2 Shows in 2 nights; Gettin' stoned w/ Dead Weather & Ravin' it up w/ Lords of Acid
Ram's Head Live
Jack White is best known as the mastermind behind the White Stripes; I liken the man to this era's Jimmy Page because he's quirky, inventive, a master of his musical craft & whether you like Jack or not you cannot deny the man can write hits & he's made his mark in the music world in a relatively short period of time!
Jack White has a few side projects alongside the White Stripes & his current musical venture, Dead Weather, is a full on stoner rock meets post grunge explosion of fuzzy guitar tones, moog keyboards, gritty vocals, punchy bass lines & pounding drums! Initially I wasn't planning on covering the Dead Weather show, I was in the area because I was covering the Lords of Acid show 2 blocks over from where Dead Weather was playing their sold out show. When I got situated, found a parking space & made my way over to Ram's Head Live to see a friend for a minute I noticed a pack of 5 or 6 people who looked vaguely familiar; It was all the members of Lords of Acid minus Praga walking over towards the Inner Harbor area!
The band continued on their way & I averted to the backstage area of Ram's Head to visit my friend & I got invited in to check out the Dead Weather show. The time schedule for the shows worked out ideal too because Dead Weather was done playing before 11 PM & that allowed me plenty of time to head back over to the Lords of Acid show because Lords of Acid were scheduled to take the stage very late!
The opening band for Dead Weather was a band called Harlem. Harlem is best described as surf pop-punk indie rock. They were ok, the band was a 3 piece, guitar/bass/drums, but nothing they did really came across as interesting or amazing & the crowd seemed un-phased by their set.
Dead Weather's stage set up was interesting...they had 4 column's of lights, there was one column on each side of the stage that basically boxed in the band and on top of each pole was an ominous goat head! Interesting note about those goat heads is that the roadies brought the goat heads out just before the band took the stage & they took them away right after their set ended & my assumption was that they were afraid someone might try to steal the goat heads?
While on the subject of roadies, Dead Weather's roadies all wore black suits, black dress hats & they set things up & broke things down in a very gentleman like manner...there was no sloppy attire, the Dead Weather roadies did their job like the secret service might & that's something I've never seen a rock n roll band utilize; roadies that actually dressed more like they were going to church than working for a rock band! They reminded me slightly of The Blues Brothers too!
The backdrop for Dead Weather was trippy as hell, it was black light & had these cool hippie inspired designs & at the very top center was a HUGE eyeball that kinda resembled the world....I could smell weed being smoked at this show & it's safe to say that those people smokin' up were experiencing the full effects of this show, because overall it was a very psychedelic trip from start to finish with loads o' dark lighting, smoke & deep jams.
Jack White got the loudest cheers from the crowd & he played drums for most of the night. I believe it was around the 3rd song in the set that Jack White stepped from behind the drum kit & sang lead vocals & this was really the first glimpse the crowd got of Jack front & center! Mr. White reminds me alot of Johnny Depp in Alice in Wonderland minus the colored hair; Jack White has so much mystery surrounding him & I believe it's really more to do with the fact that he's not a very public person, he tends to keep his personal life a little more private than some celebs & that creates this world of mystery surrounding him.
Alison Mosshart, the bands lead singer, is an interesting front-woman. She's one part Patti Smyth, 2 parts Kathleen Hannah....she's very no-frills, has that grunge vibe in full effect, her hair was messy, her attire was standard black stretch jeans, black t-shirt & some random jewelry; Alison allowed her voice to be the only thing you really noticed about her & that worked just fine in all honesty! Alison roamed about the stage pretty well, she climbed the light poles on each side of the stage which allowed her to get closer to the people on the 2nd level of the club & her voice sounds really good in concert!
Dean Fertita is best known as a member of Queens of the Stone Age, but in Dead Weather, to be honest with you, he's the guy who holds all the music together; he plays the bulk of the guitar work & he does a helluva lot o' keyboard work as well...the man is really talented & oozes rock n roll when he plays!
