Sunday, May 07, 2006

The Cinco De Mayo Report

Cinco De Mayo was a flippin' blast. Phillip, the bloke who was running sound for the event, did a great job with what he had, considering that forty feet back or so, every club on Wall Street had DJ music thumping out of the darkness, which made for a cosmic soup of aural hijinks. Jae and I missed Deja, which was a letdown - but Koolus was rather good, a latin rock band that mixed it up bilingually and sported a very visible throng of fans all wearing similar black t-shirts. One Drop was superb - the mix sounded sort of muddy, maybe perhaps "muddy" is too strong a word here and I'm really thinking about "oatmeal", which is not as heavy as mud, but still not as clear as crystal punch either. But they rocked to spite all that, with Roland Simmons flown in on guitar to fill a big personnel void, and I mean "flown in" figuratively. I've got stories about Roland and me on the road with Big Shirley back in '97 and they involve girls, whiskey, vomit and destroying a dressing room in South Carolina. I wouldn't kid.

Robby Copeland, ex of Pop Canon was playing drums with them as well, and there are more stories of a tour with those guys to a theme park in Alabama called Visionland and a show at a pizza joint in Montevallo. Stephen King Town. But another time, maybe.

We set up and did a quick sound check around 11 pm, "Ring-A-Ding", and noticed about 100 people start dancing near the front of the stage, which is not a terrible way to be introduced to your audience. It was a very great show, total fun every step of the way and I love playing ball with these guys up there. Our shows, in the whole seven year history of the band, having always been stretchy, turn this way and that depending on what's going on around us. So it was just totally delightful to stretch things out like "Cuckoo Tom" and "Black Indian" and sort of strut around inside of them for awhile. And by the third or fourth song, people are laying bottles of Corona and shots of Cuervo up on the stage, so there were times when we were simply grooving as I delivered the booze to the boys. We had the crowd toasting after every song in big nasty shouts of "a-yi!" and pulled Dwight Johnson up on stage to sing during "Positive Vibes", along with Lynn Finch,my lovely wife, Jae, and some guy with a cigarette who came up for a little while and then went back down into the crowd again. Take a look at the pictures and see just how insane it was. Uncle Charles, Mark and Rob all delivered the goods - there were people asking how to buy CDs from the front of the stage because we didn't have a table set-up, there was no room for a table because of all the bodies, some of whom had been partying since two that afternoon. Some handled it better than others.

It was terrific fun, all of it. And then interesting later on around 2 am when the cops do their whistle blowing "clear the area" sweep, which is one of the spookiest things I've ever experienced. The cops basically fan out and begin blowing their whistles in alternating long and short bursts, occasionally making shoving motions with their hands, some of them shouting "let's head out." Welcome to our police state.

Huge thanks to Wall Street Plaza for having us back!

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