Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Faster Pussycat / Loveblast/ Gino's All Stars /Baby Jayne @ Empire 4/24/2015

I went to see Faster Pussycat at Empire ($13), for one of the last shows ever at the venue! Recently, Empire announced that they would be closing in early May. This really is the end of an era, and I'm not sure where all the shows that came there will go- Baltimore? Maybe DC? I met up with Tony, Nathan and Alie, Jen, Kim, Matt Rice, Beth, and Ruby and Julia there.

Shut Up n ROCK

I think there may have been about 200 people there overall. It was a good turnout, more than I expected, but obviously could have been better for a Friday night.

SO much TEXT

Faster Pussycat had a ton of merch at the booth manned by a foxy girl in short studded (p)leather shorts. For prices, see the photos. There was some Loveblast, who was touring with them, merch on the side- shirts and a CD and an EP.

The Merch booth was lit up. not sure how you sit in shorts like that

I anticipated FP going on around 10, but I think I miscalculated band play times, and after a number of openers, FP went on late, after 11 PM- All in true Jaxx / Empire fashion ;3

The first opener I saw was part of Baby Jayne (not to be confused with Baby Jane). I know I've seen them before years ago, but didn't recall them apart from maybe one song being pretty decent. Unfortunately that was not the case this evening. I heard a cover of "Hot Stuff" as I entered the venue, and was a little confused. After they finished that,  They went into a Kix cover- which I was initially excited about, but then the singing started. I have to say they butchered it vocally. The band itself was pretty solid, I must say- but the singing was pretty horrible. They ended with another song I couldn't make out.  The crowd seemed into them, but those vocals were way too bad for me to like them.

Gino's people

The slightly pretentiously named Gino's All Stars were next. They had a comely lass singer, and played radio rock covers to varying effect. I think the mix for them was turned DOWN, so they were the quietest band of the evening, in an odd twist. I thought she sounded fine for the first 2 songs (Pat Benatar, Journey), but then she got less good for Foreigner and the next song (not sure what it was). She kind of coasted until her Scorpions and Ozzy covers, which I felt were pretty bad. The Ozzy one was a little forced. Thankfully, they went out on a high note with an extremely faithful rendition of the Heart classic "Barracuda" (but the real Heart I believe is better). The band was fine, but there was something off about them that I can't quite place. They played the songs, but it seemed more like they were going thru the motions (for most songs), and lacked a lot of emotion. The crowd was really into them, but I think I was trying to figure out how long until Taime Downe and co. were going to be on. 

Skid Row Loveblast

Loveblast was on next, and they were basically like a newer hard rock/hair band. Their frontman evokes Sebastian Bach, and their bassist's hair was def bang-heavy. Their sound was a lot louder and heavier than Gino's crew. They played mostly originals, with a Van Halen cover thrown in for good measure. I thought they sounded the best of the openers, certainly the most energetic- the crowd was rather amped at this point. I think I was familiar with their material I would have enjoyed their set a bit more.

Lookin' a bit rough, but they must be tired

Finally, after a long day at work, and a long night- Faster Pussycat took the stage around 11:30. Taime mentioned that they just got off of the Monsters of Rock Cruise, and were still hungover. I'm fairly certain that was true. The mix was a bit off for the guitar (could only hear one), and the bassist's mic was either turned up way too high or he was shouting too loudly into his mic. I think the guitarist Ace had a similar issue with the vocals on his song (see below).

Vulatron sings!

I will say that the disappointment continued with FP's set. I am not sure if Taime needs to stop smoking (since 1993 I'm sure), or if he really does need a large break, but the set of odd covers by various singers was really strange. I had seen a setlist from a previous show, an unfortunately this evening's was similar. The bassist, the guitarist Ace, Kim (aka Vulvatron) from Gwar (!!!), and Bret (or Brent?) from an opening band (I think?) all sang guest songs- covers of various punk songs. I guess it was a little better than hearing a tired Aerosmith or AC/DC cover, but for someone not into punk, it was a bit ... trying. On the plus side, no drum solo, and all those songs were short. They looked like they were having fun, and the crowd was into them, but I would have preferred to hear an FP song, really.

Taime Down, smoking inside during 75% of the set

Faster Pussycatwise, we got Taime smoking indoors, half snarling, half singing in the gothy style he's used for some time. The band was pretty tight, but the bassist (a cross between Alice Cooper an Sandor Clegane minus the burns and the muscles) looked pretty tired. Taime was the palest thing there, and at one point removed his military hat, proving that he had not gone bald, like several contemporaries. Regardless, Taime sounded about as good as he had the last time we had seen him, years ago at Empire/Jaxx. So that was good! The sound was mostly

Glamy, gothy

We did get several Faster Pussycat classics, but some songs ("Poison Ivy") were sorely missed. The many (IMO) odd covers made it seem like kind of a mess rather than a Faster Pussycat show.I don't know why FP didn't have another hair band (or national act) on this tour, and I'm sure they are a bit miffed at being passed over at M3 again. That cruise probably helps, but I can't imagine them pulling a lot in from a date like this unfortunately.

Overall, I still had fun seeing a hair band (or former hair band, whatever) in true Jaxx/Empire form- several openers, headliner going on late, and some sound issues. I'll still be sad to see it go.

Link One
Baby Jane (?8L45- 9:00)
  • Hot Stuff (Donna Summer cover)
  • Cold Blood (Kix cover)
  • ? hell?
Gino's All Stars (9:20-10)
  • Heartbreaker (Pat Benatar cover)
  • Stone in Love (Journey cover)
  • Hot Blooded (Foreigner cover)
  •  ?
  • Any Way You Want it (Journey cover)
  • I Love Rock N Roll (Joan Jett cover)
  • Hit Me With Your Best Shot (Pat Benatar cover- I think this is out of order)
  • Rock You Like a Hurricane (Scorpions cover)
  • Crazy Train (Ozzy cover)
  • Barracuda (Heart cover)
Loveblast (10:20- 10:52)
  • ?here we go sounds like Corabi Crue
  • ? open your eyes? 
  • Hard Liquor
  • ?
  • ?
  • Running with the Devil (Van Halen cover)
  • ?Dreams things?

Faster Pussycat (11:30- 12:45)
  • Jack the Bastard
  • Cathouse
  • Slip of the Tongue
  • Number 1 With a Bullet
  • Sex, Drugs, and Rock n' Roll
  • House of Pain
  • Where There's a Whip There's a Way
  • Don't Change (INXS)
  • Don't Change That Song
  • Bathroom Wall
  • Strychnine (The Sonics cover - Guitarist Ace sings)
  • Chinese Rock (Ramones/Heartbreakers cover- Bret from an opening band sings)
  • Blitzkreig Bop (Ramones cover- Kim sings)
  • Pretty Fucked Up (Supersuckers cover - Bass player sings)
  • Bathroom Wall reprise
  • Shut Up And Fuck (Betty Blowtorch cover)
  • Babylon