02/17/02 - 20:53:24
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Since the JS performance at Middletown has been covered by several A-Deckers, I will try and satisfy the growing clamor for a review of the performance by "The Brats".|
Before I get into this task in depth, I have a few words about the preliminary events that occurred prior to the show. I arrived in Middletown about 1:30 PM and immediately went and found the Paramount Theatre. From that point, I started driving through the center of town looking for a bar/restaurant within walking distance from the theatre. Since I could not find one, I doubled back and stopped at the Colonial Diner for lunch and asked the waitress if there was a bar or restaurant close to the Paramount.
She recommended the Olde Brew Pub which was less than a block from the theatre around the corner. I missed this completely on my initial search. She also told me that the Olde Brew Pup was owned by the mayor of Middletown.
I went back to the Paramount at 5:00 PM which was around the designated meeting time agreed upon. I spotted a figure in the shadows which seemed to be stalking the young women as they walked by the theatre. I was getting ready to call the police when I noticed that it was Chris from A-Deck. Chris had been in touch with Dave, knew about the Brew Pub and had made dinner reservations for all of us for 5:45 PM. We ended up with 11 people spit into two separate groups that had reservations. The first group of knowlegable but cheap bastards ordered hamburgers and got their food quickly. Since our group of 6 was more sophisticated, we ordered various Italian veal dishes with long names and consequently had to wait for the chef to figure out how to make all of them. Finally, almost 2 hours, 40 beers and 20 shots of cheap wiskey later, we filled our pockets with the mayor's silverware and left for the show. Brian slipped out the bathroom window with the check and met us on the corner.
As we approached the theatre and the parking lot across the street, we could hear the gentle sound of early Velvet Underground streaming from the stolen tape deck in an A-Decker's car and our fellow members, who got out of the restaurant early, shooting-up in preparation for the show.
Since the letter I received from the Paramount with my tickets stated that no cameras were allowed in the theatre, we devised a plan to not only sneak in the cameras but also the four suitcases of recording equipment. Do-A-Line volunteered to create a diversion by trying to walk into the theatre with a camera in plain sight. During the diversion, we would slip in with the recording equipment and cameras. As Do-A-Line tried to get through, three security men pounced on him and started whaling away with nightsticks. I heard Do-A-Line yell something about being from Entertainment Network and to give him back his Kodak Instamatic but Dave and I had to get the first two suitcases in. We then went back to the car for the other two suitcases. All the while, Do-A-Line was getting clubbed and restrained. I got through with suitcase no. 3 when Dave got stopped behind me with the last bag of recording equipment. The security guard asked him what he had in the bag. Dave told him it was his ticket which seemed to confuse the guy long enough for him to slip through. As we looked back, we could see Do-A-Line with cuffs on his wrists and ankles being carried out on a stretcher. We would have gone back to help him but we did not want to miss "The Brats"
We no sooner got to our seats when "The Brats" were introduced. One combination electric guitar player, vocalist and pre-programmed midi keyboard player, one lead female vocalist, her sister singing back-up just for that night and a drummer, I think.
I held my breath as the first few notes of "Piece Of My Heart" came forth from "The Brats". Believe me folks, this did not sound like Janis or the current Lisa Mills my any stretch of the imagination. I choked, bit my lip and made it through the first two songs. Then came their version of the Door's "Love Her Madly" and I felt my blood start to boil and a strange loss of control start to overtake me. Then came the final straw. They started playing Cream's "White Room" and the demons of the underwold took contol of me. As they approached what should have been the first lead guitar break and nothing happened, I pulled out one of the mayor's steak knives from the Brew Pub, taped it to the end of my microphone stand and started charging the stage heading right for the screeching lead vocalist. Fortunately for me, cooler A-Deck heads prevailed since I was tripped by Brian and tackled by Dave during my charge. By the time security got to me, they just thought that I was fan that loved the pride of Hudson Valley so much that I lost contol and was running up to hug the singer.
In conclusion, if you enjoy listening to classic songs being butchered beyond recognition, "The Brats" are for you.
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