zephyr illusions photo by donna October 1992. The view atop Chasseral, Jura Mountains looking across Switzerland to The Alps on the horizon. Fog, intensely thick, rising from Lac Bienne and stretching its fingers high onto the Lignières-Plateau de Diesse after wholly filling the valley below the plateau.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club at The Beta Bar

photo by donna
Well, finally, i get around to writing about my overnight trip to Tallahassee, Florida on 4 March to attend another Black Rebel Motorcycle Club gig.... been busy getting caught up on work and visiting the B.R.M.C. website forums to network with other fans. it's fun to read fan reviews and see their concert photos and just generally share our experience when the band's touring.
My flight to Tallahassee went smoothly and without hitch. i found a taxi waiting outside the terminal and got a very pleasant ride to my hotel (one i will never recommend! take my advice and when in Tallahassee avoid the Days Inn @ 1350 Tennessee Street!!) with the driver taking me a route that showed me the easiest way for me to get from the hotel to the club, The Beta Bar. since it was a flat rate from airport to hotel, i thought it was really nice of the taxi driver to give me that informative tour.
It was barely midday when i checked into the hotel and the show wasn't scheduled to begin until something like 9:30PM. so, i had lots of time to fill and decided to walk the 2 miles to the club just to explore and see if i could find a place to grab some lunch and toss a cold beer or two. but, i was surprised to find that the few pubs i saw along the way were closed... surprised me since i was right beside the University of Florida campus. i asked a university student if i was on the right path to find The Beta Bar and was there a nearby pub open where i could get some lunch. she advised me that the town was nearly shut down because the University had just began Spring Break and confirmed that i was headed in the right direction to find The Beta Bar. so, i continued on my way and eventually found The Beta Bar which is located in a kinda rough area of town.
I got lucky and discovered that right next door to the club is a sandwich shop being run out of what appeared to be an old gas station. cool! i could get something for lunch while i sat under an umbrella (i was already becoming sunburnt from the sub-tropical Florida sun!) at one of the outside makeshift tables. and upon entering the shop i was happy to discover that they had an ice chest filled with ice and bottles of Corona! yippeee! i had scored and could get a sandwich and a beer. as the guy behind the counter made me a sandwich i noticed a promotional flyer taped to the window announcing that evening's B.R.M.C. gig at the club next door. i asked the sandwich guy if i could have it and he said "sure, go ahead". so, i happily sat in the shade of an umbrella in a warm Florida breeze outside the sandwich shop admiring the promo flyer as i leisurely ate my lunch and guzzled 3 ice cold Coronas feeling pretty mellow.
After lunch i walked back to the hotel and had a bit of a siesta before i set out again at late afternoon to walk back to The Beta Bar.... the weather was so nice and i decided that some exercise is good for me and didn't call a taxi. decided to save my taxi money for getting back to the hotel after the show.
This time on my way back to The Beta Bar, i found a bar which had opened for business and could hear a lively crowd cheering inside. i decided to go in and check it out... once in the door, i was approached by a 7 foot tall (no kidding!) bouncer and asked to pay a $8 cover fee. i charmingly told him that i was on my way to The Beta Bar for a show and could i please just have a beer to quench my thirst. he gave me a sidelong look and decided that i probably wouldn't want to stick around for the band once i heard them begin to play and allowed me in without paying. lmao, he was right... the band that took stage and began playing was a Death Metal band and as the place was filled with a bunch of nonsensical ear-piercing screaming vocals, frenzied guitar screeching and pounding drums the crowd charged wildly to the moshpit, some of them jumped atop the bar, and began flaying KungFu kicks and arm punches. i watched in amazement that nobody was killed or injuried. it was a sight to see, for sure... so, entertaining that i stayed for 2 beers. lol

