Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Q Year's Eve Bash

Today in Music History:

In 1956, Rock 'n' Roll fans in Cleveland aged under 18 were banned from dancing in public (unless accompanied by an adult), after Ohio Police introduced a law dating back to 1931.
I've been meaning to write about the New Years Eve Bash I attended and here it is the 18th already. Time to get the lead out and do it. Some of you may remember we won tickets and VIP passes for the concert that featured Helix, The Headpins, Harlequin and Prism. Although all of these bands had their hey day back in the 70's and 80's, I was pretty pumped for this show as pre Canada I had only ever heard of one of these bands. That one being Helix, and as I wasn't a fan in the 80's, about the only thing I remembered about them was the horrible outfits they used to wear. As for the other bands I have since became huge fans of their music, having only discovered them a few short years ago. On with the show.

VIP LoungeThe event was taking place about 15 miles from here and being New Years homercat sure as hell didn't want to drive. The city ran free buses after 6 pm so that was cool and concert organizers provided free shuttles after the concert. So it didn't cost a dime to get there or a dime to get in. When we got there, holy crap the line up was about three blocks long. They only had one entrance open. After 40 minutes we were finally in and headed up to the VIP seating area. What a spread, a table full of food that was kept full all night. We had our own beertender, which was a good thing because the rest of the arena only had 2 beer stalls and the wait was about an hour for that grown up sodie pop. The downside was that the darn barley pops were 6 bucks a piece. You can imagine that over a 6 hour spread the homercats forked out some serious cash to quench our party thirsts. We had our choice of sitting at bars or couches or recliners. Unfortunately almost every picture I took that night sucked ass. I couldn't believe it.

Brian Vollmer of HelixPromptly at 8 Helix took the stage. I have to say that I was a little bit disappointed with their set. Like I said I wasn't a big fan of their 80's stuff, but the stuff they've released in the last 4 years is really good. Typically they played all their "hits" and they played new stuff too. Out of the new stuff they picked my least favorite songs to play and totally didn't play the kick ass stuff. Lead singer Brian Vollmer was energetic and actually crowd surfed during "Rock You". The sound was muddy sounding and the guitarists looked less than enthusiastic. Maybe they were ticked that they were the opening band. I would give them a 3 out of 10 for that performance.

The HeadpinsAround 9:30 The Headpins took the stage with a vengeance. For the next seventy minutes Darby Mills and company proceeded to kick everyones ass with a mind blowing performance and literally tore the roof off the arena. My God, that woman's voice was astounding. By the second song they were in full throttle mode and had the crowd in a frenzy. I've seen a lot of bands but the Headpins were one of the best sounding live bands I've ever heard. This band was tight as hell and like I said Darby was absolutely amazing. Honestly I was in awe. Judging from what I saw the Headpins should have been international superstars. I know they are playing in Vancouver sometime in the next two weeks. If anyone should ever get the chance, you must go see them.

Harlequin took the stage around 10:45 just as I had joined the beer line. By this time the line up in our little area was quite prestigious. I thought to myself, how in the hell is anyone gonna be able to follow the Headpins? I actually missed the first 5 songs they performed because of booze fetching and lizard draining, but they sounded good. These guys actually performed a lot of new material, which having never heard it before it sounded delish. Again great sound and they rocked a hell of a lot harder than they do on their studio stuff. When they sang Innocence I thought the crowd was going to lose it's mind. I enjoyed them way more than I thought I would.

PrismSo about 2 minutes before midnight Al Harlow from Prism took the stage and counted us down to the New Year. He played Auld Lang Syne and we drank up our free champagne. This was the band I was eager to see. Prism in the flesh. Although I also wondered how they were going to pull it all off without Ron Tabak. That's a distinctive vocal that sang all those great tunes. Plus they were just a four man unit with guitarist Al Harlow taking over lead vocal duties. Then the stage went dark and the opening strains of Spaceship Superstar could be heard and when they were full into it I got chillbumps. They sounded great and that tune had the crowd going apeshit. Harlow did an admirable job with the vocals and the band as a whole were in top form. They sang all the classics plus a couple from a new forthcoming album. Mrs. Homercat couldn't handle Al though. She thought he was creepy looking and didn't like his vocal. The new stuff, I'm sorry to say, wasn't too impressive. The show ended with an outstanding rendition of Armageddon and we were out the doors at 2 am. On the whole they came close to the Headpins set, but it was obvious that Darby and the guys should have been the headliners.

Seemed like every time one of the bands or one of the members came up to our area I was taking a piss break or getting beer. I missed Darby twice. I did see the guys from Helix hanging out up there. For the most part I was too absorbed with the show to do any hob nobbing. So the point is if you ever get a chance to see The Headpins, Harlequin or Prism do not pass it up. These guys all put on a heckuva show and it's nice to see them back rockin' the stage again. Thus this post gives me a chance to revisit a few more titles by these fine Canadian bands.

Panic by Helix
Buy It

I Did it for Love by Harlequin

Keep Walkin Away by the Headpins
Just one More Time by the Headpins
Buy It

Young and Restless by Prism
Virginia by Prism
Buy It

Funny Toon