The end of the first set was probably the best part of the show in my opinion & it's because Jack White came out & played guitar & sang...I have no clue what the name of the song was, but it was a 10 minute jam complete with a Jack White guitar solo & the song itself was a tear jerking, soul wrenching, emotion stealing rocker that was part blues, part power ballad....it was the clear highlight of the night as far as I'm concerned & when that song was done I think alot of the crowd, as well as the band, were pretty much drained!
Dead Weather came back out & played a small encore, then thanked the crowd & left the stage. I hung around a few minutes to see if Jack White was going to make an appearance for a meet & greet, but after waiting 5 minutes I knew it didn't matter because I had to head over to catch the rest of the Lords of Acid show & this is where the night went in a totally different direction!
Upon entering the packed Bourbon Street main stage area I immediately heard "Sex on Wheels" & knew before I even saw the stage that Thrill Kill Kult was onstage! Groovieman is looking alot older these days but still in good shape & in even better spirits! From a distance you could see the light show & see the full stage set up, but up close you could see the band & break down the show a little.
For me, personally, I always felt cheated whenever I saw Thrill Kill Kult & it's simply because they have Groovieman on vocals, a live bass player, a live back up singer & the guy playing keyboards & doing the samples, BUT, when you listen to the Thrill Kill Kult's music, there's guitar & drums, but live it's ALL sampled! What you see in a live Thrill Kill Kult show, & I use the term "live" loosely to describe Thrill Kill Kult, what you see is Groovieman singing live, the bass player plays live & everything else is sampled! If they added a live drummer & live guitar player I would enjoy the band alot more, but perhaps I'm the silent majority here, but when I go to see a band play live, I wanna see live players....seeing a band with ALL sampled guitar & drum parts just doesn't excite me, but then again, the Thrill Kill Kult fanbase didn't give a shit about them not having a live guitar player or drummer, they were there to dance to the music & that's EXACTLY what the Thrill Kill Kult is all about; they create dance music for people to dance to.
Thrill Kill Kult played a few songs during their encore & judging by the crowds response, Thrill Kill Kult were a definite hit!
Lords of Acid were up next & the bands drum set was crazy in that the cymbals were super freakin' high, they were so high that it was almost a joke! The gear onstage was minimal, Sin had a 1/2 stack with 2 amp heads, The bass player had 1 cabinet & Praga had his keyboard rig, while the center of the stage had a moderately small drum kit with extremely high cymbals.
Interesting note about this crowd is that larger girls cannot pull off wearing the same things that smaller girls wear...I'll leave it at that & be nice, but wow, some of the things that a few girls wore this night; I guess if they could look in the mirror & think they were the shit then good for them!
Praga took the stage first, he came out, looked at the crowd, walked from side to side & Praga is a tiny man, he reminds me of Andy Warhol with smudged black make-up all around his eyes and following Praga was the devilish back up singer, Sin on guitar, Murv on bass & Murv actually toured last year with Sin as the bass player for Revolting Cocks, then there was Lacey on vocals & Kurt on drums.
Lacey was the center of all attention while onstage, sporting a very tiny black vinyl dress, 2 layers of fishnets, duct tape & fire engine red hair, Lacey was every bit interesting as Iggy Pop is & what really surprised me was how open she was with crowd interaction; at one point a guy in the front started to feel her up & he started slowly, went for her stomach, then went further up & I was thinking to myself, "Ok, this dude's gonna get punched when he goes for her boobs!", BUT, the guy DID rub her body all the way to her boobs & he copped 2 feels & she just allowed it, it was almost like she enjoyed it!
Stage antics of the night involved a full size blow up doll being tossed into the crowd & the guy directly behind me kept the blow up doll instead of giving it back to the band, Lacey got into a mock fight with Murv & the back up singer, she threw a girl off the stage at one point & screamed at her, "Get the FUCK off my stage!", she felt up guitarist Sin, rubbed his crotch with her boot, then Sin retaliated by shoving his face into her ass & pretending to eat her out, all the while Praga was having technical difficulties with his gear & at one point he walked off stage till things were fixed.
