Hoochie Coochie Raving Review
by Patrick Clelland Allen
It was the day before the end of the world Dec 20, 2012. It was a cold night, even in the twenties I’d say and there was a first quarter moon hidden by an overcast and somewhat cloudy sky. I had been pondering my place and time on this world and I figured that even if the earth took to changing in many ways that I was going to accomplish one last thing before such a event by writing at least one more review for the rock bands and the musicians and finally for the masses to read if they so desired.
It all started with my little stretch of the road on a highway numbered U.S. 285. It seemed barren for a weekday and I had to wonder where all the normal traffic had gone. Determination prevailed over my suspicious mind which was in full gear as my little black Toyota hybrid struggled ahead against the hills and northerly winds that sometimes pushed at the front of my vehicle. Finally with the passage of time and many miles we discovered city life from the highway up near Morrison, Colorado.
I had recently discovered an upcoming show venue listing at the Herman’s Hideaway bar at 1578 Broadway, Denver, Co, and so I headed for there from the Morrison cutoff just as fast as the law allowed. I finally made it to Herman’s Hideaway where to my surprise I found easy parking right out front, even on the main street Broadway. Easy parking. Huh! This is unusual for any place in Denver but I finally decided that maybe it was because it was a weekday.
First to greet me at the door was Rob, a friendly sort of man. He said right away, “Welcome! Come on in,” so I went inside. Then Kayle the Bartender spoke up, “Can I help you?” I ordered a soft drink from him. I asked, “Where are the pretzels?” and his reply, “None of those tonight, Sir, but some pizza is on the way.” Awesome! I thought, for I am hard core with the pizza slices. I had made it into the place early, say around twenty minutes before band start up time, and another band from the night before had just been packing up. I sat and began to take in the atmosphere of Herman’s and soon I looked up towards the roof. Wow! It had real wooden linings along the ceiling bottom and it looked like oak wood maybe. I wondered what craftsman could have accomplished this lofty job perhaps many years ago.
Pretty soon the first band called “Black Rainbow” was getting set up on stage. Reed their lead guitarist ripped off a short blast of arpeggio and then ended it with a quick melody. His fingers seemed to pour out energy and I could tell he was only getting warmed up. The bassist Floyd sent out a warm up riff that almost commanded the walls to vibrate. Everyone on stage began adjusting volume level and scoring in some other gear until pretty soon after a test march coming from the drums they were almost ready to rumble. The sound man in the rear sound cage winced and there was a short dialogue that ensued from where the sound studio is set up for the fine tuning of volume and instrument sound levels for the end orchestration. I watched the young man perhaps a sound engineer as he feverishly turned dials back there until finally a finger was jammed out from behind the glass and this meant ready to go. Soon the band started playing songs. Ronnie Evyn the lead vocalist of the “Black Rainbow” band led the music which included many of Ritchie Blackmore’s “Rainbow” and also Black Sabbath songs like “Iron Man”. He has a powerful and fine voice indeed. This band put on an excellent performance even though time was limited for each band on this night. These cats in the “Black Rainbow” band really seem to be professional players and I could tell right away that everyone in attendance appreciated their show.
STRIP THE STARS
“Strip The Stars” band was quick to set up their instruments and microphones for vocals. A few sound checks and, man, were they off to the races. Lead vocalist David Frisbee started the band up and with his voice the band wound up behind him like a tightly coiled spring. With Brett Walston on guitar and accompaniment in harmonies this group of musicians really loosened up some ligaments and joints for the crowd. Leo Zayas provided new beats and percussion while bass guitarist Miles Marlin carried a lot of bottom end weight for the new original songs that they had composed. A rising and powerful band of players have formed together and had a very strong presence even for an old guy like me. I really dug their tunes and performance.
BORN BY STARLIGHT
The band “Born By Starlight” is hard for me to describe with accuracy. They have a presence unlike any I have seen in many years, even since the days of Alice Cooper. Jason Kelly with his fine voice and also with his spiked hair has a way of grabbing the audience’s attention like few other performers. I’d have to say that he really has a special way of cheering a crowd even though later I discovered that he was feeling a touch of the flu against his energies but the crowd was moved by his performance just the same. The members of “Born By Starlight” all performed with excellence with Jason Kelly as lead singer, Cody Allen as lead guitarist, Amy McGinnis on percussion who drilled the skins, and Cory Golon on bass guitar. The band soon found a special niche with this crowd including myself as they blended hard rock with more popular styles of songs with vocalist Jason Kelly leading the way singing the lyrics with his unique voice and style. Cody Allen’s performance as lead guitarist was amazing as he perfectly blended brand new guitar riffs into each new original song. I could have sworn that smoke had boiled from his fast moving fingers and these hot riffs on their brand new songs and the special touches of drummer Amy McGinnis and bassist Corey Golon synchronized together like a finely tuned instrumental section brought out ever more magical life and imbued vigorous intrigue into me and the rest of the crowd. If this band continues to perform and pump out new tunes then pretty soon I feel we’ll have to turn on the big T.V. set to view their performances on a much larger venue if the way their ability to connect with their local audience is any indication.
The band “Pierce” performed many instrumental songs for the last performance of the evening. They really sounded good and were a tight band but to my misfortune I only heard three of their songs but those that I did hear I enjoyed thoroughly. I never got to meet many of the band members for a personal interview for this was a just a quick review session and I had to leave town almost as quickly as I had arrived to once again travel the many miles homeward bound to be safe in the event that the end of the world should arrive earlier than anticipated.