so, i decided somewhere around early afternoon on thursday to take friday off. i was tired from being a little sick, and show nonsense and whatnot. a day of sleeping in would do me good.
i got a myspace message that same afternoon from Ultimate Donny, the vocalist/guitarist in the mighty Gil Mantera's Party Dream, asking whether i'd like to open for them the next day in youngstown. it was last-minute, for sure, and a long drive, but an opportunity i couldn't pass up, despite being sick. after all, it was their hometown, and they hadn't played there in something like a year and a half.
i slept in (which was awesome) and left the house at around 3:30, grabbing some espresso for the monkey and dayquil for what ailed me. the 4.5 hour drive was the longest i'd ever driven for a dj gig. (i played nyc last summer but that was a plane flight, and when i was in the haywards, we drove to nyc.) i had grabbed a couple sam harris audiobooks, and they made the drive ninja fast.
i got to the venue right at the beginning of their soundcheck. donny had mentioned that they had added a drummer (tony) to their lineup, moving from duo to trio, and that this would be their second show with him. the party dream sound is basically dance music with a toungue-in-cheek cock rock twist, and adding a drummer really fleshed out an already great sound. i was eager to hear more!
i set up as i usually do when i'm doing an all-night, in-between bands show, off to the side of the stage where i could leave things and they wouldn't be in the way. after the party dream were done with their soundcheck, i got to mine, and since it was 9:30 (door times) i just went ahead and started playing. the reception wasn't stellar, but a few people seemed to be digging it, nodding their heads to the beat. i played till 11, and by then the place was fairly packed. goLab (the other opener) had set up by then, and with a couple test notes were ready to go.
goLab is joel from stylex, though for live shows he's helped by stylex's drummer. i had bought simplicity banquet last year when i saw stylex, and though i liked it, it didn't really grab me. that's not really a quality judgment, though; it's more of a personal taste thing. i was still eager to see the live show, and they didn't disappoint -- much like (the now-defunct) stylex,
the cd pales in comparison to the live show. there were loads of synths, with drum beats from machines as well as from live drums. there was a kind of "barely contained" vibe to it, and their weird, almost booji boy-esque masks lending to the feeling that shit was going to blow up any second.
after their set finished, it was back to me. by now the crowd was well warmed up (as well as lubricated with adult beverages, i imagine) so the reception was a bit warmer this go-around. not being on a stage (and this not being highly visible), i think the packed environment precluded many from realizing that i was providing the music. fine by me, though, since it seemed like they were digging it. this was a short set, though, interrupted by a minor, just-to-be-sure type soundcheck from the party dream. they went off for a costume change, and returned to rock.
their costumes were typically party dream-esque. gil mantera had a chain-mail head covering and blue mesh waistlet/skirt thing, which covered his tiger striped speedos, the outfit made complete with sunglasses, a black scarf covering his face, and knee-high boots. ultimate donny went with a red singlet , with a brown leather vest and a red, hooded cape. tony, their new drummer, had a decided non-costume appearance, wearing normal street clothes.
i never really know how to describe the party dream. i usually point someone to "elmo's wish", or just describe them as "electronic dance music with a toungue-in-cheek cock-rock twist". that works well enough for their albums, but doesn't really capture the live show. youtube has plenty of clips (including an excellent, moroder-esque, as-yet unreleased track called "ballerina" that was stuck in my head all weekend), but they're no substitute for the real thing. (what a cliche! i suck.)
but yeah, they rocked it out hard, and the crowd loved it, this being a long-awaited hometown gig. many new songs, too -- i'm excited for a new record. they need to get on that shit.
oh snap, after sorting the youtube search by date added, i see that footage from the show is up. here are some:
"Gil's Happy Song" (i don't know what the name is, but Donny introduced it with a little spiel about how when Gil was depressed Donny recommended he sing this song and everything's ok.)
"Elmo's Wish" (the closer, i think)
There are a few more up there. good times.