Adam Carolla with Richardo Baca and Willie B. at The Paramount Theatre in Denver, CO on 3/25/16

I am an Adam Carolla fan.  I listen to his podcast daily.  I quote his insightful and hilarious outlook on the world constantly.  It amazes me how he can create a complete comedy routine about almost any subject off the top of his head.  When it was announced there was going to be a live podcast of the Adam Carolla Show in the Mile High City, I had to to be there.

Adam Carolla

Since I have been listening to his podcast since it’s conception in 2009, I feel like I know every member of his crew personally.  Side-kick/sound-effects man Bald Bryan, news girl Gina Grad, and announcer Dawson all seem like friends that I have never met.

The audience was mostly guys like me except a little younger and their girlfriend and wives.  Adam Carolla’s signature cocktail Mangria was sold out to the thirsty crowd before the show even started.  Keeping it classy Denver.

Carolla started the podcast with a rant about the 16th Street Mall homeless people he saw on his way to the taping.  Since it was snowing that night, he wondered why a drifter would choose Denver instead of a warmer climate.  Carolla came to the realization that altitude mixed with alcohol is a powerful cheap incentive for a bum to reside here “getting drunk on a thimble full of Jagermeister.”

Willie B. and Adam Carolla

He interviewed KBPI’s Morning Radio Show’s Willie B.  Carolla asked him about his racing television show Pinks.  The show is about auto enthusiasts racing against each other for the their car (pink slip).  This made Adam go into a narrative questioning if the participants of the show would rather have the winner sleep with their girlfriends than giving away their precious automobiles.

Richardo Baca and Adam Carolla

About two weeks before the taping, I reached out to the podcast and suggested Richardo Baca as a guest for the live taping.  Baca is the Marijuana Editor of The Denver Post who is in a documentary about Colorado’s first year of legal weed called Rolling Papers.  I knew Baca since he was a music critic and thought he would be someone Carolla’s audience would find engaging.  The Adam Carolla Show staff liked my suggestion and booked him on the show.   I am still in shock that happened and riding some kind of non legal weed high.   While interviewing Baca, Carolla shared the story how a THC Stripe enhanced his experience of watching the Sarah Jessica Parker Classic Sex in the City 2.  This was accompanied by a TMZ clip his crew found on the web showing Carolla and his The Man Show co-host Jimmy Kimmel staggering out of theater looking and acting like Snoop Dog.  Bacca added to the discussion with his own weed related stories and facts which is no easy task with Adam’s fast paced rants.

Richardo Baca, Adam Carolla, and Gina Grad

One of the funniest improvisational moments came from Carolla finding out a man in the front row was a satellite television installer.  Adam Carolla went into an elaborate scheme how television providers can play with their customer’s emotions by pretending there is an issue with their installation.  I wish I could describe it as well as Adam Carolla, but that’s why he gets the big bucks and I write this blog.

When Carolla left the stage, the show wasn’t over.  The audience was given the opportunity to meet Adam Carolla and his crew.  A line formed and we anxiously waited for him to appear.  The staff at The Paramount Theatre didn’t know what was happening.  All they know was they were not going home any time soon.

R&R Princess, Adam Carolla, Old Guy

Adam Carolla appeared in the front of the lobby.  They had a smart efficient way to get through the line quickly. By using their own photographer and posting the pictures to Facebook, he didn’t have to wait for camera instructions and flashes to work.  When it was our turn, we took the pictures in a nervous silence and I muttered something to him about how much I love the show.  I am not really sure if it was English.

Bald Bryan and Old Guy

“Bald” Bryan Bishop was also out greeting fans.  I told him that he was one of the funniest parts of the podcast and his book Shrinkage about his battle with a brain tumor was inspiring.  But I think it came out more like, “You funny.   Book good.”  I get jittery.

Gina Grad and Old Guy

Gina Grad was out in the lobby and couldn’t be friendlier to the fans.  I told her she was a great additional to the show.  But I think it came out something like, “You show.  Good.”  I was still nervous.

Old Guy and Dawson

Sitting back in the wings was the voice of The Carolla Digital Network Mike Dawson.  I told him that he was my favorite part of a side podcast named The Water Cooler featuring the staff of The Adam Carolla Show.  He was surprised anyone listened to the show.  Dawson stated he felt so old being 42 compared to the younger members of the crew.  Since I am the Old Guy at the Show, I thought that was amusing.

See you at the next show.  I will be the one next to Adam Carolla.

Gogol Bordello and Debauche at The Boulder Theater in Boulder, CO on 3/19/16

The Boulder Theater audience on Saturday was extremely eclectic.  They were dressed in kilts, purple overcoats, and jeanie pants amongst the regular Boulderites with cucasian dreadlocks, man-buns, and poor hygiene.  It was a perfect reflection of the music of the night… multi-cultural.

