Jagoffs at the Dive Bar

What have I forgotten? Lemme know

Woodstock - new documentary

Not the original 1970 musical doc, but a brand new behind-the-scenes documentary on the festival for its 50th (!!) anniversary. Lots'n'lots of archival footage from the original movie, but lots more, as well, and modern interviews with attendees and organizers.

Of course, the event itself was a gathering of some of the most incredible rock'n'roll bands - and individual artists - of all time. So, quite naturally, it attracted a huge crowd - far more than the promoters had anticipated. In fact, this doc focuses on the fact that it was truly, insanely unorganized for an event a fraction of this size (nowhere near enough toilets, food vendors, water, etc.) and it is sheer luck and the graciousness of strangers (and government) that kept this from being a complete disaster. In fact, my biggest takeaway from this was the fact that the government and the conservative townfolks came together to help out this large group of, frankly, rather clueless hippies, who they usually detested. I don't really see that happening these days although there would also be countless lawsuits if there was a festival that was this poorly arranged in this day and age (see the Fyre Festival).

Not really much in the way of new info here, but this event has become such a cultural icon that it is always fun to see another perspective on it and it does briefly highlight some of the artists that did not appear in the movie.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Nurse NIkki's Neon Nightcrawl - Saturday August 17, 2019

Evel Pie and Dive Bar- Saturday August 17th 

Whiskey Breath, The Unwieldies, Wayne Hancock, The Sheiks of Neptune and The Mapes  by Nikki Ruffling

Tonight found me doing double venue duty to catch a full night of music.

First, I headed to Evel Pie in downtown Las Vegas to see Brandon Madejeck and Ian Clark as Whiskey Breath, The Unwieldies, and Wayne “the train” Hancock. It was Brandon’s birthday, so it was great to see people out supporting him and Ian since they were playing early. Whiskey Breath is Brandon and maybe a guest player or not, doing hard-nosed outlaw country. Brandon has a great mix of originals and covers, and plays in a way that makes you appreciate the “outlaw” essence of country. Ian Clark is an accomplished fiddler who has played with local bluegrass bands such as Out of the Desert, The All-Togethers, Whiskey Breath and solo. He makes fiddle playing look easy, and is always able to improvise perfectly with whatever band he is playing in. The guys got the party started early, and the early crowd got a good dose of musicianship right up front. A great prep for Wayne.



Next up was The Unwieldies. I write about them a lot, because quite frankly I really enjoy and appreciate their style of music. Hard to classify, they may edge toward Alt-Folk, but really they do some amazing covers and outstanding originals. Songs for the “haves and have-nots” is their motto, and their lyrics are a perfect blend. Add in a new (ish) drummer/banjo player and their band is very well rounded out. Again, the crowd was enjoying the set, and I even spied Wayne hanging out and tapping his toe!



Headliner, Wayne Hancock is a legend in the Rockabilly-Western scene. Wayne plays all over the world, and he is a nice and affable man to talk to. He recently was in Vegas playing Viva this year, so I caught his performance in April. He switches out players, sometimes with a drummer, but tonight he was just a four-piece. With an amazing steel pedalist, he brings a raucous energy to Evel Pie tonight. It was packed full in the back, and people were loving it. He played for almost 2 hours and despite the heat, was fun loving and awesome. If you get a chance to check him out, he does have a pretty heavy touring schedule most of the summer.



I then sped over to Dive Bar to check out the bands for owner Angie’s annual birthday bash. To say “tame” or “subtle” is not the description of Angie’s annual shows. Full of energetic and crazy bands, the crowd is always suitably entertained and somewhat out of control. Tonight was no different. When I arrived, I was able to catch The Sheiks of Neptune and the 20th anniversary of The Mapes. The Sheiks of Neptune are an off the cuff, energetic, hard hitting band. Balancing the line between punk and metal, the Sheiks have a look and style all their own. Dressed in Fez’s and matching surf type clothes, the band is fronted by wild man, Dick Vain. Dick is back from a 3 month hiatus from a mid-show accident where he broke his ankle. They are that crazy and fun! Their music is danceable, but hard and they enjoy engaging the crowd at every show. It is always a fun time, and the band members are as gracious as they are talented.


