Here comes the first of what I suspect will be many posts that are not technically hard rock music. I warned you in the first post. So read and believe- if you like hard rock, you might like this as well. I do.
You know you really want to see someone perform when you drag your late 20’s ass that’s been working all day down to an alley in SoMa to stand in line in the cold and rain with a few hundred 18-20 year olds passing around bottles of Jager before they get stamped a minor. But would this myspace sensation attract any other kind of crowd?
Mickey Avalon came into my life in September or October of last year, when, for once, one of the band friend requests that I received actually grabbed my attention. It was the mini documentary on his page that I happened to click on that had me hooked. This was one of the best pieces of PR I’ve ever seen. You’ve got Santino, from a past season of one of my favorite shows, Project Runway, talking about the Mickey Phenomenon. There’s clips of people waiting to see one of his legendary LA shows, as well as clips from the show. And everyone is crazy about him, which makes you want to be crazy about him, too. So I was bitten by the bug- so much so that I almost sold my GWAR tickets to see him open for Lady Sov back in November (but, alas, hard rock chick duties call). This little Jewish boy white rapper lyricist, who has a great bio that gives clout to his words, is definitely on his tipping point.
So, back to this past Thursday at Popscene. As I read on Yelp, Popscene will make you feel old, but at the same time, the music is so good that it makes you feel good about it. A strange space for seeing live music (I think SF is full of these), my man and I shifted around until we finally laid claim to a spot up close and to the side, by the bathrooms. As we can tell things are about to start, the crowd starts getting crazy, I mean, CRAZY….as in stilettos-as-weapons brutal. I have three distinct heel print bruises on my feet to prove it. The security guys are already starting to pull people out. And then, when it begins, guess what? Mickey walks right by us to get on the stage as he’s being introduced to the tune of ‘Hey Mickey’.
‘Waiting to Die’ comes first. The sound is much better than I expected. The boy sweats profusely right away, taking off his jacket after the first song and making the lyrics-blind teenyboppers even more deadly in the front row. I can’t remember exactly, but early on everything has to be stopped because people up front are getting crushed. Every one is told to take 2 steps back. Yeah, like they listened. ‘Mr. Right’ proves to be a great sing along. It was ‘Romeo and Juliet’ that brought some raunchy chicks on stage, complete with an exposed boob. Then, to “tone down the crowd”, we got ‘Roll the Dice’, one of my favorites, followed up by ‘Dipped in Vaseline’, my most favorite. In an interesting twist, ‘Hustler Hall of Fame’ was performed to the sounds of ‘Come Together’, in what is probably the best use of the Beatles tracks since Dangermouse got a hold of the White Album. Then in the finale, ‘So Rich, So Pretty, ‘Friends and Lovers’, and, of course, ‘Jane Fonda’. And during one of those songs I saw him go on a smooch tour of the front row, though not quite as raunchy as that myspace video. To top it all off, midway through the set we realize that we are standing in about a half inch of overflowed toilet water. It was a multi sensory experience.
I think Mickey Avalon has a fantastic stage presence. He works the crowd, is a very charismatic and emotional performer, and sounds just as good live as recorded. And watching all of these girls go gaga over him is a show in and of itself. Mickey Avalon is a prime example of what the majority of the male population needs to learn: carry yourself like a supermodel, even if you look like you could possibly be Marilyn Manson’s much tinier brother.
All in all, Mickey Avalon delivers. I plan on seeing him again at Mezzanine on March 30, with DJ AM and Travis Barker.
With the big kids.
My mini video from the show: