Monday, September 17, 2012

california calliope spectacle

saturday night was the california calliope spectacle at fulton 55.  what's that?  well, realistically it was the cd release show for the local country band back in the valley.  they just recently finished recording their debut album and wanted to put on a release show that was more than just your average show.  so, they came up with the idea of the california calliope spectacle.  they encouraged attendees to get dressed up in crazy outfits of whatever era.  they had go go dancers.  they had belly dancers.  they had a lady on stilts wandering through the crowd.  i heard there was a fire juggler, but didn't see it.  and, they had the music.  we were lucky enough to score some tickets from chris, the lead singer of back in the valley.

the first band was the psychadelic homeboys.  they played rock versions of a lot of 90's r&b songs.  bobby brown, montell jordan, and beyond.  they also did some hendrix and other classics.  it was pretty fun stuff.

back in the valley actually went on second.  they wanted to be able to play the show, and then hang out and enjoy themselves.  they do mostly originals, and overall it's pretty likeable stuff.  chris sings well, and the fiddle player was very good and had a nice voice as well.  one really funny moment (to me) from their set was when they were about to play the title track of the new album.  chris was explaining the concept of the album being about california, and it was conceptualized in the metaphor of a woman.  as he's saying this, the guitar play chimes in that it could be a metaphor about whatever you like.  umm, not really a good idea to contradict the lead singer while he's actually speaking.

the westerns went on last, and they play rock.  i think you could effectively call it screaming classic rock & roll.  i don't mean that in a bad way.  they play it well, and generally have a good energy about their performances.

overall, it was a good show, and we had a fun time.  it got crowded enough in fulton 55 that they opened up the top as well, which they don't do unless they pass a certain number of people in the venue.

two last notes about the night & venue - drinks are not cheap at fulton 55.  i had to do a double take on our bill at the end of the evening for the two of us.  i'm not complaining (too much), but it seems like as a venue they could charge a little less per beverage.   the last thing, one bartender was working his but off.  seriously, he was scrambling and getting drinks out quick.  i actually tipped him straight up at one point because he was working so much.  the other bartender, not so much.  very busy talking to people, socializing, and didn't seem all there by the end of the night.  not very good.

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