Lastly was The Mapes. The Mapes have been around, like was advertised, for 20 years. Lately they have played only 1 show a year, but it is 364 days of craziness piled into that 1 show. The crowd for Mapes knows what to expect. Every show is a food fight of some sort. There is no boundary. People fling food, burning toilet paper, and other unmentionables at the band from the get go. Tonight was no different. The band hadn’t even done their first song and already flour, eggs and popcorn were assaulting the stage. But, if you get past the food fight, the band themselves are a powerhouse of musicians. Dave Post, Joseph Cycenas, Jason Wilda, Clay Heximer and Kurt Kangieser have all been local Vegas musicians for well over 20 years in various bands. But, The Mapes bring their own brand of punk-prank to the fold. Their music makes you laugh, makes you rock hard and keeps you moving to avoid getting plummeted with foodstuffs. I didn’t stay for the whole Mapes set, as sadly I was worn out, but I heard there was Tuna in the Piñatas. All in all it was an amazing night of local musicianship and no better way to spend a weekend in Vegas!



Monday, August 19, 2019

George Clinton with Parliament Funkadelic and Fishbone at the Brooklyn Bowl, Sunday August 18, 2019

 I've been a fan of Parliament Funkadelic since the 70's, but for some reason (probably finances), I never got a chance to see them so when we heard about George Clinton's farewell tour with PF, we had to check it out! Apparently, this Vegas show was supposed to be his final gig with them but he then added more dates, so we didn't see the grand finale, but it was pretty damn great regardless!

Due to the Brooklyn Bowl's policy of not listing any set times, we had no idea when anyone was playing, but we knew we didn't want to be there all night long, so we ended up getting there just before Fishbone went on - missing the openers Dumpstaphunk (who we heard good things about) and Miss Velvet and the Blue Wolf. I understand their policy from their point of view, but it's kind of a drag from the client's point of view. Ah well...

Fishbone is a band that I have never cared for as goofy ska variations do nothing for me, but this evening they were far more funk-oriented and they put on a fab show! Singer Angelo appeared in the audience and unfurled a Fishbone "Fuck Racism" flag and paraded to the stage waving this as the band opened with an almost Cab Calloway-ish ode to Trump's fuckin' of our country. The band was hot'n'tight - guitar, bass (playing both acoustic and electric), keys, a backing singer/horn player, a drummer that played with his back to the crowd and Angelo, who provided lead vocals, acrobatics and a number of horns, including a comically large baritone saxophone. He also used a theremin on several tunes, at times turning it into a scratch instrument, as well as the usual outer space sounds. The set was surprisingly short (although with three opening bands, I suppose they needed to be brief), but it was chock full of funky jams from start to finish. Really fun time!


 (above photo by Melanie Coffee)




 After a bit of time for the change-over, Parliament Funkadelic started with the basic band groovin' on a funky, guitar-driven jam (as they are wont to do) before the stage was overtaken by more people than we could count - close to 20 at one point! George Clinton, of course, was the band leader, adorned in a Sun Ra-ish golden outfit, and he was joined by numerous singers, some rappers, horns, and a trio of lovely women, including a stand-out with a white afro and a skimpy outfit who sang lead on a couple of numbers - she seemed to be (rightfully) groomed for a solo career. I have a limited amount of their records, so I was not familiar with most of the songs performed other than "One Nation Under a Groove" and "Flashlight", but it didn't matter, as the whole set was one big party! Two basses provided the heavy groove behind the variety of performers, some dressed to the teeth, some in t-shirts, some barely clothed! The Bowl was packed for them and with them all the way!

