Oh my god!, I said to Scott as I walked through Darrell's at about midnight. Bigfoot Accelerator was well into their set, my face was melting. He yelled, "no kidding, they sure live up to their name".
The walls were shaking, the light fixtures were vibrating, and it felt like there was an earthquake. Hide the womenfolk; we have a full on insurrection!
For the first time in many years I saw a mosh pit: well 2 guys shoving each other around. I lived through the LA punk scene, I have fond memories of flying bodies, sweat and beer. The first time I witnessed the mosh madness was at a private party in Pasadena. The band was a local bunch of punks thrashing their guitars and drums for a bunch of other local punks. I was standing on the periphery of the dance floor when this guy came flying into me, naturally I pushed him back. My first participation in the pit.
I couldn't resist, when I got close enough to them I gave one of them a shove; half my age I am not sure he knew what to do. I was hoping for a bruise at the least, he smiled and went to the can...
Anyway, this was the scene for the last band, the perfect ending for a great bill.
I saw the post on Darrell's music page, it had changed over the last week. Scott does a good job of keeping the info and links up to date. It is nice that all the links are active and you can do some homework before you go. Mrs. Ghia and I listened to Billy before I came tonight on a link supplied by Darrell's. Here is the link to their site:http://www.darrellstavern.com/
The band that caught my eye was Billy Dwayne and the Creepers, it was billed as Billy's Birthday Bash. I figured the other bands would be of similar ilk...rockabilly. Little did I know.
I arrived at Darrell's with my buddy Mark at about 9:15, we got a single chair on the bar. I dance most of the time so we could switch off no problem. Our favorite bartender was there; cute, efficient and pleasant she dishes up excellent adult beverages. We ordered a pitcher of Fremont Brewing Interurban Ale and settled in for the long run.
The Randy Hicks Band was on first, they started cranking from the first note. Their page lists Paul, Gabe and Sandy as the talent; "hittin, plunkin and yellin". And that's just what they did, Sandy was playing a Dobro (I had to ask someone in the crowd what it was, turned out it was Kevtone (Kevin Guest) from Billy's band), Gabe on the doghouse and Paul on drums (I think).
They played a manic rockabilly that bordered on punk, well it was flat out punk at times. The Dobro is a resonator guitar has a very distinctive sound. At times they had two of them on stage. Gabe and Sandy traded instruments, she playing the stand up bass on many tunes. I loved her style; she turned her bass and body away from the crowd singing in the microphone over her shoulder. Unique and very cool.
Paul broke the head on his snare 2 songs into their set. He grabbed a guitar and sang some killer tunes, sounded like Tom Waitts. He ended up playing parts of his stool (that's what it looked like to me) and the metal parts on his set as a substitute. They really had two distinct flavors; these slow gnarly yet beautiful vocal heavy tunes, then these knock your socks off high energy punk tunes. I had never seen before but they were great, blasting out original tunes that had the dancers out and the crowd shakin'. Here is a link to their page: http://www.reverbnation.com/randyhicksband#
Next up was Billy and his Creepers. They play an original and classic style of rockabilly. They have been around for a few years, I have seen them several times, most recently at the Shake The Shack Rockabilly Ball. I have a friend who has criticized them for their lack of flare on the stage. I found that their musical talent and originally written/performed music made up for any lack of theater.
The highlight of the evening was also a surprise. I had talked with Kevin earlier about the Dobro, he plays drums for the Creepers was a excellent technical and aesthetic percussionist. I heard some original and innovative strokes on the skins that I would not have expected in a rockabilly band. He had a distinctive style and look that I found striking and appealing.
Wesley Amundsen was killing the upright bass, I loved watching him plunking and stroking. He had a determined look on his face and he banged his way trough some great rockabilly tunes. His bass had tennis balls between some parts of his instrument, isolating the strings? He had notes for the tunes written on a little notebook attached to his bass.
Billy himself is a marvelous guitarist and vocalist. I disagree with my buddy; I thought he had great command of the stage and writes some good stuff. I don't think I heard more than one or two covers and those were fresh and original somehow. He plays a beautiful guitar: sometimes the best thing about seeing these bands are the beautiful instruments they play.
See Billy and his Creepers here :http://www.myspace.com/billydwayneandthecreepers
Bigfoot Accelerator came on like a tsunami, hitting your whole body with a wall of sound. I watched as they set up, the drummer had a white muscleman shirt on with a shaved head. I knew we were in for it, and me without my ear plugs. They brought stacks of amps and huge speakers: they filled Darrell's with maximum decibels.
Head banging full on down and dirty punk was the flavor and you had better get with the plan or they were going to drive you out of the building. I wasn't prepared for 2 punk bands but I was starting to see the method to the madness. They sandwiched Billy between Bigfoot and Randy; diabolical!
They describe themselves as dirty, I will have to agree. Dirty, loud, hammer-down rock delivered in an aggressive style that blew your hair back. My ears are still ringing 12 hours later. I liked it. Mopar Steve on vox, Emag on bass, Jeff Jerktone on guitar, Noah Response on Beats, and Digger on Guitar; they made a powerful impression. See them here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bigfoot-Accelerator/274092065951154
It was a great night of music; we stayed till just about one then limped home. I am so glad to have Darrell's so close to the crib: it is starting to feel like home. The personnel from the guy at the door to the owner are friendly and welcoming. They consistently have excellent bills and it always sounds great. There is lots of seating, the beer selection is massive and the cocktails are well prepared. It costs all of 5 bucks to enter this wonderland...I can't think of any reason that you shouldn't try a Friday night at Darrell's on for size.
Just got the new Dale Watson CD, killer stuff. I still love Nikki Lane and Lindi Ortega, and of course Blvd. Park, their new CD, The Sound is stellar. Please support them by purchasing their music: http://www.blvdpark.info/albums.cfm
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