Gogol Bordello is a Gypsy Punk Band from New York City.  They combine East European music with a punk attitude.  Their name comes from the Russian writer Nikolai Gogol and the Italian word for brothel.  Lead by Ukrainian born singer Eugene Hutz who looks like a …. gypsy.  If you want to cast somebody in a movie as a gypsy, he is that mustached man.   The rest of the band consists of a violin player who looks like Mic Fleetwood, a drummer, a percussionist who has a hand painted over his mouth, an accordion player wearing combat boots, a guitar player, a bass player, and two back-up dancer/singers with matching bedazzled boxing shorts.  The tour is a celebration of their Ten Year Anniversary as a band.

Gogol Bordello

The show began with their Gypsy Punks Banner dropping and the band frantically running on to the stage.  The fast paced beat and rapid violin riffs had the crowd singing “Hey” between choruses without even knowing it.  The back-up dancers/singers took turns screaming into the microphone setting the mosh pit off instantly.  I was relatively safe away from the smelly sweaty moshers.  But people who don’t like to bath and a mosh pit creates a gas like cloud of stink that is hard to escape.

Gypsy Screams

Hutz was masterful in controlling the crowd.  Just when things were getting too out of control, he would sing a slow song.  My favorite was the Alcohol love song.  This made the moshing stop and the security guards throw water to the dehydrated pit.  The is a great idea except for the stream of water flows through the Stink Cloud and hits the bystanders like me.  We were soaked by the second hand mist that smelled like a hippie swamp.  But it was worth it.

Eugene Hutz leading a sing-a-long

American Wedding was the last song the band played.  It’s about how American Weddings focus on cake and ceremony and Gypsy Weddings focus on vodka.  It has an infectious “Ta-tar-ranta-ta-ta” sing-a-long ending with “I understand the cultures/Of a different kind/But here word celebration/Just doesn’t come to mind.”  But the celebration of ten years of Gypsy Punk Music was certainly happening tonight.

Debauche

New Orleans based Debauche was the perfect opening band for the evening.  Their name means a wild gathering involving excessive drinking and promiscuity.  The band describes their sounds as Russian Mafia Music.  Ukrainian born Yegor Romantsov deep gravely voice transported me to another world.  Long bearded upright bass player Scott Barada wearing a Red Adidas tracksuit almost upstaged Belly Dancer, Kerry Lynn, shaking her …. tambourine to the accelerating beat.

The night ended with Johnny Cash and Joe Strummer from The Clash singing Bob Marley’s Redemption Song on the house speakers.  It was fitting to hear iconic country and punk singers performing maybe the best Reggie Song ever written.  Proving the power of combing genres and cultures can result in great art.

See you at the next show.  I’ll be the one far away from the Stink Cloud.

Steel Panther, MF Ruckus, and Everybody Panic! at The Fillmore Auditorium in Denver, CO on 3-3-16

Steel Panther embraces all things absurd about hair metal and mixes them into a comedy/retro-glam concert. Attending the show, you can either be an observer or a participant. Guess which one I was.

Dressed in wig, an ancient Cinderella Concert T-Shirt (I saw them in 1988) and spandex, I was ready to join my fellow brethren in the Steel Panther experience. It’s kind of like joining an instant cult. You walk by fellow spandex wearing concert goers and you have an instant friend. It’s weird because the crowd is full of people wearing the gear ironically (like me) and some that are wearing it as their everyday wardrobe (you know who you are).

Steel Panther photo by Eric Ewert

Steel Panther started performing on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles, California playing covers of hair metal bands while parodying those bands at the same time. That involved into having their own songs with albums titled: Hole Patrol, Feel the Steel, Balls Out, and All You Can Eat. They have toured with Motley Crue, Def Leppard, Guns N’ Roses, and Judas Priest. Who knew those bands have a sense of humor about themselves.

A lot more than 17 Girls photo by Eric Ewert

Steel Panther took the stage dressed in wigs and leopard printed spandex (almost looking as good as me). They had the crowd rocking and laughing at the same time. The bass player, Lexxi Foxx, was armed with a Beyonce Style Wind Machine, a hand held mirror, and more make up than Caitlyn Jenner (he applied more between songs). Lead singer Michael Starr loaded with an arsenal of outrageous jokes took the band through hilarious songs such as Fat Girl, Asian Hooker, and Community Property.

The crowd not only sang along, many of them became part of the show. Women were invited to join the glam band for their song Seventeen Girls in a Row. A lot more than seventeen rushed the stage almost knocking me over. They danced along and a few flashed the crowd. Keeping it classy Denver.