As it was a Sunday night, by the time it passed midnight, we were pretty wiped (some seating would be nice in this place, as well, for us old folks), so we split before the culmination of the eve, but still left with a smile on our faces and a groove in our heart! Thank you George for decades of fine, soulful funk!

(Rob Bell informs me that they did a medley of some hits and a grand finale of "Atomic Dog"! I'm sure that was wild - wish we could have stayed but this morning came way too soon as it was!)









Saturday, August 17, 2019

The Pyatics, Strange Mistress, Stagnetti's Cock at the Double Down, Friday August 16, 2019


Yep, it was once again time for the Psyatics (at least) once-a-month Double Down show and for this one we were celebrating the birthdays of John Armstrong, Banana Bob (of Stagnetti's Cock), Michelle Calia and more! It turned out to be a great night and pretty well packed from start to finish!

Opening the evening was the hard-rockin' trio, Strange Mistress, who I had never seen before but was impressed by their combination of heavy psych, 60's/70's stoner rock, blues-rock, Monster Magnet-y sludge and even a cover of Zep's "Immigrant Song"! Fun way to begin the night!




The Psyatics actually played second for a pleasant change and had a full house for our set, with people up and groovin'n'dancin'n'whoopin'n'hollerin' throughout the evening. Great response and a full set of tunes from the various albums and four brand new ones! Thanks to everyone who made it out and gave us encouragement!





(Psyatics pix by NIkki Ruffling, of course!)

Closing out the night was the wyld'n'wacky Stagnetti's Cock, with their own brand of sloppy, goofball punk rock from Joe, April and Banana Bob (why he wears a banana suit for each show, I have never understood). This time for their tune "Felipe" instead of Joe handing off his guitar, April handed over her bass first to me and then to VJ Atomic, Haanson, for some unruly riffage. They played all of their hits, like "Nuns Having Fun", and kept the crowd entertained until the end!




Thanks to everyone involved in the party and thank you once again to the Double Down for being Las Vegas' punk rock club house and party destination!

Friday, August 16, 2019

RIP Peter Fonda


'Easy Rider' Peter Fonda dead at 79: 'Please raise a glass to freedom' 
---
He rode the fine line of being establishment and counter-culture, but he was certainly a 60's icon. Gone too soon.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

recommended gigs

Friday August 16 - the Psyatics with Stagnetti's Cock and Strange Mistress for John Armstrong's birthday at the Double Down

Saturday August 17 - the Mapes, Sheiks of Neptune, No Que No, Los Carajos, Skeleton Crew at the Dive Bar
Saturday August 17 - Wayne Hancock with the Unwieldies and Whiskey Breath at Evel Pie
Saturday August 17 - Johnny Zig and the Force at Tiki di Amore

Sunday August 18 - George Clinton and Parliment Funkadelic at the Brooklyn Bowl
Sunday August 18 - Johnny Zig and the Force host the LV Blues Society Jam at Saddle'n'Spurs

Monday Aug 19 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Golden Tiki

Tuesday August 20 - the Rhyolite Sound with Shanda and the Howlers at Hogs'n'Heifers

Wednesday August 21 - Girl Haggard at Saddle'n'Spurs
Wednesday August 21 - Goldtop Bob at the Double Down

Thursday August 22 - the Surfbroads at the Double Down

Friday Aug 23 - Thee Swank Bastards at Tiki di Amore
Friday Aug 23 - the New Waves at Hardway 8

Saturday August 24 - the Hypnotiques at Tiki di Amore
Saturday August 24 - Thee Swank Bastards at Brooklyn Bowl
Saturday August 24 - Franks'n'Deans, Strange Mistress, Dead Money at Vinyl

Sunday August 25 - Shonen Knife at Vinyl
Sunday August 25 - Soldiers of Destruction at Island Bar and Lounge

Monday August 26 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Golden Tiki
Monday August 26 - No Que No, Lil Sure and the Cowtippers and Ruff Enuff at the Dive Bar

Wednesday August 28 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Double Down

Friday August 30 - the Tiki Bandits at the Golden Tiki
Friday August 30 - Frankie Lee and the Infernos, No Que No, the HIdeaway, Damaris at Ocha Bar
Friday Aug 30 - Sept 1 - Soul Invasion 13 at Backstage Bar and Billiards

Saturday August 31 - Shanda and the Howlers, Cherry Rat, Becky Lynn Blanca at the Sand Dollar

Sunday Sept 1 - the Hypnotiques at the Golden Tiki

Monday Sept 2 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Golden Tiki

Tuesday Sept 3 - LV Blues Society Jam at the Sand Dollar

Friday Sept 6 - Thee Swank Bastards at Tiki di Amore

Saturday Sept 7 - The Swamp Gospel with the Implosions and the Ven der Rohe at the Huntridge Tavern

Monday Sept 9 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Golden Tiki

Tuesday Sept 10 - Tin Can Screamers at the Golden Tiki

Friday Sept 13 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Thunderbird Lounge

Saturday Sept 14 - Franks’n’Deans, the Implosions, Sheiks of Neptune at the Mint

Monday Sept 16 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Golden Tiki
Monday Sept 16 - Mean Motor Scooter, Cromm Fallon and the P200, Cole Maxwell at the BUnkhouse

Tuesday Sept 17 - the Rhyolite Sound at Hogs'n'Heifers

Thursday Sept 19 - the Psyatics at the Double Down

Friday Sept 20 - Thee Swank Bastards at Tiki di Amore

Saturday Sept 21 - Johnny Hootrock with the Vooduo at the Double Down

Sunday Sept 22 - one man band Jacob Skeen with the Dead End and Bloodbelly Blues at the Double Down

Monday Sept 23 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Golden Tiki

Wednesday Sept 25 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Double Down

Saturday Sept 28 - the Psyatics, Water Landing, Big Like Texas, Dead Dolls at the Double Down

Sunday Sept 29 - the Goddam Gallows at the Dive Bar

Monday Sept 30 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Golden Tiki

Friday Oct 4 - LV Blues Society Jam at the Sand Dollar
Friday Oct 4 - 68 at Backstage Bar and Billiards

Sunday Oct 6 - The Hypnotiques at the Golden Tiki

Friday Oct 18 - US Bombs at the Dive Bar
Friday Oct 18 - Monster Zero at the Golden Tiki

Wednesday Oct 23 - Mephiskapheles, Franks'n'Deans, SD and the Jellyfish at Evel Pie

Saturday Oct 26 - GWAR with Sacred Reich, Toxic Holocaust and Against the Grain at the Fremont Country Club

Sunday Oct 27 - Michael Graves at the Dive Bar

Friday Nov 1 - the Psyatics at the Double Down

Tuesday Nov 5 - Redd Kross with the Melvins and Shitkid at the Bunkhouse

Saturday Nov 9 - the Psyatics at Tecopa Hot Springs

Saturday Nov 16 - The Swamp Gospel at the Double Down

Saturday Dec 7 - Agent Orange with The Psyatics , the Sheiks of Neptune and the Jagoffs at the Dive Bar

What have I forgotten? Lemme know

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Los Tiki Phantoms - Disco Guateque

Los Tiki Phantoms were a pleasant surprise when they played with us last week opening for the Fleshtones - a super fun, highly visual Spanish instro band who didn't play just the usual surf tunes, but had some real songs. What I didn't know at the time was that most - all? - of the songs that they did were covers of 80's hits! I essentially did not listen to the radio at all during the 80's, so I am not familiar with groups like Wham!, Eddy Grant, Supergrass, A-Ha, etc.

