I think if one more person corners me with the complaint, "Nothing is happening in the local Albuquerque music and art scene," I will have to ask them: "Where the hell were you last night?" In any venue, in any town, you will have your share of good shows or bad; either way you are likely to be more entertained than watching reality happen on television.
I had to look at the flier about five times to be sure I read it right, but, yes, it said White Lion, and, yes, they played at the Launchpad on Sunday, Feb. 27. For the bargain price of $10 you could travel back to the '80s and relive the bad breakups and other meaningless events to your favorite old school rock ballads. Seriously, "Wait" was one of my favorite songs a million years ago, and you would have to agree that it did have a pretty ripping guitar solo, if you could get your head around the fact that the guy had feathered hair and a whole lot of spandex going on.
Well, the only thing that's changed is the attire. I didn't see any spandex, much to my dismay. The music was awesome in that '80s rock-pop sort of way, and it was one of those shows that reminds me of a bad car accident, you don't want to look, but you just can't help yourself. I honestly felt like I had stepped back into the '80s that night, just looking around at the crowd, in all their big hair and stone-washed glory. The night also included a performance by Enuff Znuff, who had the same pop rock ballad kind of feel and included some Beatles covers with vocal stylings that made you look twice to see if it wasn't, in fact, John Lennon or Paul McCartney singing.
Same night, another cool event took place at Brickyard Pizza, located on Central, across from UNM. You may remember that location in such incarnations as The Fat Chance, Sprockets and Rebar. Brickyard is jumping on the bandwagon, so to speak, and featuring live entertainment. Along with the music, you can get a slice of pizza and a beer for three bucks.
Sunday night, Brickyard and Ejypt C Productions hosted a Heritage Celebration featuring poetry, music, story telling and fabulous prizes. DV8 was one of the bands that played. Man, where have these guys been hiding? Great funk with vocals, guitar, bass and drums. Kevin Jones leads the band and is clearly an Albuquerque gem that has yet to be discovered.
The infamous Danny Solis and other members of the Albuquerque slam team offered poetry celebrating black history and exploration in an organic delivery. Storyteller Ramona rounded out the night with stories on the strengths of black women. February was Black History Month, and the event at Brickyard was the icing on the cake. It was an event open to the public and the public responded with a packed house, high energy and a terrific family feel.
Albuquerque has an amazing amount of potential in her artistic expression. The beauty of our fair city is that a lot of venues offer free shows or very inexpensive cover charges that will enable you to have your own artistic adventure. Turn off the television and go out and support your local scene.