The first thing that entered my mind as I jostled my way through an already swarming crowd at Piranha Bar was, “Were flip flops the appropriate choice of footwear for a show labelled ’30 Years of Sleaze’?” Casting my reservations aside, I fully immersed myself in the deluge of discernible cleavage, tight crotch-baring leather pants, and torrents of whiskey shooters. The excitement was palpable and the opening band was yet to take the stage.
Smoke filled the stage along with the four members of Sleazy Way Out. They blasted into action, rising above the feedback, with frontman Stacey Sleaze clutching the pillars on the ceiling above the stage which could barely contain him. I mean literally, his head nearly touched the ceiling! He reminded me of a glammed-up Meat Loaf (the performer, not the dish) and I was awestruck when he unleashed his high-pitched falsetto scream, sounding much more like King Diamond than the “bat out of hell.” Sleaze raised his glass of beer and toasted the crowd as the band tore into “Born to Booze,” a hard-hitting, straight-for-the-jugular anthem about, well you probably guessed it, getting fucking wasted! Sleaze got the crowd fully heated up on “I Want It” as they chanted along with him on the chorus singing, “I want it, you want it too, I want it!” The sleaze was palpable!
Rusted were tagged next to keep the sleaze fest going, opening with the very apropos “Summer Day,” an extremely upbeat song with an infectious chorus. During “Earthquake” the band synced-up for some impressive simultaneous head banging, all five members twirling their respective mops of hair as singer Tony Rust chanted, “You’ve been hit by a fucking earthquake!” As the tremors dissipated, Rust signed everyone in the audience up for the rock patrol. Before anyone could ask any questions like, “What are the basic responsibilities? Can we write it off on our taxes?”, the band unleashed into the song “Rock Patrol”. If you are interested in learning more about the rock patrol, maybe check out the song lyrics, or hit up the band on Facebook. Rust busted out his twelve-string acoustic for the power ballad “Last Stand.” What self respecting glam or hair metal band doesn’t have one, right? Predictability aside, it was a nice number, and I think I might have even seen one or two lighters go up.
It was time for Faster Pussycat. By now the sleaze was dripping off the walls, and my feet and flip flops were noticeably stickier than when I had walked in…the sleaze got to them, too! They opened with “Jack the Bastar” off of 1992’s Whipped, singer Taime Downe dawning his signature sunglasses and pilot’s hat as he claimed the stage. They reminded everyone why they are the “kings of Hollywood sleaze” on “Cathouse,” a raunchy blues banger about…well, the best place to procure some late night pussy. Guitarist Ace Von Johnson introduced the next song “Slip of the Tongue” and kept the theme going by saying, “It’s all about the pussy, motherfuckers!” The crowd concurred that they indeed like the pussy by letting out a raucous cheer. By this point the sleaze had its own heartbeat; it was breathing; it had taken over Piranha bar as Faster Pussycat tore through “Number 1 With a Bullet”, “The Power & The Glory Hole”, “Shooting You Down”, and “Don’t Change That Song.” Just as the sleaze was about to hit its penultimate level, Taime Downe slowed things down and propped himself on the edge of the stage for the bands massive ballad “House of Pain.” The crowd popped! Some people waved their arms, others reached for their cell phones to try and capture the moment, and almost all sung the words to the entire song. The cats wound down their set by lacing into a few covers in which different members took to singing the lead vocals. Carly Simon‘s “You’re So Vain”, AC/DC‘s “Sin City”, Social Distortion‘s “Bad Luck” and Supersucker‘s “Pretty Fucked Up” were all bookended by their own “Bathroom Wall.” It was a really nice segment within the set, showcasing the band’s taste and influences. Faster Pussycat ended the show with the fiery rock n’ roll ode to L.A “Babylon” from their debut album. It’s been thirty years since its release, and the songs still ooze with raunchy sleaze. The same goes for the band, for my flip flops, and my feet.
Written by Lee Ferguson
*edited by Kate Erickson