This record, roughly translated as "record party" (as best as I can tell), is all covers. For all intents and purposes, I know zero Spanish, so I do not know if the songs titles in Spanish were hits in that country or are simply more songs that I am not acquainted with with Spanish titles. But, there are smashes from the Clash (actually Bobby Fuller's "I Fought the Law" blended with a couple of his other numbers), Blondie (I did not notice before how similar the melody is for "Call Me" and Kiss' "I Was Made For Loving You"!) and Roy Orbison that I could not fail to recognize.

These cats are all fine players and the sound here is high quality but, as with almost all bands and certainly with masked instro groups, their live show far surpasses any recording. Live, they are a wild party group - on record they are (obviously) much more controlled and (also obviously) you don't have the visuals, but regardless, this is a quality piece of plastic. Check 'em out for sure!

Steve Jones - Lonely Boy

Steve Jones was always the not-so-lovable oaf whose guitar work - equal parts stolen from the two Johnny's: Thunders and Ramones - drove the Sex Pistols sound and, with super-solid Paul Cook on the drums and melodic basslines from Glen Matlock, gave the r'n'r backing to John Lydon's politically biting lyrics and gave face to the British version of punk rock. Jones always came off as a brutish, not-particularly-bright, addictive lout who just happened to be in the right place at the right time, but this autobiography does paint him in a better light (not surprisingly).

With a teenage, unwed mother, followed by an abusive step-dad, an encounter with a local perv, and an undiagnosed learning problem, his later attitude and demeanor takes on a new meaning. While he is not necessarily book-smart (he apparently still struggles with attention disorders), he is not stupid and he does tell his tale engagingly.

Interestingly enough, his early musical awakenings are quite varied - from Jimi Hendrix to Otis Redding to Zep and Sabbath to Hawkwind and, notably, a group that sticks with him to this day, Roxy Music! Of course it took a little time to move from thievery and peeping-Tom addictions to get his own group together - as opposed to just hanging out with friends in a room filled with stolen equipment - and Malcolm McLaren's Let It Rock store was the impetus for it all with Malcolm as a mentor and friend to Jones. I always enjoy hearing about the early days of any band and this one was odder than most, with Malcolm finding Glen and Johnny (Paul'n'Steve were the ones who started it all, as they had already been friends for years), as opposed to the group forming organically. Of course, things disintegrated within a short period of time, starting with the Grundy media debacle that screwed over their live gigs and then kicking Matlock out and bringing Sid Vicious in, which meant they no longer had their best songwriter and best musician.

As Jonesy admits, you would think that after watching Sid dissolve, the last thing that he would do was get hooked on heroin, but, sure enough, that's the route he takes and he blows everything he has. His next two bands, the Professionals and Chequered Past, are barely footnotes in his junkie haze. I do tend to get bored with the whole addiction'n'recovery business and Jones is only particularly interesting because during his recovery he somehow got to work with Iggy Pop, Bob Dylan and Roy Orbison!! Iggy, I understand, but Dylan and Orbison I really don't get, seeing as Steve is not an exceptional (or even special) player, but I guess they were looking for a certain something. In any case, he cleans up, does reunion shows, tries to pull himself together a bit to make himself a better person and gets his own, now rather iconic, radio show.

Yes, the end of the book is a little bit dull and predictable, as with most band stories after the band breaks up, but overall, Jones is surprisingly erudite and entertaining. As usual, I wish there were more details of the band days, but this is a quibble and I do recommend this book for fans of r'n'r and, naturally, British punk.

Friday, August 09, 2019

The Fleshtones, Los Tiki Phantoms, the Holy Smokes, the Swamp Gospel at Backstage Bar and Billiards, Thursday August 8, 2019



Way back in the early 80's I was in the Unclaimed, one of the first garage-rock "revival" bands on the west coast. The Fleshtones were one of the first (starting even before the Unclaimed) on the east coast. As their popularity grew - due to terrific songs and an amazing live act - they traveled to the west coast a number of times and, as like-minded bands, we did a number of gigs together, usually culminating with everyone on stage and the entire club becoming one big party. Unfortunately, life is not fair and the 'Tones, despite being on IRS Records, never reached the fame'n'fortune that they so deserved. While they literally never called it quits (over 40 years now!), their treks to the west coast became less common and it has been a good 25+ years since I last saw them play. So, needless to say, I was more than excited to hear that they were going to play in Las Vegas (a rarity for them) and that the Swamp Gospel would be able to open the night.

