Friday, April 17, 2015

April 16, 2015-- One-Eyed Doll at Vaudeville Mews

This is a show I didn't think I was going to be able to make.

This is a show I am positively exploding with pure joy from having seen. Before I start, I'd like to thank the Williams family for offering me the ride to Des Moines for this show after seeing my review of the new album. They're super special people; also, they made the skirt the amazing Kimberly Freeman wore during the performance, which is pretty bitchin'!

Three bands opened up that night, the first being an indie rock band called Misgivngs Fall. I want to say these dudes are high school age, if not barely into college, but despite their age they delivered some good rock 'n' roll for us. The only time I got taken out of it was when the three-piece did a Black Sabbath medley and didn't do the vocals. I was really hoping either the guitarist or bassist would go all Osbourne on us, but alas it was not so.

Next up was Anticonscience, an indie punk group. These guys were also young, celebrating a member's 18th birthday by having us sing to him. Of the opening acts, these dudes had the most character. Between songs they'd joke with you and pull each other's legs, but once the songs started, it was all business.Headbanging and moshing were a must! If you weren't doing it, you were wrong. On the last song, the guitarist leaped off stage and ran to the front of Vaudeville Mews and back and just went insane. I thought he was going to throw his guitar down and smash it. HOW PUNK WOULD THAT HAVE BEEN?!?! SO PUNK (but also SO DETRIMENTAL FINANCIALLY, so I'll forgive them). They've got more Des Moines shows coming up so keep your eyes peeled.

I wasn't sure what to make of Sinister Theory when they came on. I really wanted to like it because it was metal, but something about it wasn't quite reaching me. The drums were good and the guitar work was pretty cool, but it just didn't click. They were missing their bassist that day, so the guitarist was pulling double-duty. It probably would have been a whole different show if he had been able to make it.

And then there was One-Eyed Doll.

This was one of two times in my life where I was able to sing along to a band's entire set. The first time was back in 2009 when my favorite band in the world was Godsmack and I saw them with Mötley Crüe for Crüefest II (I can feel some of you judging me). The spirit just took hold of me and I sang my little rock 'n' roll heart out to everything.

For those of you who have no idea who this band I adore is, let me turn you to the dark side. Before Kimberly and Junior are even up, you know you're in for something special because there's laser lights, fog lights, and a big ole box of goodies! When they're on stage, it turns into something that can best be described as the curious off-spring of a children's TV show and Satanic ritual. Kimberly's up there being all cutesy with her lil voice, but then once the music gets going... she goes nuts. Her hat flies off after the first headbang and you're whipped in the face with two tails of butt-length hair. She's always on the move and just pumped with energy. Her performance is enthralling. I felt her take everyone under her boot, both metaphorically in her amazing performance and physically when she put her foot on my shoulder. Junior was also kicking some serious tail on the drums! There were times they'd play little ditties between songs and you could tell the two were in synch even when Kimberly was off stage. I could see it all in Junior's face; staring at the cymbals, waiting to deliver that coup de grâce ("wait for it... wait for it... NOW" PSSSSSH!) 

The energy was superb. The music was insane. The in-between banter was hilarious. They made it a fan experience, teaching newbies the lyrics to some of the songs so we can all sing along.That's exactly what you want out of a show, right? They played all of the favorites and threw in "Black in the Rye" off their new album; I had hoped they'd include more off the new record, but you can't always get what you want. The very last song they played that night was "Monster". If there's a performance I've ever seen that encapsulates art in it's finest, it was this. There's a famous quote by Sandy Meisner about acting, saying it's "living truthfully in imaginary circumstances". I've no idea if the song-- originally a poem-- is rooted in reality or fiction, but I was made to believe in it with all my heart. You can see it in Kimberly when she performs this song that during these few minutes, this is happening now. If I'm not making sense, you'll have to see it for yourself. I got teary-eyed. That's right. Men can cry too, ya know!

The next adventure was the VIP party. I decided to dish out some moolah for this and I am SO HAPPY I made that decision. I can't tell you what awesomeness happened on the bus. But I can tell you that being able to talk to Junior and Kimberly made me feel like a schoolboy. I was blushing. I was tongue-tied. Kim told me my review of the album was wonderful and that I could definitely interview them sometime, which I most certainly shall in the future. When? No idea. 

And then this happened...

Yeah, I'm smiling like a doofus. No shame here!

One-Eyed Doll still have some remaining tour dates (I'm looking at you California!) so you should definitely check them out. It's a one of a kind show you will hopefully fall in love with. I have to say thanks again to the Williams family for being awesome and to Kimberly and Junior and all of their little elves for being amazing too. Hope you guys like the little bag of random goodies I got for ya. There'll be more next time. Stay safe on the road!

Stay heavy, my friends, but don't be afraid to be a big softy.

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