May 19 2007
Last weekend in a small town in just north of Saint Paul Minnesota, a small miracle happened, a tiny group of unsuspecting rednecks got dosed with the awesome power of Fishbone. Picture this a small redneck and locals bar called the Rock Nite-club, a large percentage of old people and rednecks, and Norwood Fisher, six feet tall, single unicorn dread lock cascading from his frontal lobe playing bass like a maniac. I'm sure at first these people were expecting another Saturday night of boring generic bar rock, the first band was bullocks, a rock quintet with a pudgy lead singer who was desperately trying to sound like Chris Cornell, then came a decent Reggae three piece out of New Orleans, still no sign of the madness to come. Third on the bill was a frat boy pseudo Ska band called The Expendables', whose pretty boy front-man/lead guitar player went through the list of rock n' roll clichés, and had the tube topped redneck girls swooning, but the music was amateurish and decidedly frat boy oriented. In fact before the show started I was engaged in conversation by what must have been The Expendables biggest fan, “So you're into reggae? Well you'll love the Expendables," he told me, I informed him we were there to see Fishbone, he said he'd never heard of them, I said nothing. This young frat boy gushed over the pretty boy lead singer like a woman, calling him over to their table and asking him all kinds of questions about the bands lyrics, it was a very gay moment. Needless to say when the Expendables' came out to play their music was not Reggae, it barely could be classified as Ska, but the young frat boy and his band of merry douche-bags knew all the words, sung along and shouted out song requests, it was indeed very gay.
Then there was silence while they set up for Fishbone, then out came Angelo Moore as Dr. Mad Vibe in his suit and launched into a long spoken word about " Bitches", the rednecks and old people shifted in their seats uncomfortably, unsure perhaps. What was going on? What was this Mad Vibe person talking about? What had they gotten themselves into?
Then music started, horns blaring, guitar screaming and Angelo jumping around and the place gasped. I was too busy skanking to the beat to notice how the rednecks reacted but I imagine they must have gone running for the doors in droves rushing home to lock themselves inside to escape the power of Fishbone. At one point I looked to the back of the bar and it was empty. Only a few brave rednecks were still in attendance and they had smiles on their faces, they had been saved, saved by the power of Fishbone. A handful of about thirty Fishbone fans, me and my wife included, were in attendance due to poor advertising and 21+ venue I suppose, and it felt like Fishbone was playing a Private show just for us.
To those of you who have never seen Fishbone live, it's not so much a concert, it's a revival, it's a religious experience. I always feel reborn after a Fishbone show. The guys played for two solid hours, and it was amazing. I couldn't skank the whole two hours, I'm old and horribly out of shape, so I have to pick my moments, and I think I picked them well.
" Alcoholic" and the encore " Party at Ground Zero" were high points, " Lyin' ass bitch" " Everyday sunshine" " Party with Sadam" " Bonin' in the bone yard" " The Suffering" " Choley" " Ma and Pa" were all on the set list, " Unyielding conditioning" " Skanking to the Beat" and " Ugly" were absent. It was a shame that the rock Nite-club doesn't have better advertising, I believe if they'd had a better website or more ads in the Citipages they would've gotten more Fishbone and Ska fans out to the show, most people hadn't known about the show until that week, the only way I knew about it was because of their MySpace page.
Fishbone is one of the greatest live bands I've ever seen, and their new album is really good, as I tell everyone when I talk about Fishbone, They're the greatest band that no one has heard of, and that is truly a shame. This band deserves to be right up there with best bands of all time. I'm afraid that after this show they'll never come to Minneapolis or Saint Paul again, it's probably not worth it for them. It's funny because the Rock Nite-club doesn't have a back stage area, Norwood, Angelo and the rest of the band were all just hanging out at the bar, having drinks eating food, and my wife and I were sitting right across from Norwood and the band. My wife was wearing my old Fishbone shirt and Norwood thanked us for showing up, I thanked them for coming to Minnesota. Angelo was sitting at the end of the bar, and as my wife and I walked by Angelo totally checked my wife out looked her up and down. Any other man would've gotten a dirty stare and a word of warning, but shit it's Angelo Moore of Fishbone and he checked out my wife. It actually pretty cool and my wife and I laughed about it a lot.
On a closing note the frat boys who were in love with the Expendables' they sat in their chairs while Fishbone played. They looked broken hearted and offended, as though because Fishbone got people on their feet and dancing and the Expendables got almost no reaction from anyone except them and the redneck girls who wanted to sleep with the pretty boy lead singer/guitar player. I noticed that the frat boys left halfway through the set once again proving the fucked up state of popular music. People listen to shitty music and great bands go unappreciated. Fuck frat boys. Long Live Fishbone.
Until next time catch you on the flip-side.