SXSW 2010: Day Two And Still Standing (Barely)
Day Two of Classic Rock‘s SXSW sojourn. This time our, intrepid reporter braves hangovers and pretzels to see Michael Monroe destroy, the sleazy sultans Crank County Daredevils, Chicago swagger kings Last Vegas, hangs out with Danko Jones – and gets to bed at a sensible time!
Words: David Glessner
Fuelled by pretzels and a pot of coffee, Classic Rock ventured back into downtown Austin, Texas last night (March 19) for another marathon run at SXSW and its innumerable sideline gigs. Meeting up with members of Dallas-based, goth-metal degenerates, The Valentine Failures, Classic Rock’s most important mission today was catching Michael Monroe’s new all-star band at a tiny cowboy club. Arriving early, we found band guitarist, and Wildhearts frontman, Ginger, raving about the previous night’s Riverboat Gamblers concert. Moments later, Ginger and Monroe would be wowing Classic Rock and a smallish, in-the-know crowd that kept exchanging glances of disbelief as the ex-Hanoi Rocks frontman delivered one of the most amazing rock shows these eyes have ever witnessed. Wow!
Backed by longtime bassist Sami Yaffa and New York Dolls guitarist Steve Conti (standing in for the absent Todd Youth), as well as a drummer whose name temporarily escapes us (It’s Jimmy Clark – knowledgeable Ed.), the glam-punk prince of Hanoi absolutely killed. Opening with Demolition 23’s Nothin’s Alright, followed by Hanoi’s Motorvatin’ and Demo 23’s Hammersmith Palais, the band stormed as the fabulous frontman climbed atop speaker cabinets and walked across handrails to the delight of every raised fist.
Stunning at every turn, Monroe was a cyclone of sweat, jewellery and lip gloss. As if things could possibly get better, he then introduced Dead Boys guitarist Cheetah Chrome and dedicated Ain’t Nothin’ To Do to the dearly departed Stiv Bators. The set finished with Malibu Beach and Dead, Jail Or Rock N Roll. At that point, nothing else mattered. Monroe and his band of leather-clad killers walked away unbeatable. A must-see!
After a round of photos, Ginger joined us for the walk next door to see the self-crowned kings of sleaze, Crank County Daredevils, from North Carolina. Admittedly wasted and tattooed from neck to knuckles, Crank County Daredevils came off like a Frankenstein mix of Motorhead, W.A.S.P. and Dracula. Not at all for the faint of heart – which is to say, they were brilliant!
Tuning up behind the adjacent stage was Canadian demon, Danko Jones, who would soon preach the gospel of Thin Lizzy-inspired rock. Also nearby were Chicago’s swagger kings, The Last Vegas, who showed why they were handpicked by Motley Crue as recent tour mates. If Slash was in the crowd, Velvet Revolver would be ringing singer Chad Cherry until his phone melted.
Our next stop was a showcase hosted by former Dragons frontman, Mario Escovedo. Classic Rock arrived in time to see and hear the Tex-Mex flavoured sounds of the cleverly named Mad Juana, also featuring the aforementioned Yaffa on guitar. Fronted by a raven-haired gypsy chick, Mad Juana was backed by sax, trumpet and accordion, and delivered an otherworldly samba-style mix. Fantastico!
After a much-needed bite to eat, Classic Rock was again phoned by The Valentine Failures, who were visiting as spectators and party hounds rather than SXSW performers. As they described it, they were hoping to meet at a “Death-metal pizza place that played nothing but Slayer”. Arriving at the rightfully named Hoek’s Death Metal Pizza (yikes!), Classic Rock stumbled onto a band called Holley 750 hailing from Denver. If the singer’s Motorhead shirt wasn’t clue enough, the band’s dirty denim sound of Zeke-meets-Supersuckers offered plenty of boots to the head.
Opting out of an all-night hotel party, Classic Rock finally made it home at the sensible hour of 3 am.
To be continued…
Tags: Chad Cherry, Cheetah Chrome, Crank County Daredevils, Danko Jones, Deads Boys, Demolition 23, Dragons, Ginger, Hanoi Rocks, Holley 750, Last Vegas, Mad Juana, Mario Escovedo, Motorhead, New york Dolls, Riverboat Gamblers, Sami Yaffa, Slash, Slayer, Steve Conti, Stiv Bators, Supersuckers, The Valentine Failures, Thin Lizzy, Todd Youth, Velvet Revolver, W.A.S.P., Wildhearts, Zeke