...and then my eyes. -BOC
So after a long night of work at the burrito stand, I was tempted to say 'screw this' go back to the sublet & get some rest. But no. The poster for the show has been up on the wall here for two weeks it seems, calling out for the viewer to come and have their ears assauled by the Black Rose Band, described as "New Orleans wreck and roll" at a club I'd never been to called One Eyed Jacks down in "Da Qwata."
We get out of work late, (it is Saturday night/Sunday morning, after all) and two of us roll down in all our salsa-covered glory to fight for parking in the French Quarter and find this place. Unbelievable parking karma worked again, so we were soon on foot, en route to the club.
Now, I've been to clubs in places like Athens, Atlanta & Savannah, and in those places, people get dressed up to go out. They get dressed up and look good, stylish and funky, as the mood strikes them. I've seen women wearing Gucci shoes and Versace dresses to football games, for God's sake. But I begin to learn that there is a difference between "dressed up to go out", and "dressed up to go out in New Orleans." In the foyer of One Eyed Jacks, I thought I had walked onto the set of a music video - you know the ones, where you can't believe places like that exist.
But there is rock and roll to be seen, and we can hear it now, so close as we are. Beverages are quickly purchased, cover is quickly paid and we're into the venue part of the place. (There is a bar in the foyer, and then a large room - theatre style.) A few easy crowd navigation techniques place us near the stage, where we find two other coworkers, and some folks my kitchen comrade knows (this happens everywhere we go in this town).
The band is halfway through a song when we get there, so I take the moment to look around and take in the venue and the show watchers. The venue is small and classy. For you Athenians, it is the size of Tasty World with the setup of the Georgia Theathre. For those of you unfamiliar with those places, you can fit about 200 people in the place comfortably, the smoke rises up to the high ceilings, and the floor in the back is higher than the floor at the stage. Though there are some additions to the crowd dressed in the 'townie' style, the place is still full of folks dressed up in pinstripe vests, retro boots, a few masks, one guy who's dressed up like Pirates of the Carribean and another indivudal dressed up like...well I don't know what it was, an anime spirit character with a shiny orange cape. Bourbon is what I'm sippin' on, and I'll have another one. The band launches into their next number with a scorching intro riff and a rockabilly beat, and I am hooked.
This group sounds like a Southern rock band from the 70's got mixed up with Nirvana's soundguy and boiled in a pot of crawfish with a rockabilly singer. If this is where rock n' roll is heading, I'm on the bus.
The double guitar solo break in the second song I heard was worth the price of admission alone. At one point towards the end, they played a song that is one of the greatest rock songs I'd ever heard performed live: unbelievable hooks, danceable rhythm, double guitar riffs and solos. I kid you not.
They pounded through their set, and at the end, music roiling, brought some other musicians onstage for the last song, just to hang out. And then hot blooded women joined them onstage for dancing. My coworker brings me a fresh beer. Can it get any better? Oh no, what is that? A pinata? The dancers bring a huge pinata on stage, and launch it into the crowd. It is surfed around for a few moments, before being dragged under the sea of retro boots, Converse All-Stars and no-skid kitchen shoes to get a punk rock curb stomp. Inside were some guitar shaped whistles, some shiny alligator keychains, CDs from other bands and underground music/porn magazines.
Did that really just happen? If these guys played in Athens, they might cause a riot. Especially during football season.
The finale is all axe players on the lip of the stage with their instruments raised for white noise generation and crowd adoration, while the hot blooded dancing girls are alongside shaking their rear ends over the edge of the stage and blowing kisses to the crowd. Then the finale and the good nights.
It was an hour later, at a bar down the street, that my sense of hearing was restored. Not a bad way to spend an evening, if I do say so myself.