Last Night On Mediocrity:
posted by June 4 at 11:44 AMon
posted by Jeff Kirby
I tried to convince some friends to go with me to the show at the Trashies house around 10:00 Saturday night, but everyone was too tired to want to go out. “Sorry man,” they told me, thinking they were ruining my night. “Not to worry,” I responded, I didn’t need them to come along to have a good time - I had friends I knew would already be there.
I didn’t know anyone at the show. All of the friends I was sure to see absolutely weren’t there. I drank half a beer awkwardly milling around looking for acquaintances, then handed the bottle to a Trashie (already double fisting) and took off.
I got home expecting tired friends to still be hanging out, waiting to welcome me back in my failure, but they all had left. Sulking to my empty room, I resigned my Saturday night to killing giant bugs on my X-Box and drinking beers alone. My roommate Endless Mike came downstairs to see what I was doing, and noticing my sad state invited me along with him and his girlfriend Sheena if I felt like it. They were going to “Some bar in Fremont to see a band” for Sheena’s sorority sister’s birthday. This was a tough decision: X-Box, beer, and mild loneliness, or unknown bar, band and sorority girls. I decided it had been too long since I got drunk with strangers and jumped in the back of Endless Mike’s car.
Fremont was way more happening than I would have expected. Every bar we passed was filled to capacity with lines coming out the doors. Patios were crammed, smokers virtually sharing one giant cigarette. I learned our destination was the High Dive, where KEXP was putting on some sort of a benefit show. I had been listening to the live feed earlier that evening in my car, and was shocked at how awful the band was. It was the type of music you turn to KEXP to escape from, not to hear. The band was, if this is even possible, trying to out-Sublime Sublime, fusing together reggae, funk, rock and punk like a body stitched together with all the limbs in the wrong places. I couldn’t wait to hear what the rest of the show had to offer.
We killed some drinks at the much less crowded bar next door and met up with the sorority girls. Two of them, blonde and wearing virtually the same outfit in different colors, were both named Amy. Easy enough. We got in line at the High Dive.
The headlining band had just started. The door guy let us in for half price but not for free since it was a charity event. I asked what the charity was and he said something about youth. I chanted, “USA! USA!” as I handed him three dollars and made my way to the bar. The band that was playing was instantly terrible, and it didn’t take long for me to realize that Mob Law, the headliners, were the same terrible band I heard on the radio earlier that night. Their music defied shirts, and looking at the sweaty front-men I was magically whisked away to a BOD-Man fragrance commercial from years past. During songs I was berated with a constant, “Make some fucking noise!” to which the audience was always more than willing to comply. The drummer spat out reggae flows, the occasional “Budda-bup-bup-bup-BUP!” The guitarists chanted choruses everyone seemed to know. The bar was full, people were dancing and having a great time, and it seemed me, Endless Mike and Sheena were the only people who noticed how mediocre the band was. I looked at the patrons; of the first five men I saw, three had goatees. I turned to the man next to me waiting for a drink. “What do you think of this band?” I asked. “Mob Law? These guys are fucking AWESOME!!! They’re the whole reason I came out tonight!” His goatee was full and well manicured.
Then from the stage came something I didn’t expect, but was not surprised by: “Ladies and gentlemen, MR BLAKE LEWIS!!!” He joined in on the next song, reggae-scatting, making sounds appropriate to the genre. Everyone screamed like crazy and he waved appreciatively as he left the stage. It was then that I was struck by the power of Mob Law. More people know Blake Lewis than most of the presidential candidates, and he was willing to join this band on stage and share his shining light with them. Millions of Americans love Blake Lewis. Millions of Americans would love Mob Law. They are a sorority girl’s birthday party; they are two blondes wearing the same outfit with the same name. I’ve never watched a full episode of American Idol. I drank faster.
Outside the bar Endless Mike and I made up a song called “Knife Rhythm” and danced around each other like in the Beat It video. The sorority girls asked me to take their picture and I demanded that they be jumping and hi-fiving in it. After three unsuccessful shots, blonder Amy accused me of trying to focus the pictures on her breasts. I bought a 24 of Mexican beer from the corner store at 2:03am and was driven to the after-party – at the house of the UW baseball team on Greek Row. The athletes were sprawled out on their many couches, cranking 90s R&B and watching Sportscenter with the volume off. I was out of place once again, but I rolled with it. I challenged the 3rd baseman to darts and drank until they made me go home.