Hudley Flipside Presents:
Panic Movement, Pretty Mess, The Black Widows, Rikk Agnew
Weber’s Place, Reseda, CA
Saturday, January 8, 2011
Time: 9:30 PM
Every once in a while get the privilege to attend a show that is so perfect that you wonder if you’re going to get to see a better show. This was the first of a series of shows put on, and promoted by Hudley Flipside.
There was a nice healthy turnout. The feel of the joint was cool too. I didn’t feel like I was at a club, it felt like somebody said “Come on over to my house, I’ve got a huge living room, and I’ve invited my four favorite bands to play, and by the way, you get to eat dinner with Rikk Agnew.” Fuck yeah, I’m there!
Now, some of the best memories I have of shows always tend to be the stuff that happens outside of the clubs. The small talk, the drama, and friends you make, this night was no different.
I get a call from Rikk Agnew suggesting a get to the club early, around 7:00, and we’ll have dinner after sound check. I get there at 7:00, and Rikk and his band haven’t arrived yet. Within a couple of minutes Eric Leach, and Taz Rudd from Symbol Six pop-up. We spent an hour in the parking lot talking about everything from music to Taz’s time as a pro skateboarder. And to top things off Eric gave me a copy of their Poshboy EP in mint condition – still wrapped!
Around 8:00 pm Rikk arrives with his band of gypsies. Everybody greets each other, and the guys from Symbol Six leave to do an interview with the Poor Kids Radio show.
We go into the club, sit down and order dinner. Between 9:00 and 9:30 my brother gets there, this is the first time we’ve taken in some live music together in about 3 ½ to 4 years.
The funny thing about Weber’s is it’s less than a half a block away from where my Dad used to live. So we spent many years skateboarding on the street where Weber’s is located. Brings back all kinds of memories.
In case you’ve never met Rikk Agnew, let me tell you, he has got to be the humblest guy in the world. A true gentleman. In the middle of his dinner, he would stop eating sign autographs, take pictures, and so not to mess up album covers he would ask if he should sign on the back. A really good guy.
The first band is scheduled to go on at 9:30. Well, Panic Movement (the first band) go on at about closer to 10:00. I had heard the name, but I had never seen Panic Movement live. These guys are great. The crowd was still fairly thin at this point, but the band played as if they were headlining The Staples Center. They also had a very cool tongue in cheek sense of humor too, not the Dickies over the top humor, but it definitely showed up in songs like There Goes My Freak. The vocalist, Benjamin Espinoza, came out with his face painted in the traditional ‘day of the dead’ style with a black, and red heavy metal style wig. But they delivered.
The second act is scheduled to go on at 10:15. Pretty Mess went on at about 10:45 or 11:00. I had heard their name, but I had never seen them live. This band comes with their own audience. As soon as the band arrived, they came with close to twenty people with them.
The band puts on a great show. Nothing half-assed here, a real 1980’s underground punk rock feel to their music. My only complaint is that the backing vocals are very Cookie Monster-like. Otherwise, Pretty mess provides an adrenaline-charged set with some power vocals.
Nowadays, it’s rare to see a band that can maintain that kind of energy level throughout their entire set. Most tend to die down mid-set.
After an extremely energetic set they closed with a monster cover of Blood Stains by Agent Orange.
The third band is scheduled to go on at 11:00. The Black Widows go on at about 11:30 or 11:45. Again, I had heard the name, but I had never seen them live. This band puts on a great show. If you haven’t seen them, here’s what to expect: four guys dressed in military black clothing, red shirts under their black jackets, and black stockings on their heads. This band is great. The one thing that took a minute to get used is . . . no vocals. This ripping, punk-funk, surf music, but no singing.
The Rikk Agnew band is scheduled to go on at 11:45. Well, Mr. Rikk Agnew ends up going on at about 12:00 or 12:30. If you haven’t heard of Rikk, you’ve been living under a rock for the last thirty plus years.
Rikk has always had this amazing ability to drop in on a band, and sprinkle his magic guitar dust on them and allow them to make the one great album of their career, then he’s off to the next project that grabs his interest. Adolescents, Christian Death, and D.I., did any of them put out anything great after Rikk? I didn’t think so.
Rikk does his regular set with songs like No Way, and Yur 2 Late, then they pause, and bring on a different bassist, and singer Shott Hoogland (former singer of O.C. legends The Mechanics) and perform songs like Chalet Time, and Lil’ Hitler. Then after a handful of songs, Shott leaves the stage, the first bassist comes back, and they continue with the Rikk Agnew set.
After Shott left the stage, guitarist Danny Kay set down his instrument, and launched into a killer version of Deathwish by Christian Death. If the crowd wasn’t already on their toes, this did it. Everybody was singing along, and waving fists in the air.
Watching Rikk play is awesome in itself, he has this style of fingering the fret board that’s really cool. He’ll be holding the strings, then he will flip his hand over the top, as if to finger-tap, but he doesn’t. He’s merely holding the strings, and playing the chords a different way. It’s so fast, and effortless, good stuff.
Rikk’s last song of the night was the classic Kids of The Black Hole. Rikk chose the right song to bring the house down. This pumped the place up to the max. Midway through the song Dmess of Pretty Mess came onstage, and took over the vocals, it was awesome. As the song was winding down the house lights started coming on, so unfortunately, the night was over.
All I can say is Hudley put a great show, and was it a coincidence that it fell on Elvis’s, and David Bowie’s birthday?
If you have a chance to see any of these bands, go. You won’t have a chance to sit down, nor will you want to.
Of the tracks played . . . my favorites were: There Goes My Freak, Kids of The Black Hole, No Way, and OC Life.
All in all, a great show. The PA was good, clear view of the bands, and I had fun.
Life Won’t Wait is out now, grab a copy today: http://goo.gl/n9ofGb