"Don't do anything stupid."
These words of wisdom were delivered to me by the wise Dutchman. "Stupid" in this case was implicitly understood to mean: "I believe you're too drunk to drive, so don't try and go back and get your credit card that you forgot at the bar at the concert venue." These words were uttered while we were eating our sober-up food at the Denver Diner, post-show, about half past midnight.
Unfortunately(?), I've never been one to avoid confrontation when I could be ramming myself into it head-on. So after I dropped him off at his place, I proceeded up 20th towards Welton. At the corner where El Chapultapec (Denver's supposed best Jazz bar) sits, I noticed a couple of police cars across the intersection, blocking my lane. I turned right, figuring I'd just jog a block around them. Somehow, I wasn't entirely surprised when the flashing lights lit up behind me. I pulled over immediately, killed the engine, and flipped on the dome light. I had just barely gotten it on when the cop rapped on my window with his flashlight, sharply enough to make me jump. I rolled down the window and turned back towards him, about to speak. "Are you kidding me??" he said before I could say a word, "There were four cop cars right there, and you went the wrong way down a one-way street!" He almost sounded amused.
So much, then, for not doing anything stupid...
This story actually starts a day earlier, when the aforementioned Dutchman played me some tracks from the band Covenant, just after we had stuffed ourselves with Dim Sum at that place off Alameda. I had been waffling about going to the Convenent show, and wanted to hear some of their music before I decided if I was going to fork over the $20. He played the tracks, and I liked what I heard. I told him I was in for the concert tomorrow night.
Fast forward approximately 35 hours. We hit the venue a little later than we would have liked, because I was at work until just after 8pm doing some RF board layout. (PCB F-antennas are murder.) We finally got to Cervantes' about 8:45. (Incidentally, Cervantes may be my new favorite concert venue. They seem to get the same up and coming bands as The Ogden, but their sound system doesn't sound like it has tweeters made out of rusty trash cans.) The Dutchman was worried that we might miss the main show, since doors had opened at 7:30.
As it turns out, it was the first of two opening bands on stage when we walked in. Surprisingly, both were pretty good. As I told one of the members of Imperative Reaction much later in the evening, when I came back to get my credit card: "Everyone tonite has been "some other band meets KMFDM."" Imperative Reaction, I said, reminded me of Atari Teenage Riot meets KMFDM.
But Imperative Reaction wasn't the first opening band. That would have been Rotersand. Rotersand, to my ear, sounds a little bit like VNV Nation meets KMFDM - a surprisingly good combination. They won me over instantly with their track "Exterminate Annihilate Destroy", a thumpy number whose titular chorus is provided by a grating Dalek voice, sampled from the old-school Dr. Who TV show. Old-school Dr. Who fans like me can probably hear that screechy-metallic Dalek voice saying: "Exter-minate, Anni-hilate, Des-troy!!" in their head right now, in fact. ;] Another good track they played, one that's a bit trancier, is "Merging Oceans."
The bartenders were slammed. I opened my ill-fated tab and had a vodka tonic or two, then a rum and pineapple juice. Sat through most of Imperative Reactions's set (no offense, just not quite my thing), and then finally Convenant came on. Covenent, to my ear, sounds somewhat like Sisters of Mercy meets KMFDM. Not a bad combination, though maybe a little low-key for my taste. But the dance floor really got into it. I felt sadly out of place with my white dress shirt and business slacks, buried in a sea of black on black. So Covenant played through their set, and everyone rocked out. After after they left the stage, we still couldn't get enough, so we all stomped on the floor until they came out and did an encore.
I saw one cute girl the whole time, and, sadly enough, I was too chickenshit to ask if she'd like a drink. He who hesitates is lost! I have to ask though - how come this whole concert, I only saw two girls there without boyfriends? Where the hell are the single women in this town? Do they not exist? Do they not go out? Are a bunch of pretty-boy German techno bands not something they enjoy? I know like, two guys who are in a relationship, and everyone else is single. What's the deal here? Aren't there supposed to be more women than men on this little blue-green mudball? Where are you all hiding??
As we headed out, the Dutchman said "Okay, give me the keys, let's go get some food." I gave him the keys, and after short stop to verify Illegal Petes was indeed closed (man, I really wanted a fish burrito!) we headed for the Denver Diner.
Which brings us back around to where I left off, having just driven the wrong way down a one way street...
"What are you doing out here?" the cop asks me.
"I'm headed back to the, ah... The Covenent concert venue. I can't remember the name. It's near 26th and Welton," I say.
"Where are you from?" cop asks.
"Boulder," I say, slurring it unintentionally because of the toothpick I had in my mouth. Oops, shit! Way to show him you're not drunk, jackass!
"License and registration, please..." he says mechanically.
A minute or two later, his partner peels off to go look for someone else to stop. I take that as a good sign. Either he didn't think I was impaired enough to be worth road-side manuvering, or he really didn't want to go through the trouble of arresting me and filling out the hours of paperwork that would require. So he gave me my ticket (expired tags), and told me I should turn left at the next intersection.
I got back to Cervantes without further incident, still not sure I'd be able to get in and get my card back. Luckily, a couple of members of Imperative Reaction were at the door, about to head out. "Say, is there anyone still here I could get my credit card back from?" I asked them. "I dunno, we're just the band. Come on in and we can try and find someone," he said, looking surprisingly friendly and startlingly young despite his studded black leather ensemble and white face paint. I think this is the part where I admit that yeah, it looks like I'm old. This was also the point where I laid the "KMFDM meets Atari Teenage riot" line on him. "Oh yeah, I think Atari Teenage Riot is great" he replied with a grin.
So I got my card back, and then spent an hour driving home. Glah, I really fucking hate that. Did they have to put Denver (or Boulder, for that matter) so goddamn far away?? But as I drove home, I thought to myself: "All in all, that was pretty good evening. I haven't had this good a time since the Seraphim Shock concert two years ago."
I still wish I hadn't missed both KMFDM and Queensryche on my birthday. But still... good times.
N.B. It looks like Covenant, Rotersand and Imperative Reaction are coming to The DNA Lounge. So if you like vaguely gothy industrial techno, check 'em out.