Sunday, January 21, 2007

The 'fats Who Came In From the Cold

Great show last Saturday at the Ash Tray. I was a bit worried that the recent cold snap would keep folks off the streets and outta the clubs. I was certainly and gladfully wrong.

Getting to the place early soundgal-and-booker extraordinaire Heather laments that there's only one heater working in the place. Fantastic. Turns out, thanks to the populous crowd, that's actually a blessing for the evening.

The show starts about 9:40pm with Shock Troops, a local Cock Sparrer tribute band. Thankfully, I didn't have to keep spending my time telling people who Cock Sparrer were after these guys started in. I go back a ways with my appreciation of that band so I was one of the (I think) six others who could sing along, every line of every song they covered. They stuck pretty much to the album of the same name, "Shock Troops," plus a couple others thrown in for good measure (like "Because You're Young"). I think others in the audience who weren't as familiar with the original band still got into it, too, tho'. I mean, how could you not? Take a listen to "Take 'Em All" or "We're Comin' Back," drown a few beers, and it's easy to see its appeal.

Next up were Motorbreath. I (and several other 'fats) are particular about our Metallica, thinking that that band's true creativity died with Cliff. I think Motorbreath begrudgingly used a couple tracks off of the "black" album but, otherwise, stuck to the holy trinity of source material, "Kill 'Em All," "Ride the Lightning," and "Master of Puppets." And they freakin' nailed it, my friends. These are some highly talented shreddists tackling this stuff and they do it severe justice. We were very happy to have shared a stage with 'em and look forward to future opportunities. The cross-pollination of fans between us and them is pretty strong, too - a natural fit, if you will - and provides great entertainment for all sorts of fans. (There - my marketing pitch is now in place and DONE!)

The crowd usually seems to swell for the 2nd band and, in Motorbreath's case, deservedly and understandably so. However, as we hit the stage around 12:15am, the crowd was still pretty thick and into it. They had a pit going for just about our entire set which we haven't seen in a long time (first John Henry's show in Eugene, to be exact), and were pretty much unruly in a fun sense. One showgoer got a bit too full of himself, tho', and got posse-ejected out the side door. That was fun to watch. Oh and someone threw a glass tumbler at us which wasn't so cool - thankfully, my cat-like reflexes, earned at the hands of countless sifus over time and geography, prevented catastrophe. I can understand the impulse but come on - a heavy glass tumbler? Think about it, genius - If you intended harm, why'd you stay and throw that at the very end of our set? And if you were just drunk and having a good time, why waste your glass when the bar's about 10 steps away from you? Ah, the nature of playing last, playing late, and playing well.

Because we did play well, considering we hadn't played in about 9 weeks and only had a couple practices prior. "Pabstdrinkers" was dusted off ("Braineaters," if you're interested) and presented to an eager audience, even. And when 'fats fiend Flash tried to call it early we dragged him to the punishment seat at the front of the stage and played on him - not near him, not by him, but on him. I don't think he'll ever get the stank of Baloney's ass or my gut off of him. He's ruined forever now - precisely what he deserves for trying to leave our glorious light before we release him!

Next show is a weeknight affair, back at the Ash in downtown PDX, but very well worth it. Darkbuster returns and reunites with us after our summer success and local heroes iknowkungfu reformed just for this show. Joining us all for this mid-week massacre is The Binge, too. If you're in the area, make it to this 'cuz it's gonna be quite a show (and now add, in the creepy voice of the Men's Wearhouse owner) I guarantee it...

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