“Reflections” is a bit of a overstatement. It’s more like, what I can cobble together this morning through the eardrum buzz. So, as we have already established in previous episodes, I’m old. Also previously revealed – I love the rock. And roll. More so the roll than the rock. And if you pressed me to name my three favorite rock and roll bands, Soundtrack Of Our Lives would invariably be on the list, no matter what the day or time. So I was super psyched a couple of months ago when I saw they would be playing Sacramento on a short US run following SXSW. Not psyched for the band, mind you, as I had my doubts as to whether anyone in this town would actually turn out for such a show.
So, after I moped through what was a fairly miserable Friday, I headed over to Harlow’s after watching a couple of great NCAA games (yeah, also a stellar weekend of college hoops!). As I suspected, a light turnout for Sweden’s finest (and no, it’s not Robyn, tho I’m cool with Robyn). But hey, they rocked it like the pros they are for the, oh, 50 or so folks who made the trip. (I think I might be generous with that number). And again, the bst part is that is was a ten minute drive from my house (which was good in light of the number of beers I had in me).
S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y Night! Steven and I had tickets for OMD (Orchestral Manouvres In The Dark) at The Fox in Oakland. (Yeah, I know…NOT rock. Or roll.) Bought the tickets about a month ago, and I’ll admit it was in the throes of nostalgia. You see, I LOVE the first handful of OMD records. But not so much after that. The band definitely has two very distinct periods in its history. And I will also admit that in the days leaning up to the show, I was having some slight misgivings about the ticket purchase, knowing that it was a 90-minute drive to (and 90 minutes back from) the venue in which they were playing. However, TSOOL happened to be playing the last night of their tour just across the street from the Fox and wouldn’t take the stage until after OMD finished (thank you, curfew!). So, I was re-energized and it was on.
OMD show was pretty good. And freakin’ packed. I could not believe how many people were there. The show was moved from a room in SF that holds – I think – several hundred people to a sizable theater that had as many as a few thousand in attendance. Seriously? Anyhoo, the band sounded great. The crowd was completely into it. Me? I liked half the set a lot. The other half? Eh. And I’ll just come out and say it – Andy McCluskey’s dancing (or his take on that verb) is, to out in mildly, a bit distracting. At least he admits it and actually warns the crowd it’s coming. So I’ll give him props for that. But I actually had to close my eyes during the mini-set of songs from “Architecture & Morality” in order to simply enjoy the songs. But hey, it’s also entertainment, right? And the crowd loved it, so who am I to judge? We then headed across the street for another great TSOOL show. A little indulgent, but again, last night of the tour and they weren’t really touring in support of any studio record, so these shows were great if you’re a longtime fan of the band. Thanks to Steven for indulging me while I indulged in TSOOL while the band indulged themselves. Occasionally, indulgence is great. Usually only if it’s a vice of some sort.
Got home at 3 am Sunday morning. Did I mention I was old? Got up in time to take in the two Elite 8 games. But outside of that, I really didn’t have the brain activity to do much else. Games end and Michelle heads out to run an errand and comes back with a pizza. Pizza gone and two glasses of red wine later, I have a timely email exchange with another friend, Jason. One of the topics – that evening’s show in Sacto featuring Puerto Rican garage-punkers Davila 666, with a couple of cool Atlanta bands – The Biters and The Booze – opening. I had really wanted to go, but had pretty much written it off as I wasn’t sure I actually had the motor skills to drive across town. Jason had a friend that was trying to goad him into going. Before I know it, we’re on the phone and talking each other into going.
So glad I had the second wind. Or maybe it was the wine. I think it was more to do with being local, only $5 and I just knew that I was going to miss something if I didn’t slide off the couch and stumble into the tiniest club I’ve entered in quite some time. (Oh, and “club” is generous). Man, am I glad I did. Do yourself a favor and go see Davilla if you are presented with the opportunity. Again, six-piece band from Puerto Rico, all the songs delivered in Spanish. It soooo didn’t matter that you couldn’t understand a single word sung. Or, umm, shouted. Either way. Garage punk that touched all the bases – I heard elements of glam, girl group pop, hardcore, ska, dub reggae, metal and soul. All delivered with a super heavy dose of reverb and a liberal use of tambourine. Check…and check. I can’t even come up with a worthy comparison, though I will say that they kind of remind me of Sweden’s Caesars, mainly due to the vocal reverb thing.
So, all told, a superb weekend musically. A great weekend of basketball. Not exactly the best of weekends for my alcohol-soaked and sonically assaulted brain, but it will recover in time. I’m not sure in how much time, but…whatever.