The bass player from Thrill Kill Kult came out & pretended to play guitar during one song in the Lords of Acid set...I wonder how many people actually realized that his guitar wasn't even plugged in!
At one point a VERY large female fan tried to get onstage & her 2 guy friends "tried" to pick her up, but the girl was so large that they only got her 1/2 way onstage before they could no longer support her more than ample frame & she fell flat on her ass & knocked the entire front of the crowd back a little. Mental note, if you are a BIG person, perhaps you shouldn't rely on the crowd to support your weight!??! To give you an idea of how large she was, if someone told her to haul ass, this girl had to make 2 trips!
The back up singer for Lords of Acid took a bottle of water at one point & filled her mouth, then spit the water into fans mouths...all I could think about was diseases at that point, but the crowd loved it, they all shared spit, they lined up for her to spit water into their mouths and the overall vibe of the show was SEX, SEX, SEX & the best way I could describe the entire show was that it was the closest thing to having sex without the actual intercourse!
Probably the most interesting parts of the show were during the meet & greet that happened around 1:45 AM after the show; quite a few women got their boobs & pussies signed by the band & I mean quite literally that they were fully exposed for all to see & they allowed Sin, Lacey & the rest to sign their private parts in the open for all to see! Watching Sin sign a girls vagina was comical & he looked up at me with a shit eating grin a few times!
Lacey started to complain to the crowd that she was sick of always signing pussies, that she wanted a guy to let her sign his dick & the merch guy started to ask guys if they would let Lacey sign them and sure as shit a stoned looking guy whipped it out for Lacey to sign. At that point I was talking to Sin & we both looked around to see Lacey signing this guys limp dick & Sin commented, "Man, I wouldn't have taken that thing out!" & Lacey continued to doodle on the mans limp "thing" & she finished off by literally taking the sharpie & swirling circles around the head of his "member" till she got to the hole & left a black mark.
I'll make a statement here that's definitely true; if you get up the nerve to ask a woman to sign your dick, dude, for the love of God, go fluff it up a little before hand, get some wood going before you pull it out infront of a crowd! I actually have a funny story I'm dying to tell pertaining to this matter & someone saying, "Calm down, I can't sign when you're so excited", but it's a story I'm not going to share & it's not really a story I can tell in public even though I kinda did, but certain people will know what I'm talking about & get a laugh out of that, it's just my point that if you are going to get your penis signed make sure you're chubbed up & impressive as opposed to being limp & lifeless....the girls seemed to get a good laugh at it for sure!
Praga Khan came out last for the meet & greet and he's an interesting guy. He's very tiny, very polite, he kissed quite a few guys, he came off as if he was a little drunk but I don't know him well enough to say if he was or not. Praga told me an interesting story though, I mentioned his guitarist Sin & Praga looked at me & goes, "Who?" & I said, "Sin, your guitarist!" & pointed to him & Praga started to laugh & goes, "To tell you the truth, I am just getting to know these guys....before this tour I never ever met these people, the first time I met them was when I came over here to rehearse for the tour & I'm just getting to know them now!"
Praga went on to explain that the reason for the tour was to prep for a new Lords of Acid record & then the band will tour again next year to support the new record!
I left after saying a few words to Praga and as I walked out of the club the various band members there were picking up both male & female fans, I'm sure this is probably the most decadent tour on the road, sex just OOZES like an open cold sore when you see Lords of Acid and this is one of those tours that, if you are looking to get laid, you WILL find it here!!
It's interesting to compare & contrast the 2 shows I saw this night; Dead Weather was stripped down, dirty, sludgy stoner rock with a bit of an artistic flair tossed in while Lords of Acid/Thrill Kill Kult was over the top, overtly sex-driven, very bisexual, I think the crowd at the Lords of Acid show were pretty much open to anything & the Lords of Acid crowd was definitely alot more fun than the Dead Weather crowd!