Of course, it was super early when we went on so - the doors had just opened immediately before we hit the stage - but we did our best to serve up some soul sanctification to those that had arrived. While not really on the top of our game, it was a solid effort and converts were made, snakes were handled and strychnine was consumed! We even pulled out our take on John Lee Hooker's "Burnin' Hell" after remembering that the Fleshtones also covered it way back on the Hexbreaker album.





(SG pix by Nikki Ruffling, as usual - thanks!)

Local blues-garage rockers the Holy Smokes followed with their super, high energy blues that never fails to bring a smile to the faces of everyone in the club while causing some hip-shake action! Bassist/vocalist Luke (also of Shanda and the Howlers) and harp/vocalist Jeffrey (to be found anywhere good blues is being played) work with original git-slinger Joel and new-guy-on-the-drums, Gerry (New Waves, Swank Bastards, innumerable other combos) to swing'n'groove thru tunes from their two albums as well as hip covers like their take on the NY Dolls' take on Bo Diddley's "Pills". It's impossible NOT to have a good time when these cats are on stage and this was one of their stronger sets that I've seen!





I knew nothing whatsoever about Los Tiki Phantoms before this eve, other than they were a masked instro band from Spain. As so many similar groups rely on their schtick to get by, I didn't have high hopes, but the Phantoms were a total blast right from the start! Fine musicianship all around, a goofy/fun/energetic stage show and some real, melodic songs that incorporated a variety of sounds won over the crowd immediately. Plenty of originals, some silly covers (I think there was a medley of "I Was Made For Loving You" and "Call Me" (!) along with other 80's tunes done instrumentally) and a lot of crowd interaction, from passing out cardboard masks based on their own masks to forming a conga line throughout the club! Nice guys, too!









Then, finally, the log-awaited return of the Fleshtones! Original members Peter (lead vox, keys, harp), Keith (guitar/vocals) and Bill (drums/vocals) are joined by "new guy" (30 or so years!) Ken and they continue their quest to bring their original brand of Super Rock to the masses. Their show is still filled with non-stop movement and wild energy, far surpassing most groups decades younger than them (and inspiring this old man). While the music is essentially garage rock'n'roll, there is also plenty of R'n'B (the real stuff) and Soul influences combined to make a potent brew that gets everyone up on their feet!

Opening with "The Dreg", the stunning initial track from their fantastic Roman Gods album, the guys then ran through a set of mostly newer numbers, although "Lets See the Sun", ironically one of my least favorite 'Tones tunes, also from Roman Gods, did make an appearance. There were covers from the group Teenage Head, a rockin' take on the Stones' "Child of the Moon" and a homage to the Ramones where they name-check the incredible NYC combos from the CBGB's/Max's Kansas City days that they shared stages with. There were lots of synchronized moves (always a crowd pleaser), both Ken and Keith got chances to take the lead vocal spot and Peter and Keith (on wireless guitar) also led the crowd on a conga line outside into the Vegas night and back before blasting out their high-energy finale!

I didn't take as many notes as I probably should have because I was just having too damn good of a time (although I did take an abundance of photos since they are so highly visual). This year has been an excellent year for live music in Vegas and this was another top-tier event - one of the best anyone is likely to see in town and it's a shame that so few people here support this kind of incredible rock'n'roll. But, we appreciate Brian and Dirty R'n'R Dance Party for bringing these quality acts to Vegas, regardless of the financial reward.