July 6, 2002 at Hidden
Valley - Irvine, CA by Kari Rogers
The City of Irvine, seemingly devoid of
culture, hosted an all day concert called the Hootenanny on July 6th at
the old Lion Country Safari grounds. Irvine, generally seen as the type
of community that you might spot one of the numerous power walkers being
cited for wearing a mismatched sweat outfit, wouldnt seem to be a fit
venue to host an event such as this but it actually turned out to be the
perfect location for the all day event.
The grassy rolling hills were covered with
acres of color. And were not talkin wildflowers. Ink, dye
and paint were displayed on 95% of the concertgoers. The beautiful (and
not so beautiful) people paraded around in their best punk rock attire,
checking out the gas
guzzling hot rods, in every stage of restoration, and lots of vendor booths.
This reporter noted the generation X'ers managing themselves much better
these days. Many of the attendees used earplugs to save their hearing
for their day job and sunscreen was not a foreign word. A lot of
the girls were fashionably toting Asian-influenced bamboo umbrellas to
protect their skin (or fresh tattoos) from the sun.
Some previous Hootenanny attendees were
hesitant to buy tickets to this year's event. This seems to be due
to the perceived lack of a solid rock-a-billy line up.
Bands such as Tiger Army were on the bill instead of someone like the ever-popular
(yet so overdone) Social Distortion. Bands such as X, Joe Strummer
& The Mescaleros, The Reverend Horton Heat, The Blasters, Hank Williams
III, Lee Rocker, Russell Scott and King Bees drew the regulars back while
new acts such as Tiger Army and Nashville Pussy brought on a whole new
group of fans to the Hootenanny. Original Sinners, James Intveld,
and Cadillac Tramps also headlined as the main stage entertainment.
The main stage was set up to allow constant
entertainment. As one band rocked the crowd the next band got set
up. So you know the line up and the set up
now lets talk about the
bands. Upon my arrival,
the first band up was Original Sinners, Exenes latest and definitely greatest
band, was an act not to miss. The band has a lot of fun playing and
they perform well together, musically. And if you havent purchased
the CD out on Nitro records already you should! Having the opportunity
to meet and briefly speak to Exene Cervenka, Kim Chi and Jason Edge (Drummer,
Matt Young, and Sam Soto, guitarist, were unavailable) of Original Sinners,
you can tell that they are really excited to be playing together and were
also very excited to hear that fans are really liking the new stuff.
Their combination of styles and sounds really ties in the old with the
new. (Check out some sample tracks and CD review on antimusic.com.)
Second up was James Intveld. Not
being familiar with Intvelds name or music, there were no expectations.
Deciding to relax behind the scenes for a moment with friends, enjoy the
shade and drink one of the
complimentary RedBull and vodka drinks flowing on this sunny day in So
Cal; but I was quickly drawn back out to the front of the stage by Intveld's
music. Intveld and his band, the more traditional country-sounding
performer of the day, was the act to be caught! Not only is he adorable,
he is a really talented musician. (I honestly don't know how I didn't
know about him prior to the Hootenanny.) Check your local calendar
section and make it a point to check 'em out next time they're in town.
Tiger Army brought out a hellacious look
and sound that came along with a whole set of newcomers to the
scene. Picture if you will, a hardcore punk three-pieced band where
the intimidating blue-eyed lead singer beats on a purple stand up bass,
screaming fast, thrashing tunes for pit lovers while his two cohorts entertain
the masses with their in-your-face, punk-charged tunes.
Nashville Pussy, new to the Hootenanny,
played on the main stage. Many guy friends have said you gotta see
this band. Thinking the hot chicks in the band might be swaying their
opinions, it was never a priority to see them play. What a mistake.
This band shreds! Ruyter (pronounced rider) Suys is like a female version
Angus Young of AC DC fame. Her incredible energy on stage is infectious.
Newcomer to the band, Katie Lynn Campbell, is not only very easy on the
eyes but a perfect fit for this balls-out rockin foursome. Though
flanked by the lovely ladies, front man, Blaine Cartwright, and drummer,
Jeremy Thompson, some how stay focused on grinding out the tunes giving
the crowd a full-throttle assault.
Lee Rocker was as good as he always is.
What can be said about the Rock-a-Billy performer. He has really
made a name for himself and kept a strong following of fans since the Stray
Cats. He and his band never
disappoint fans. Playing traditional bass slapping, upbeat tempo, swinging
songs - one after the other - it makes you have to grab a partner and swing
them 'til you're both giddy. Can't wait to see these guys again.
Cadillac Tramps, a local Orange County
band that has been off and on the club scene for at least the last decade,
joined this year's Hootenanny. The Tramps have always been fun to
see. Whether you are in the pit of some sweat box club in Costa Mesa
or sweltering at some live concert in the park - you are gonna bounce
around to the driving guitar and drumbeats. Lead man, Gabby, is infamous
for commanding an audience with his wicked smile, menacing laugh and talented
voice. Good to see y'all back - you know who you are.
X. They are true legends by their
own right. Debuting on the scene when rock and roll basically dominated,
this band was able to rise above all the skeptics who scoffed at their
punk-country style; they were able to withstand break-ups and keep creating
a unique sound that no other band to this day has been able to
reproduce. Several decades later, fans still line up tickets and
rush the stage at shows. Everyone had family and friends flanking
the stage to cheer on their performance. Many of the performers also
had their children and/or significant other in tow.
It was a pleasure to meet the band and
take pictures while they played all the classics. Their energy never
tires - neither does their chemistry they have with each other while on
stage. Glad you guys are still performing and fans are crossing their
fingers that new material will be next on the list for your dedicated fans.
Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros were a
different act then most hearing them for the first time expected.
The reggae-style grooves that are Joe Strummer's latest
were a nice surprise. The band broke out a Clash tune or two, which
really riled up the crowd into a screaming frenzy. After the performance,
Joe Strummer, despite his horrible cold, was especially kind to his fans,
tirelessly signing autographs and posing for personal photos. Thanks
Joe and we all hope your feeling better.
The Reverend Horton Heat was full of the
usual groovy, psycho-billy sounds that draw the crowd to his shows.
Blending swinging rhythms, surf-beats, and cool stage attire, they closed
out the show with an energetic punch that made you want more!
All in all, the crowd was pleasantly non-violent
for an all day outdoor concert. These shows usually breed trouble
after everyone is hot and tired. Pining for a front row position
to see the headliner usually fuels physical outbursts at this type of event.
Overall, the impression of the performances and venue were good.
The show was professional and it's nice to see that the fire hose didn't
have to extinguish any fashion disputes. Just some good old fashioned
Big thanks to George for believing in me, to Carol Phillips at TPG and
Nashville Pussy for taking care of my ticket, and Moto Photo in Newport
Beach for cutting me a deal.
Photos by Kari Rogers. Copyright
2002 Iconoclast Entertainment Group and Kari Rogers - All Rights Reserved.
Kari Rogers is a contributing
writer for antiMUSIC and the iconoFAN Network.