Albuquerque has spent big bucks in the past years rebuilding the downtown area but I had never been down there after dark, before this. I was impressed at the number of little establishments that were around. There is something about downtown in big cities that I find mysterious. It's bustling with nightlife and there's a different kind of vibe than in the daytime. I followed my googled directions and found the place easily.
Outside, the Launchpad is black front and DARK! I drove past and debated about parking in the parking lot across the street. However, I had only brought my driver's license, a $10 bill, a credit card, my event ticket, and a lipstick. I didn't have any single dollars and the lot required $3. Okay, so I pulled out and drove down the street.
Whoa! There was an open parking space on the street, one up from the front door of the Launchpad. I really couldn't have parked closer in my dreams. I didn't see any meters either. It's strange nowadays. Some spaces still share the two-space meters but now many street parking spaces share cluster meter box things that sit down the way from the spaces. I don't like them at all. How do you know if you have meter parking if you can't see the meter? Since it was Sunday night, I thought that parking was free anyway, so I decided to take a chance. I pulled ino the parallel parking space and turned off the motor. It's so nice to have a little car for times like this.
I walked in and showed my ticket. The guy asked to see my ID. Yeah, right! As if I don't look old enough?! Anyway, I showed him and he asked for my wrist so he could put a band on. I offered my left wrist. He said the other one. Huh? I should have asked him 'why did it matter' but I didn't.
I walked into the madness (not really! lol) and looked around. My son and his friends were chilling on some benches right there in front of me. He got up and hugged me, aawwww!, and introduced me to all of his friends. We all hugged. It was a regular hugfest. Then Andy's parents came in and there were more rounds of hugs. I could tell the boys were glad that their parents were there to cheer them on.
There was another band playing in the other room and a good number of folks were in there, watching. There were also several people standing and sitting around in the room where we were, by the video games and vending machines. The raised stage was nice and big with a row of colored lights behind. There was a huge projection wall display advertising the upcoming events. I noticed one of the bands coming in March was The Devil Wears Prada. I remembered that my son really liked them and had seen them last year. I wondered if it had been here.
My son's band, Spring Loaded Hotdog, has been going through a metamorphosis. They formed last spring and then the lead singer/guitarist quit several months later. They replaced him and then, just last week, his parents made him quit. So for their 'really big show' at the Launchpad they used a fill-in drummer from another band and Andy, the regular drummer, stepped up to lead vocals/guitar. I really like Trevor (my son) on bass & Andy (the other original band member) on rhythm guitar. They both sing and play their guitars and move around like crazy! They own the band and they have quite the stage show.
The fill-in drummer only managed to learn a half dozen songs of their all original material so when they had to perform, the three of them started out strong but kind of fizzled when the drummer left. Trevor and Andy then did some duets and cover songs with a lot of banter towards the end of their set. It's hard to fill 30 minutes of playing time with an alternate drummer (or no drummer!) on such short notice. So, I didn't expect them to do very well in the Battle of the Bands. Also, the fact that they play punk which is not, and never has been, a very popular musical genre. I was totally amazed at how much my son has grown up and achieved, living his dream. I am so proud of him!
They played against five other bands. They even got a mosh pit going for one of their songs. I stood up front, near the stage but off to the side, along the wall and watched them with trepidation. There were seven young men who ran around in a circle, and back and forth, and into each other. They were wild boys, for sure! The band put on a pretty good show. Almost everyone came in from the other room and watched them, I noticed. Andy used the microphone to tell two girls to quit texting. Who knows, maybe they were texting their friends about how good the band was?
The band talks to the audience and the two front guitarists jump all over the place while they're playing. Both Trevor and Andy pulled some mini 'guitar god' moves. Because Andy is used to drumming and not playing guitar however, he cut his fingers twice on the guitar strings. I guess bleeding guitars is what it's all about, right?
No, I didn't take my camera but they do have an official photographer. lol! She's a friend/fan who has been taking pictures of the band since their inception. Here is a photo of Trevor from another place and time.
I confess, I didn't stick around because I really didn't think they stood a chance and I didn't want to stay out late.
Spring Loaded Hotdog took second place in the Battle of the Bands last night!!! Yay!
I really didn't expect them to place at all so it was a very pleasant surprise to me. They didn't actually win anything for second place, but I'm sure it felt really good!
Oh year, here's a bit of what I looked like. The shirt was lime green, mind you. And the bead strands were better in real life.
And, my other son made it home okay with his donut spare tire. So, yesterday, I bought him new tires. We had just been talking about when to get new tires on Saturday, the day before all this happened. I had promised him a set for Christmas and his birthday and we hadn't done it yet. He assures me that it was better to have the blowout on the old, bad tire than to blow up a new one. I'm not so sure about that! Anyway, he's rolling around on brand new tires now.
Watch a band - song: Candidate, artist: David Bowie, album: Aladdin Sane limited edition