Anyway, at around 7:45PM or so, i found myself at The Beta Bar and was happy to see a big tour bus parked alongside the building. i knew it had to be B.R.M.C.'s bus and that the club was getting set up for the show. i could see the back door open and decided to approach and try to take a look inside.
When i looked inside the doorway to see what i could see there was Peter Hayes, guitarist/vocalist and i suppose you could say pretty much the frontman of the band (although he and Robert Been really share the role of frontman), only a metre away from me. i took the chance to say "excuse me, this morning i flew 800 miles just for the night to see this show.... may i come in, please?"
Heheeeheeee, to my utter delight Peter flashed a smile and said "sure" and waved me in. as i entered the club to stand next to him, i proceeded to babble like an excited schoolgirl about how i attended the Philadelphia show 2 weeks prior and dug the show so much that i just had to fly to Florida for the gig that night. Peter said, "whoa, that's very cool", offered his hand to mine and said "i'm Peter". i giggled and said "i know who you are!!", shook his hand and introduced myself. lol! he is so very humble that he didn't think i recognised him!!! i asked if i might stay for sound-check and Peter informed me that BRMC had just finished their check and the opening bands were about to do their soundchecks, but i was welcome to hang around if i wanted. :) yup, i sure wanted!...
So, i spent the next hour leaning against the bar, smoking cigarettes and chatting with Peter about music, life on the road, interests outside of music and just generally shooting the breeze while he played video games and i was pinching myself to see if i was dreaming. i had my camera with me, but didn't want to spoil the cool vibe by acting the tourist and asking for a photo.... now i wish i had!!.... i did venture to break out my Sharpie marker and Peter did sign the promo flyer i had copped earlier that day, though. oh, yeah, reminds me...
i also was able to land a really nice promo poster for the album 'Howl' (the album the band is currently promoting on this tour) with the date, showtime and the name of the opening acts handwritten on it. it was thumb-tacked to the inside of the lady's restroom door and, well, since the poster would be outdated by morning, i decided to help the cleanup crew and rolled it neatly and brought it home with me. *grins*
Peter was so nice and down-to-earth and took interest in our conversation, looking me in the eyes as we spoke and laughing and smiling a lot.... it was so relaxed and chilled out and like hanging with a friend.
When it was time for the opening acts to take stage, Peter excused himself and joined his bandmates to do whatever it is that they do backstage awaiting their showtime.

Then after one kick-ass rock-and-roll show performed before an audience of about only 250 people (a real treat to see a fav band in a club so small and intimate!), i was again afforded the opportunity to approach Peter while outside in the club's parking lot where i awaited a taxi to take me back to my hotel. i joined a couple of other music fans to thank Peter for the totally kickass rocking show. he graciously acknowledged and returned the thanks for taking interest in the band's music.

Peter is a very genuine guy with a warm smile and truly seems to be a bit unimpressed with himself and his own talent... which is an immensely deep just well waiting to be tapped, imvho.
i've been an avid music fan all my life and have been attending live shows for 3 decades and have seen/heard/met lots of musicians... i've had some wonderful experiences and my evening at The Beta Bar with B.R.M.C performing live accentuated by meeting and chatting with Peter is now one of my fav memories... right up there with my september 2005 Golden Earring experience in Holland (see September Archives for that adventure).

Another cool thing is that i was able to record the entire show with my iRiver MP3 recorder using only the internal mic, but unfortunately i didn't know what i was doing as this is the first time i ever tried such a thing and my recording has a bad humming/buzzing sound. a friend who knows about such things says that i probably picked up some "large magnetic src in room..PA or main amps or lighting"... lol, what ever that means. all i know is that he said the bad humming probably cannot be filter out. oh well, even though i only got a photo of an equipment roadcase and not any of Peter and the band, i do have my badly made recording of the show, a promo poster, an autographed promo flyer, some souvenirs purchased at the Merch Stand and the memory of a GREAT evening :)

Anyway, i've gone on far too long about a great time i had last weekend... i could go on and on and on, but i'll end it here by saying that the flight home went smoothly and i still get a glow of happiness when i think about that B.R.M.C. gig. hope to see them play live again!

*EDIT (14 march 2006):
just found this video of the song 'In Like The Rose' made by a fan at the 13 March 2006 Los Angeles show...

6 comments:

  1. get a fucking life. brmc suck. mind, de gustibus est non disputem. or whatever.

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  2. lol, gondo... guess i won't be runnin' into you @ any B.R.M.C. shows any time soon, eh? :p

    btw, i'm pretty happy with my life... how 'bout you? ;)

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  3. Nice to read that you had such a good time.

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  4. nice story. that must certainly have been an extra treat (?) for you. Listning to it now as i write this comment. Sounds good actually.

    Can't see much of what is happening, except the flashing white lights.

    Planning any other trips the coming days/weeks?

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  5. thanks, H.L. & Prof. :) as must be evident from my gushing recount of the weekend, i had an awesome time!!

    about the quality of the video... 2 things to keep in mind...
    BRMC likes to play on a stage with limited lighting enhanced by lots of fog-smoke... they prefer to communicate music through sound rather than visuals of themselves... heheee, they ain't much into the MTV mentality ;)
    and, the footage was shot by a fan in the audience who was able to gain a great position in a balcony (i suppose having never been to this particular club myself) and was able to get video recording equipment past security.
    pretty cool shit, if ya ask me :)

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  6. PS.. erhmm, about other trips planned for the next upcoming days....
    got an invite from a guy who works at a local pub/restaurant that showcases Bluegrass bands to be his guest this weekend and attend a gig performed by 'Matt Brown Trio'. have been assured by many that i'm in for a real treat of some world class live Bluegrass music :)

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