Its Lolaspalooza time again a three-day long festival of hedonism, debauchery and live music held at Lolas 6th street saloon. I couldnt resist a thing like that.
This time, they had a lineup that makes you grieve for every minute you miss. Friday, we had bands like The Quaker City Nighthawks, The Hanna Barbarians, The Meat Puppets, and Sally Majestic (to name a few). Saturday I watched the clock tick by as sets by bands like Spoonfed Tribe, KatsüK, Luke Wade, and Oil Boom came and went and me unable to make it down there.
Finally, on Saturday, I managed to tear myself free in time to check out the last two bands. I circled the block for what seemed like an eternity trying to find a parking space. Cars were stacked up on both sides of 6th (and the side streets) so deep that there was only room for one vehicle to pass through the middle. The entire front parking area of Lolas (all three spaces) were fenced off and turned into a food court.
Inside, it was packed. There wasnt an empty seat on the patio and I was barely able to get into the main room, where the Me Thinks were halfway through their set. Ray Liberio fronts the band (bass, vocals), which also includes Trucker John (drums), Marlin (guitar) and Bandy (guitar). The Me Thinks claim to be Fort Worths Sh__iest band, which is a lie because they are from Haltom City, and they are actually pretty damn good. They serve up a face-melting hard rock/punk/metal that is fast, loud, distorted and completely enjoyable. I only wish I had been able to find a parking space before their set was half over.
Up next we had the acid-punk band Brutal Juice out of Denton. These guys were somewhat of a legend back in the 1990s, and there was a swarm of loyal, dedicated fans. The music was hard-edged, distorted and, well, brutal. The instrumentals were actually quite musical, and aside from the occasional Cookie Monster vocals, quite good. Personally, I cant stand Muppet vocals in metal. It doesnt make you sound bad-ass, it makes you sound like you want cookies and you want to learn to count to single digits.
The crowd, however, was loving it. A few times we got sort of a mosh pit happening, and there was some crowd surfing. I sat by the sound booth and watched the show for a while, then I wandered out onto the front patio to talk to Blake Parish of the Hanna Barbarians. We got into a heated argument about The Rolling Stones vs. Jerry Lee Lewis as the greatest rock act of all time (Id take The Killer over The Stones any day). In fact, the patio was full of rock stars, and at various times we had both Mabes (Danno and Matt) of Jefferson Colby, Scot Vernon of Sally Majestic, Brandin Lea, Chad Cocuzza of Spoonfed Tribe, Raef Payne of Hanna Barbarians, and Taylor Craig Mills wandering around.
And thats what I love about Lolas -- during a show the inside is a traditional dark and loud venue, but you can move out onto either of the patios for people watching or conversation. And Lolas is one of the only venues that could hold a music festival this insane. This was the third Lolaspalooza, and if you didnt make it to at least some of the shows, you missed out. This is a showcase for Funkytowns best and brightest, and next year Ill be sure to clear my calendar.