Fire‚ lingerie‚ standup slap bass‚ whiskey‚ fierce guitar solos and a howling throng of drunkards begging for more.
It was pure debauchery at its finest as Big John Bates and the Voodoo Dollz took the stage at the Pi Club‚ a shoebox venue with few chairs‚ lots of alcohol‚ blood-red painted walls‚ cage dancing and sticky floors that puts the "Wild" in Wild West.
If you were afraid of clowns as a kid‚ this whirlwind circus was not for you. It felt like a rollercoaster ride after eating two chilidogs and consuming a 32 oz. slushy. It was delicious‚ it was dizzying‚ it was full throttle and it almost had some nauseous at the cerebral bombardment this entourage creates with such ease.
Sometimes you felt in the midst of a gory Rob Zombie flick‚ sometimes in Cry-baby‚ or any other John Water's film for that matter. A sense of claustrophobia and insecurity arose as the curious and timid were thrust into the dark‚ yet enticing‚ underbelly of society.
Labeled as "punkbilly blues‚" the group sauntered in front of the anxious crowd and immediately jumped into their routine‚ which in this modern entertainment industry‚ is anything but routine.
With guitarist/lead singer Big John Bates (outfitted in a torn wifebeater‚ slicked back bleach-blond hair and pinstriped black slacks) at the helm‚ southern Goth queen sCare-oline (complete with half-sleeve tattoos and a thigh-high short skirt) conjured vibrations unseen in most bassists‚ as she abuses it to no end. Drummer/percussionist J.T. Brander anchors the trio with his Keith Moon mangling of the kit‚ dressed to the nines in his Blues Brothers attire (with sunglasses at night).
Bates‚ with his distorted punk vocals and deep southern blues twang‚ guides the listener along a road of broken hearts‚ dollar bill snorts‚ blacked-out nights and disoriented mornings at the handle of a bottle of Jack Daniels.
"Every night is Saturday night for us. You ready to dance and make some noise?" he shouted as the trio thrashed through melodies "Voodoo Barbeque" and "Train Wreck" among a multitude of tunes that made ears bleed‚ legs jump‚ arms flail and the Rock On! hand get rowdy.
Soon‚ the Voodoo Dollz enter stage right with their dance and sideshow act that parallels the melodies blasting from the stage.
A sense of lost culture and a forgotten definition of beauty make one truly appreciate the sight-for-sore-eyes broadcast in front.
Ringleader Little Miss Risk and associate Lil Luvroc command attention from the audience as they meander around the stage juggling fiery batons‚ jumping up and down in such a way their well-placed tassels spin clockwise‚ then counterclockwise. They tease and tantalize with their sometimes scantily clothed‚ sometimes topless burlesque antics carefully concealed by an array of feathers. It was tasteful yet scandalous‚ cultured yet wicked.
The standup bass was then laid on its side. Big John Bates straddled the instrument and proceeded to pour Jagermeister down sCare-oline's gullet as she lay across the outline of the instrument. A random audience member was brought up to take a drink as the girls ripped off his clothes and poured the "motor oil" a few feet above his mouth.
An ironic cover of the Dead Kennedys' "Too Drunk to Fuck" took the production to its final climax. With cheap whiskey filling glasses‚ and eventually stomachs‚ many felt they probably were too drunk to actually do the deed as bodies careened off each other in the pit and heads wobbled from the copious amounts of booze flowing through their veins.
Those onstage and in the pit wiped the sweat from their face and the finished their drinks before wandering out into the crisp Wyoming night.
"We are trying to release inner sexual frustration‚" Risk said afterwards. "We wanted to kick this town in the ass. I'd be getting arrested for what I do‚ but for me‚ this is my anger management. It's better than therapy could ever be. The more people respond‚ the more I'm egged on. We want to give you something you've never see before."
And you did‚ Little Miss Risk. You did.
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