A night at the Brixton

Went to the Brixton in Redondo beach last night to see Y&T.  This was my third time seeing them in the last year, and to be honest it may be time for a bit of a break after this; as much as I like the band, there are only so many times you can seem them in a small, crowded club doing mostly the same songs before it gets repetitive and you need a break.  I’ve just about reached that point.

Me and my brother got there around 7:45, right about when they were starting to let people in. I had my tickets at Will Call, which in this case turned out to be a small table outside of the club with a sign taped to it that said “Will Call.”  I didn’t notice until after the concert when I was in my car, but the tickets they gave me were for the next day’s concert, Eric Sardinas.  OK.

Got down (you have to go downstairs to get to the Brixton) into the club and there was a handful of people there.  We looked for chairs, because hey, we’re both past 40 and enjoy some sittin’ before a show.  There were two stools available next to a stand-up bar, and I was eyeballing them when a woman who was on a stool next to them said “hey, these are open, wanna sit here?”  Who am I to refuse that?  She was kinda cute, a bit on the heavy side and somewhere around my age or perhaps a bit older.  She had a guy with her, and she introduced herself as the singer for the opening band, Ever Love.  Yes, I know, horrible name.  She asked if we could save the stools for her and her man when her band went on, and I said yeah.  we talked a bit more about music and pay-to-play, and then she had to go on.  Her band…well, they were OK, generic opening-rock with incredibly juvenile lyrics, but she just didn’t do anything for me, vocally.  Oddly enough, the only time she sounded good – actually, she sounded pretty great doing it – was when the band did a snippet of “Whole Lotta Love.”  She let out a long wail that left me wondering where it came from, it was that good.

Next up was Tuff.  This is my second time seeing them in the last year or so.  They had a very brief moment in the sun back in the late 80s or early 90s, and still pop up every now and then.  The thing that strikes me most about about them is that  Todd Chaison (bass) is having a kick-ass time!  Dude looks like he’s totally into it.  Of course, they played Ruck-A-Pit Bridge, I Hate Kissing You Goodbye and Good Guys Wear Black.  They had some extra time for this gig, so they threw in a kick-ass cover of Dead, Jail, or Rock N Roll and that American Hairband song.  Good times. Stevie did a few sing-alongs to get the crowd (sorta) into it, and I liked when he slipped “sweet home California” (instead of Alabama) in there.  Maybe Anthony Keidis could steal that one; I’m sure he needs some more CA material.

A note about the sound here.  For the first band it was pretty damn good, and in fact the manager guy who was sitting next to me with the singer was telling me how good the sound lady was.  However, something got fucked-up between bands.  For the first two songs for Tuff, the vocals were way down in the mix.  After that and for the rest of the night, it seemed like there was too much high-end in the sound, and it got pretty harsh.

In between them and Y&T, I won tickets to see Black and Blue there next month.  Which reminds me, with the weather finally turning it’s about time to crank “Without Love” up.  Great summer music.  I think it was Jamie St. James I saw there – well, at least I’m sure it wasn’t Tommy Thayer – and he didn’t look good at all; he looked like Robert Plant’s corpse.  Wow.  Not that I’m any great shakes to look at, but perhaps I’m finally seeing the results of all those years of no drugs and not partying much; I’m not ugly, I’m distinguished.

Next up was Y&T.  Started the show with Open Fire, of course.  They played their standard songs: Mean Streak, Don’t Stop Running, Eyes of a Stranger, etc and mixed in some songs from their new CD.  I got the CD and haven’t listened to it yet, but the soundbites I’d heard so far were a mixed bag at best, and I’m not getting my hopes up.  However, the new songs they played last night sounded really good live; perhaps they were enjoying getting to play something new.  They seemed to be having a good time (like they always do) and enjoying the crowd.  I did notice that Dave’s voice was a wee bit rough, the first time I’ve ever heard him slightly off.

Eventually, the harsh sound forced us back to the rear of the club, and because we’re both old (like almost all of the people in the crowd) we decided to leave a bit early.  To quote Homer, “I used to Rock N Roll all Nite and party everey day.  Then it was every other day. Now I’m lucky if I can find half an hour a week in which to get funky.”  There was a 1.5-hour drive ahead and a comfy, if empty, bed awaiting me, and my ears – thanks to forgetting the earplugs – were hurting.  It was OK to leave early, we’d gotten our money’s worth.

Good show, lots of fun and good music, but I think I’ll give them a break next time to refresh the relationship.

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