Rockin Tacoma

Friday Night… Frans invited me to go check out a relatively unknown band called “The Jet City Fix”. If you listen to Frans, you’ll know that he believes that these guys are going to make big time, or atleast he knows that they deserve to be Big Time!!

The venue for the Band was the Hells Kitchen in Tacoma. It was a small venue, Frans warned me about it. However, the extreme subversive nature of the crowd, the idealogy of the club and the unhinged intensity of the performances had to be seen to be experienced and definitely, nothing that he could have said prepped me for this.

Entry was $5 at the door, over 21 only. The place itself was quite a long distance away from where I stay, thanks to Frans for picking me up and driving me there. I don’t have a car yet, the venue was otherwise pretty much inaccessible, even with buses and other things.

The Hell’s Kitchen was packed with Death Metal Heads at around 8:30pm. Myself, I was sticking out like a sore thumb in my work shirt (collared 🙂 ) and cotton trousers. Anyway, after about a beer the uniqueness kinda melted away and the crowd started to pack in. What surprised me was that this was not just a sausage event, there were a lot of women there (and attractive). Overall, I found the atmosphere pretty intimidating with all the 6 foot plus motorheads, long sideburns, leather and stud apparel… Yes 80’s all over again, punk rock now!!

There were 4 bands slated to play that night. In order, they were “ChinaTown”, “The IoTTolas”, “Jet City Fix” and “The Black Haloes”.

ChinaTown kicked in and got the crowd rocking. People were eating up their music but some of the crowd stayed out inviting the wrath of their lead singer and a few choice expletives in true metal style.

The IoTTolas followed, now these guys were a lot better, I thought. Without doubt, the night belonged to the JCF. Their music promised originality, pace and was definitely the showpiece of that night for me. It was good to hear the band get their act and melody together and rock the place hard for us. the JCF played some exclusives that night, new stuff they had just recently recorded. The Black Haloes followed, it’s tough to follow that act, but they put up an Ok performance.

The crowd was pretty pumped up, alcohol was pervasive and there were a few fights. Marshing and Body Surfing… man thats pain… was the order of the day. Headbangers united to inflict pain… I stayed out and watched. I don’t think my body frame was any match.

It was a treat to hear the JCF. If you ask frans about it, he has very strong views. He tends to be a purist and does hate the whole “Britney Pop” dimension. In fact, to quote him, he is afraid that due to the meddling of the record labels, a band like “Pink Floyd” would probably never make it to the ‘big time’ today.

He feels that it is necessary to eliminate the big recording contract from the picture and in turn keep the other positive elements of the system, which include, the money, fan following & recognition and live shows. This, he says, will still preserve the integrity of Art and at the same time explore new avenues to make music affordable and accessible to everyone.

Think about it, why is it that you can’t get a hold of that wonderful “Collective Soul” Album anymore or the out of print “REM” original “losing my religion”… One of the bands that happen to be down the path that Frans was talking about is the progressive band “QueensRyche”!

Incidentally, has anyone heard “Porcupine Tree” and “Merillon”???