Sep 11, 2009

Hard Rock, Sore Throats, Hot Bass Players and Getting Old

I'm only 26, but when did I get so "old"? It's like it happened with a flick of a switch, when I wasn't paying attention, just trying to pay the bills and keep myself happy. Last night, though it was a Thursday (wow, that makes me sound real lame), I braved the unknown nightlife of Kansas to try to regain a semblance of my youth by doing something as simple as staying up past 9:30 and seeing a real rock show, something that I haven't done in the longest time.

Last night was the big show I had been waiting for for months, Sick Puppies in downtown Lawrence playing with The Veer Union and headliner Hurt. My excitement was in the chance to see Sick Puppies, who I've been a fan of since their first album was released in 2006. With the show being right here in town and their new album "Tri-Polar", which I just had to go out and snatch the day it came out (see Those Are Some "Sick" Sick Puppies) blasting holes in my car stereo speakers, I felt this was my opportunity to strip myself of my old man status and act like the rocker of old days that was seeing rock show after rock show excited over every riff and lyric.

The show was at The Granada, an old school looking music venue on Massachusetts St. in downtown Lawrence. KJ and I showed up in time to see the opener, a local Kansas City band called Black Oxygen. They put on a decent 20 minute or so set and made way for The Veer Union, who is known for their single Seasons, which gets quite a bit of play on the local alternative rock stations around here. Their set was highlighted by a dangerous looking mohawk, a drum set set off to the side of the stage due to lack of space, and some kicking tunes. As enjoyable as they were, we stood back at watched from the back of the pit, taking it in and waiting for our chance to truly rock out.

Once The Veer Union finished, I set aside my walker, grabbed KJ and walked to the floor in front of the stage and rocked out like you're supposed to at a rock show as Sick Puppies commanded the room. The modest sized crowd surged around us as we were pushed forward to the very front with Shim (the lead guitarist and vocalist) hovering over us and bating us on to keep moving and making as much noise as we could. I sure as hell didn't hold back. I belted out every lyric that I could, which was most of them, and shouted my excitement like I did in my college days, rocking it out for Foo Fighters or Three Days Grace. (We saw some very good shows back in those days.)

Shim really owned it song after song and Mark truly held his own behind his kit, but there's really no way to sugar coat it, Emma, the bass player, was smoking hot. There is nothing much hotter than to see an attractive woman rocking out on a stage, ripping the hell out of her instrument and looking damn fine in the process. At some points it was hard taking my eyes away, seeing her so intense and into the music, head banging in her tall black boots and short skirt. Heck, even KJ admitted she would tap that. That's saying something when your girlfriend tells you that. It's sad that I didn't have the guts to go say hi and check out her hot Australian accent at the meet-and-greet after the set, but watching the show was a treat in itself.

Sadly, after Sick Puppies, our geriatric ways kicked back in after a couple of songs into Hurt's set. I'd never heard of them until this show and I didn't know any of their tunes. (I did really dig their tune "Ten Ton Brick".) Their music was heavy, intense and most definitely gut busting in the best of ways, but we were both exhausted and dreading the work day that was to follow.

I hate to admit I left early, at only 10:30 to boot, I'm usually the last one to want to leave early from a rock show, especially after paying good money to be there, but we'll take it one step at a time. Me protecting my lady from the moshers and screaming myself hoarse to the lyrics of Sick Puppies was more than a small step to my reintroduction to non-loser-dome.

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