MF Ruckus photo by Eric Ewert

Before the retro rockers, local band MF Ruckus performed a high energy set featuring ludicrous stage antics. Dressed in a lightning bolted jumpsuit singer Aaron Howell proved why their name was fitting for the band. There was as an appearance by Thor (a pudgy guy wearing horns in a bathrobe) and a monster (a guy in a rubber mask) waving the Colorado Flag. They describe their show as when “a nexus in the universe forms, creating a place where all is in perfect harmony, war ceases, and poverty becomes abundance and all the starving children of the world dance and sing.” They are kind of right.

Everybody Panic! photo by Eric Ewert

Opening the night of rock was Everybody Panic! They are a Rock/Metal/Electronic band from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. I was hypnotized by their guitar player’s long dreadlocks swinging along to the thunderous beat. Singer Ty (Grace Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt) had the crowd mesmerized by his parade waving between song lyrics. They were a fitting choice to ease the crowd into the insanity that was about to begin.

Walking out of the venue with my fellow spandex wearing rockers (Steel Panther calls us Fanthers), I felt like part of something… something ridiculous.

See you at the next show. I will be the one maybe or maybe not wearing spandex.

Third Man Record’s Audio Social Dissent Tour with Wolf Eyes, Timmy’s Organism, Video, Civilized, and Echo Beds at the Larimer Lounge in Denver, CO on 3-1-16

I am a Jack White fan. I have seen him perform with The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, The Dead Weather, and solo. I even have an alter… I mean a collection of his concert posters displayed at Old Guy at the Show HQ. So when I heard his record label, Third Man Records, was putting together a punk rock package tour, I had to go.

Civilized

Audio Social Dissent Tour is made up of three bands that released records on Jack White’s label:  Wolf Eyes (Noise Band from Detroit, MI), Timmy’s Organism (Punk Band from Detroit, MI), and Video (Punk Band from Austin, TX). According to Third Man Records, the mission is to have people “participating and having their heads ripped off when the sound of the streets creeps out of the sewers and into a packed out sweaty and loud venue.” The Larmair Lounge in Denver, CO seemed to meet that criteria for the eighteenth stop of a twenty-seven city tour.

Two local bands opened up the show. I caught the last few songs of Echo Beds set. Keith Curts and Tom Nelson use oil cans, symbols, bass, and assorted electronic devices to make a dark haunting industrial sound. It was the best oil can duo I have ever seen. The next band was Civilized. A hardcore four piece screamo band lead by singer Zach Reini. He jumped off the stage, took his shirt off, and scared the audience enough for everyone to back up about twenty feet mainly because of the sight of his tattooed torso. Civilized have stated that their music is a violent reaction to their environment. My reaction to their music was just fear… for my life.

Video

The first featured band was Video. TV’s Daniel lead the band dressed in all of his black leather fringe glory. If you were unfortunate enough to see the movie Rock of Ages, Daniel looks like a tall punk version of Tom Cruise’s character. At one point, he shouting at the audience to “drink it in” over and over again. I thought he was talking about the band’s greatness. But that’s how Daniel introduced the song “Drink It In.” Their set was full of attitude and rock and roll spirit that was lacking when Civilized frightening the audience. Before playing their last song, Daniel yelled out, “Since we are so generous. We are going to do you a favor and play one more song.” This made them not only a solid band, but a hilarious one.

Timmy’s Organism

Next up was the legendary cult band Timmy’s Organism. Lead singer Timmy Vulgar is hard to miss with his Ben Franklin style skullet. Right before the band played a note, he politely asked the audience to move closer to the stage. This put the crowd at ease and set the atmosphere for everyone to enjoy a heavy rock punk acid glam set of music. The drummer, Blake “Bovver” Hill, used incredibly long sticks that intensified the driving beat along with Timmy’s wailing guitar. For the final song, Timmy reenacted their video for “Heartless Heathen” by wearing a silver cape and rubber mask. It’s more special effects than I expected for the $14 show.

Wolf Eyes was the final band. They are a self described Trip Metal Band that started a little less than twenty years ago. They have

Wolf Eyes

over 150 albums, create their own instruments, and are Detroit Noise Icons. The majority of crowd was bobbing their heads to their sounds. I don’t think I am smart enough to understand what was happening. I left after only a few songs because the racket of a slinky going down stairs during an earth quake is not for me.

Jack White is full of surprises. Third Man Record’s first package tour did not disappoint in keeping me guessing. Kind of like when I turned on the television and saw Jack White singing a Stevie Wonder song to Kermit The Frog on this week’s The Muppets. (Yes. That really happened).

See you at the next non-slinky noise show.