Friday, June 22, 2007

Valley Shenanigans and Guns n Roses

Well! Uni is finally over for the semester and I can update this blog for once.

I have decided to review the places I have been lately. That's right, I go outside and without my laptop sometimes. Shocking, I know!

Your Mate’s House

Your Mate’s House is a great place for pre-going out shenanigans, such as taking incriminating photos in the kitchen. Your Mate’s House is preferably near the city so you don’t have to pay a truckload for a taxi fare. Your Mate should have a good liquor supply so Another one of Your Mates, who works at a restaurant, can make excellent, too-strong cocktails for you all. Your Mate also supplies a quality antipasto platter specially imported from Woolworths.


The liquor range at Your Mate's house.

The Press Club
The Press Club is a sweet, cozy little bar near the Empire Hotel. The bar has an even more impressive liquor range than Your Mates House – the shelves nearly go up to the ceiling. Although the Press Club is quite classy, I decided it wasn’t really my type of place. It seems to be the sort of bar that city workers go after work - most of the people there were in their mid-twenties or older (I’m only 19). A relaxing atmosphere, if you’re looking for it, but I was looking to get raucously drunk and dance. And despite the extensive range of liquor, I was quite disappointed by the Press Club’s rendition of the ever-popular Jagerbomb. Served in a small, skinny glass, the barman simply poured the Jagermeister into the Red Bull, rather then plonking in the shot glass. In other words, he took the “bomb” out of “Jagerbomb” and charged us $9 for it. My friends and I agreed this was quite a poor effort and left.


What a jagerbomb should look like.

The streets of the Valley
If there’s one thing I love about big nights out, it’s the moments of utter surrealism that occur whilst you’re drunk and between bars. “Where are we going now?” Alex inquired.
“Hell,” said Jerome, pointing at a sign.
And indeed, that sign said nothing but “Hell” in drippy red letters. Ignore the legends and myths you hear about Hell. We didn’t see fire, brimstone, or foul demons demanding for our souls; Hell is a car yard. But not just any car yard. This car yard was full of vans, but not just any vans!
Hell is white vans with pictures of breasts painted on them. White breasts and black breasts for the sake of racial equality. Hooray.

I didn’t know this, but apparently walking from bar-to-bar is a good place to find love. We were approached by a group of men possibly in their 30’s.
“You’re the best looking girl in the street,” one leered at me.
“You’re old,” I replied, and we were on our way.

We were also approached by a fast-talking Russian.
“Spraken ze deutsch?” Alex asked cleverly.
“Ah! German, German!”
“No, we’re not German.”
“You meet my German friend?”
“No thanks. Er, danke.”
“Here he is!”


The Fringe Bar

The Fringe Bar has lovely bouncers. Before entering the bar, my friend Georgia and I were discussing the possible words that the C in the C Mart across the road could stand for. Our suggestions were rather loud and obscene, as we were somewhat inebriated at this stage. Nevertheless, us crude young lasses were still allowed in.

The Fringe Bar’s liquor range was not quite as extensive as the Press Club’s. However, the pretty lights shining under the bottles were quite fascinating to me.

More surrealism occurred here. I went upstairs in search for a toilet to find myself in a crowd of strange people – sailors, cowboys, construction workers… It was like I had entered some parallel universe where everybody was a member of the Village People.

The music at the Fringe Bar wasn’t anything special, mainly your Top 40 pop sort of thing. Although I was drunk enough to dance, I got bored quickly.


The people I saw upstairs at the Fringe Bar.

Bad Girls
We were quite keen on pointing and laughing at slutty girls with their saggy boobs out, so off we went to Bad Girls. However, we didn’t bank on the cover charge of $15.
“Fuck that!” I declared.
I can look at my own boobs for free anyway.


The Mustang Bar
The Mustang Bar is a sports bar. This was confirmed by Alex cheering on rally drivers on the plasma TVs set up around the bar, and myself goggling at the male gymnastics which was shown later on.

I walked into the Mustang Bar with my nerd sense a-tingling. Hark! A long tabletop video game machine with Pacman on it! There was also a Simpsons pinball machine next to it. I was in nerd heaven. I liked this place already.

The music was definitely not my thing at all, but that doesn’t mean it’s not fun to dance like an over-enthusiastic rapper to Kanye West and the Hilltop Hoods. Highlights were “Poison” (albeit the remix, but it didn’t stop me from growling along to it and striking rockstar poses in the mistaken belief that I was Alice Cooper) and “Freestyler”, a song I haven’t heard since I was 12 and trying to be cool at school dances. Not much has changed, except I am now drunk on alcohol rather than hyper on Coke and red cordial.

What I liked most about the Mustang Bar was that although there were your usual crew of sleazes, the majority of people there were quite friendly. We had a funny crew of boys ambushing our photos. My over enthusiastic dancing knocked over a very tall fellow’s drink. I wept for forgiveness, which was met by a high five for my dancing. All in all, I had a lot of fun here.


This is why I liked the Mustang Bar.

The Mustang Bar Toilets (Ladies)

Quite possibly the worst toilets I have ever been in. Pungent aroma? Check. Piss on the floor? Check. Strange substances smeared on the walls? Check. The fleshy insides of someone’s bleeding nose all over the floor? Check. Wait, what? Alex alerted me to the cocaine spilt on the floor. Ah. That explains that, then.



Quite a bit of this on the floor of the Mustang Bar toilets, sans blood and bits of septum.

