Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Velvet Nine Gang

aka Battle of the Band Photos.

Velvet Revolver
Bill Graham Civic, San Francisco
April 19, 2005

Almost a year ago, Timo and I saw Velvet Revolver when they were hungry ex-junkie Rock Stars with something to prove and trying to recapture their past glory. A year later, the lads are well on the way to becoming jaded Rock Stars again. Who says you can't go home again?

There were 6 tour buses parked around the Civic. As we passed one, the t.v. in the back lounge was showing a GOLF video. Golf is NOT Lock 'N Loll. If you bought one of every Velvet Revolver merch item you would have spent $480... Including $200 for a designer Velvet Revolver denim jacket. Something tells me if you wore that to display your street cred you'd get your ass kicked. Or you could have bought a bootleg shirt for $10 out on the street afterwards.

Skychick likes her Rock Stars the old fashioned way and this was definitely Lock 'N Loll the old fashioned way.. However, jaded Umlaut found himself daydreaming a couple of times... (I like puppies!).... There were screens on either side of the stage and prior to coming on they showed a COMMERCIAL for an upcoming A&E reality show that uses a VR song in the soundtrack.. Then, when they played the song during their set, the video screens showed footage from the show.. Probably THE tackiest thing I've ever seen at a concert.

Also, Green Day had WAY, WAY, WAY more lighters held aloft during their ballads than Velvet Revolver. I thought that was funny. I liked how Weiland staggered off stage at the end of the set and a roadie threw a VR bathrobe around his shoulders and escorted him out. Being a Rock Star is like riding a bike. At least Slash and Duff still have their Rock Star hair.

The lines for the $6 beers were RIDICULOUSLY long.. VR fans must not get out much. On the way back to the car some pimply-faced teenagers called us fags... Once in the car, James Hetfield crossed the street in front of us but we let him go on his Rock Star way.. Plus, I had a bad angle so I couldn't fake like I was going to run him over......

Nine Inch Nails / The Dresden Dolls
The Warfield, San Francisco
April 27, 2005

Tickets for NIN's two sold out shows were selling for up to $157 EACH on Ebay. I know, neither would I... You'll never guess what color the vast majority of the crowd was wearing... Nope! It was BLACK. I was surprised too.

I hadn't been in the same venue as Mr. Reznor since 1990 when he was a pre-Rock Star angry guy with something to prove. Trent is chunky these days. The skinny angry guy is now the manned-out angry guy, but he's only a different shirt away from simply looking like an angry jock. I didn't recognize Twiggy on bass / guitar at first since I'd only seen him wearing a dress and smeared makeup onstage in the past. Cleaned up, he looks like any other guy who's ever worn a NIN shirt (see if you can pick him out of the NIN band photo..).

Despite their band photo, me likey The Dresden Dolls.

The action on the floor seemed rather tepid, which I found surprising considering this was the smallest show NIN had played in S.F. in probably 10 years. I must state for the record that NIN had one of THE most annoying light shows I've had the annoyance of watching. If I wasn't epileptic before I might be now. Number of lighters seen held aloft in the crowd when they played Hurt: 14.

The line for merch was RIDICULOUSLY long. Is Hot Topic not selling NIN shirts these days?? If you bought one of every NIN merch item you would have spent around $425. Or you could have bought a bootleg shirt for $10 out on the street afterwards.

On the way back to the car, some pimply-faced teenagers called us fags. The Sheriff showed me how to fix a broken Warfield theater seat. You never know when you'll learn a new skill to add to your resume!

Gang Of Four
The Fillmore, San Francisco
May 3, 2005

This brief U.S. Tour was the original lineup's first time in The Colonies since 1981. Which meant, of course, that the Music Geek factor at The Fillmore was off the scale. Folks definitely came out of the woodwork... I saw more friends and acquaintances at this show than at any other gig in recent memory, including an old roommate who I hadn't seen in almost 15 years! Get this: One of our ex-roommates won an Emmy! Who woulda thunk?!

Mekons 1989 tour shirts = 1 (Dude! I was there too!). I could not get over how godhead the band were. Andy Gill's strangled Strat was, like, hotwired to my brain, man... When they launched into Natural's Not In It I thought my head was gonna explode. Twas inspiring. See! You CAN grow old with an edge! THAT'S what I've been on about this whole time!

I've been meaning to mention this for awhile but kept forgetting... Only around 3 or 4 of you will understand what I'm about to say... Anyway, you know when you're walking down the stairs to exit The Fillmore? I always get a Music Geek buzz because you can smell the paper from the stacks of gig posters they're handing out at the exit door. D'ya know what I mean? Indeed, The Geeks shall inherit the Earth.

If you had bought one of every Gang Of Four merch item you would have spent $120. On the way back to the car, some pimply-faced teenagers called me a fag. In the Kabuki parking garage I parked in a space clearly marked "No Parking" because there were no other spaces anywhere. After the show the Jetta was still waiting there and nothing was tucked under the wiper blade. Fuck The Man!

"Remember Lot’s wife, renounce all sin and vice. Dream of the perfect life, this heaven gives me migraine..."