The Rock-n-Roll Show Rocked and Rolled

"The nice thing about punk rock," I said to my buddy Stefan after my punk rock band EDDIE ATE DYNAMITE finished our set at the Red Zone music venue last night. "Is the simplicity of the gear. Guitar, amp, some distortion. That's it. Easy on, easy off."

I lugged my combo guitar amp from the stage and set it against the wall near the band loading entrance, then peeled off my sweat soaked blazer and laid it on top of the amp. EDDIE always suits up for live performances - classy punk rock.

"The sound was great out here," Stefan said. "You guys are tight and that little amp of yours kicks it out pretty well."

"Don't tell anyone, but it's not a tube amp," I confided in Stefan, my guitarist in my rock-n-roll band GUPPY EFFECT. "It's solid state."

Many guitarists I have known believe it sacrilege to play through anything but a tube amplifier, and don't get me wrong, tube compression has an unbeatable warmth to it, but I am a bass player by trade, and besides EDDIE's lead guitarist Tim (aka "Eddie") has a potent tube amp, so playing second fiddle I rationalize that it is actually good to have a contrasting sound between the two guitars. We always set our amps on opposite sides of the stage when we play to give the guitars some stereo-spatial distance. When "Eddie" shreds his lead guitar solos, I lay down a solid state rhythm guitar foundation, slathered in the cream cheese and grape jelly-esque bass riffs of Matt "Spots" Spatol and propelled forward at breakneck speed by the vibracious (DING DING DING! New word coined alarm!) thunder rolls of Dan "Frank" Stoffels.

EDDIE opened the show last night with a furious 12 song set (not including the three extra times we played our 12-second hit single "I Like Your Hat") to warm up the crowd for the night's headliners, LORDS OF THE TRIDENT. In between us and the Lords was a band from Milwaukee called the BLACK SAINTS. They played original music that seemed heavily influenced by the likes of Guns 'n' Roses. Shredding riff based rock. The singer had great pipes, although I thought he pushed his range too high at times. But if you got it, use it, I always say. No, I really don't say that very much at all.

The Lords brand themselves as the greatest heavy metal band on earth, and my gosh they sure do not strive for anything less than this achievement. As I watched them, I thought to myself, You know...I'll bet there really is no other place on earth right now being pummeled with this much awesome heavy metal. On top of holding down some incredibly complicated music and dual guitar riffs, they had pyrotechnics, sword play, and even a Trident shaped confetti cannon. I would hate to be the clean up crew after last night's show. But if the clean up crew knew how much spent METAL JUICE they were cleaning up, I think they would smile inwardly and humbly acknowledge their important contribution to the prior evening's heavy-metallest (new word!) show EVER!

After our introductory set, I did a brief stint at the EDDIE merch table, giving away our free two song demo CD with "I Like Your Hat" and a new release called "Bright Tomorrows," on it. You can listen to these tunes freely on the EDDIE ATE DYNAMITE web page: www.eddieatetnt.com.

After being 112% fully rocked and rolled by all the bands and great people last night, I returned home quite fulfilled. Unfortunately, I basked in the afterglow too long and did not get up in time to finish my writing class homework. This blog post will have to suffice for my writing for today. I am not worried though. I gave myself an extra day (tomorrow) to finish my homework, which I got about half way done earlier in the week. So as long as I get an early night tonight, I should be in good shape.

In about 15 minutes from now, I am going to load my bass and some music gear in my car and drive over to my drummer Jon's house. Johnny "Thunder" is the drummer for GUPPY EFFECT and also my country band DRIVEWAY THRIFTDWELLERS. The latter band is playing a show at the Port Huron Brewing Company in Wisconsin Dells tonight from 5 to 8 PM. We have to get up there a couple hours before the show to set up gear and sound check. After the show, we might hang about the Dells for a bit, but I have to get home to let the dogs out (who did this?).

So much rocking already accomplished this weekend but it's not even over tonight. Tomorrow (Sunday), after I finish my writing homework, Rita Witter and her band (in which I play bass) are going to practice in the evening and then head over to Funk's Pub in Fitchburg for the open jam from 8 to 10 PM. Then and only then will I find satisfying closure on this weekend's rock-n-roll bliss.


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