New York Slice

“What shall we do now?” we pondered as we stumbled out of the Mustang Bar at 3.30am.
“NEW YORK SLICE,” roared Georgia.
At first I was spitting chips at $6 for a slice of pizza. Then I realised that these slices were huge and delicious. I did not enjoy the amount of capsicum on the pizza, so I contented myself with waving it in front of Georgia’s face. “Here comes the capsicum plane!” I cooed.
We were quite peaceful, sitting there munching on pizza and watching the colourful lights flickering in the Empire across the road. A rather frightened looking fellow running around and hiding behind our table interrupted our early morning meal.
“Will you girls take care of me?” he asked.
“What’s wrong?”
“I was with my friend, and I can’t find him,” he whimpered. “I’m from Western Australia and I don’t know where I am.”
We chatted with him about Western Australia for a little while, until he pointed at a man in a white shirt lurching up the street. “That’s him, that’s him!” he squealed.
“He’s over here!” we called.
“What are you doing?!” the man in the white shirt blustered. “Get up and stop bothering these beautiful people here.”
“This is fucking good pizza,” I said, while the men argued.
"It's amazing what some people do to talk to girls," observed Georgia.

Rose Tattoo, Skid Row and Guns n Roses

Initially I was worried about this gig. I heard that the performance the previous night had gone awry due to Axl Rose having a tantrum and storming off after three songs. However, Dan and I have a knack for seeing bands at the right time (we saw Nine Inch Nails before they cancelled a show and threw a tantrum in Melbourne) and they did not disappoint.
We arrived at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre, freezing our nipples off. “YOU’RE IN THE JUNGLE, BABY!” squealed a group of already-pissed Guns n Roses fans.
We counted 15 mullets just walking from my car into the entertainment centre. There were too many bandanas to count. I felt like I had stepped into the 80’s.

Rose Tattoo was on first. I’ll borrow Dan’s remarks on the performance – “Not bad for an old fart”. Angry Anderson was in his form, passionately ranting about freedom in Australia and calling everybody his brothers and sisters. Share the love indeed.
Skid Row was next. Sebastian Bach burst on stage, glorious, Pantene-commercial-worthy hair swishing about and donning a pair of rather tight leather trousers. He bounced and ran about the stage with the energy of a little child. His scream was perfect. “You might recognise this next song,” he said, “because it’s on our myspace page. Oh my god, I can’t believe I just said that.”

A punch-up in the middle of the moshpit made Sebastian halt the song to hurl abuse at the person causing the fight. “We’re here to have fun and have a good time, you motherfucking cocksucker!” he screamed.
He demanded a security guard cart him outside. “Everybody say goodbyyyeee!” said Sebastian. We cheered. I decided I was in love.

Sebastian Bach is a man who takes matters into his own hands.

I occasionally froze, my jaw open, whenever the guitarists played a face-melting solo – which was EVERY time. “Musicgasm,” I explained to Dan.

Then the moment of glory came. Skid Row exited and roadies fiddled about on stage. Another platform with a shining drumkit was revealed. Dan and I munched Maltesers and gripped each other in enthusiasm. How romantic.
The lights dropped and so did my stomach, as though I was jumping off a cliff. We proceeded to wet our pants with excitement.
A dramatic orchestral number boomed from the stage. What the hell was going on? Was this some kind of horrible song from the new album? Had Axl Rose turned into a pretentious prick and turned Guns n Roses into some DNA-mutated experimental band?
It faded into silence, which segued into the opening riff to “Welcome to the Jungle.” I more or less did a back flip in my chair in excitement as a little white spotlight shone on Guns n Roses’s new guitarist, who was wearing a hat vaguely reminiscent of Slash’s. Fireworks shot out and things exploded.

Axl and Sebastian. (Photo from Guns n Roses's myspace) (Lol, myspace)

Another expectation I had was that Axl Rose’s performance may be somewhat lacklustre. Axl Rose is, after all, an ageing rockstar who has consumed a fair few illicit substances in his time. I expected him to walk onto the stage, clutching the microphone like a life boat and croak out Guns n Roses’s hits in a decrepit fashion.
I was proved wrong as Axl ran onstage, welcoming me to the jungle. I was delighted to see that he could still do the wiggly dance he does in the “Sweet Child of Mine” video clip. He ran around the stage, jumping and leaping, even unexpectedly mounting his piano. Axl has indeed still got it.

Unfortunately, the guitarists were quite disappointing. One was quite good, but the other two proceeded to butcher various guitar solos. You may know of the technique called “tapping” – it’s basically when a guitarist uses both hands to press on notes on the neck. The introduction to AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” is a good example. Tapping sounds impressive and tricky, but I can do it, therefore it can’t be too hard at all. Anyway, it only sounds good when used at the right time. The Skid Row guitarists got it right, putting in subtle flourishes when needed. The new Guns n Roses guitarists did this to excess. “Stuff this,” I said. “I can do that.”
They were the experts of fancy guitar tricks, but not much else. The guitarists were given ample time to show off as Axl kept disappearing backstage. God knows what he was doing. Dan thinks he was drinking; I think he had a bad case of the runs and needed to poo quite badly. Perhaps the poor fellow had been slipped a laxative!

Highlights were “Knocking out Heaven’s Door”, “Sweet Child of Mine”, “Patience” and Sebastian Bach returning onstage for a duet. Unfortunately, one of my other favourite Gunners songs, “November Rain”, was horribly butchered – the drums were too fast and one of the bad guitarists took it upon himself to change one of the solos. Sacrilege, I say!
The show ended with “Paradise City”, with more fireworks and red confetti exploding everywhere. I left feeling warm and fuzzy as Dan and I ranted and raved in excitement on our way back to the car. A good night was had by all.


More photos of the Valley Shenanigans will be uploaded as soon as Georgia gets off her lazy bum and sends them to me.

Past posts