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Sunday, July 16, 2006

Las Vegas -- Divebar



On Friday we made the 5 hour trek from Los Angeles to Las Vegas to play at a club called Divebar. Many thanks to Ivy, the Divebar's booker, for letting us play! Initially I was kind of worried about this trip, it's a long long way to go to play just one show (unlike playing a bunch of shows in a row on a continuous tour). I was even more worried when we got to Baker (about 60 miles outside of Vegas) and the giant thermometer by the side of the highway read 121 degrees. Walking about fifteen feet from the car to the gas station in Baker to buy water was actually paiiinful. Vegas itself, as it turned out, hovered at a balmy 112 degrees until well after sundown.

But playing in Vegas was COMPLETELY AWESOME. I know I said Gilman in Berkeley was the best show of our tour, and it was good, but the Divebar was better. Someone told us this place was on the Strip, but it's not, it's in a strip mall on Tropicana near the UNLV campus. It's a bar, so no door charge, and what makes it great is that it starts filling up with regulars no matter who is playing starting at about 10pm. Plus it's open 24 hours, so no Mustang-style shutdowns at 2 am. There were lots of people there when we played, maybe 60 or 70, and I was told this was a slow night. They were drunk and enthusiastic, unlike the arms-crossed-trying-to-look-bored types we all know so well. Plus--they give you about 5 drink tickets per band member, they pay really well, they feed you dinner, and everybody is really nice. Although when I asked the bartender for just some water she looked at me like I'd ordered a dead kitten.

The thing that made it really great was that the two other bands we played with, both local to Vegas, were fantastic. Both were indie rock, but miles and miles more interesting than your standard indie band. Guns That Shoot Drugs had a sort of Bauhaus-y vocals courtesy of their frontman John, who was incredibly friendly and kind and is one hell of a showman, jumping around and writhing on the floor and working very, very hard. Also his lovely and sweet girlfired Katie bought the pig-driving-with-girl Monolators shirt and wore it through our set! It looks like Guns That Shoot Drugs is going to come out to Mr. T's to play with us on August 4, so please come and take a look! Plus--Jack, the guitar player, saw our old Polaroid camera and up and gave us a working 8mm movie camera! Like so:



Next up was The Laymen, who brought to mind Television and actually our pals Death House Chaplain. Also incredibly nice and friendly guys, they've got some fierce guitar playing and managed to sound much bigger than a trio by bouncing riffs back and forth between two different amps on either side of the stage...it really did sound like more than one person was playing lead. I was very impressed, there's no way I could pull off something like that myself without causing a huge trainwreck.

We played last and were kind of (okay, very, on my part) sloppy and skronky, but it didn't seem to matter too much and we pulled it together enough by the last four songs to make a good impression. Ivy later told us that nobody left during our set, which is really as much as we can ask for! When Mary pulled out her glockenspiel for "Best Friends In Space" people starting screaming and cheering. We sold three copies of the Best Friends 45 single, also a record. So we made more money at Divebar than anywhere else on tour, too. We can't wait to go back!

One thing that threw me at first was that everybody in the club was smoking. This is not allowed in Los Angeles (and I didn't see it anywhere else we toured), and it took me a while to get used to being around smoke again. But it was a good thing. Instead of people having one drink and watching a few minutes of a band and then going outside for a smoke, and then drifting away, people stay inside for hours and hours drinking and smoking and drinking and smoking, and so you have a bigger audience, and they drink a lot more, and you get more money from the club because people spend more. So I think they should go back to allowing people to smoke in clubs now, despite the fact that our clothes and hair and our drum cases reeked of cigarettes.

Las Vegas, I love you. When we drove home yesterday the thermometer in Baker read 122 degrees. Okay, maybe next time we might wait to go back until it's not the absolute hottest possible time of the year...

2 Comments:

At 6:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, we love you guys too! Come back soon its already starting to cool off, well sorta........

Nate
nate@vegasdivebar.com

 
At 7:49 AM, Blogger Eli said...

Oh we're coming back all right. I think it might be Thanksgiving in Vegas this year, in fact!

-Eli

 

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