In the shadows of a cocaine skyline, in the bitter freeze of winter, with fewer than a legion of supporters, and a raging douchenozzle hellbent on destruction ...
That shit was off the chain. Here's some of what we saw.
Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds cut loose with an AC/DC "Back In Black" cover that saw the singer tear off her jacket.
Inside and upstairs, the Road's cash-only bar was doing fast bidness in $3 beers, and anything else with alcohol in it.
The Politix, like Art Official and Mayday before them, blasted the room with jazz and hip-hop.
And it was good.
Back outside on the small stage, Radioboxer brought the spirit of Hialeah, and lead singer Vanessa dance on the pavement with a big head monkey.
She also smashed a glass, spit blood, danced in a smoke bomb, threw flower petals, ripped off her shirt, did pushups, wore flags, changed costumes, fucked with the crowd, and said shit like, "Bitches be crazy." Her band was right there with her, rocking. And by the end of the set, the crowd was screaming their name.
And then around 1 a.m. in the coldest, darkest, far side of the parking lot, Fishbone got transcendentally fucking awesome. But...
Ey, no disrespect to the festival makers (and sure, that extra outdoor stage, lights, and soundboard probably weren't cheap), but damn, yo, the band should have played inside. This shit was crazy, but that shit would have been crazy. And to the douchebag in the condo who was crying to the police about the volume, eat a bowl of dicks.
Fishbone came out easy skankin' and heavy-bass. They kicked off with some reggae, and got the crowd smoking and moving.
They sounded like a Studio One band straight out of Trenchtown.
The trumpet man MC-ed the show and kept the energy live between songs.
And Angelo Moore's saxophone sounded like a Pacific Ocean of burning liquid concrete and syrup rolling on an ocean floor of pancakes.
Norwood Fisher's bass had more slap and funk than a year of Rihanna and Chris Brown.
The dude sounded like Michael Jordan was running across his fretboard. Like Kelly Slater in a rip curl. Like an infinite loop of a Tony Hawk 900. Never heard such great bass playing in real life.
The music rang out hit after unstoppable hit, running through the history of American sound like a jukebox time machine. Fishbone styled on Muscle Shoals, Philly, and Chicago, Sam & Dave, and '60s Motown. They sounded like good time Charlie Brown, a Carolina beach jam, live on WLAC, Harlem, Curtis, Chuck Berry, Funkadelic, and the JBs at a frat house, a row house, a juke house, and a shine house. Professional than a motherfucker and they made it look easy. They are way beyond a punk band. But they even did that too.
LEBO painted through it all.
People drank and got fucked up. So cold out, they needed whiskey transfusion.
But the crowd stayed with it and the band did too.
Stopping only to fire up with the people. Weed motherfucker. Weed. Legalize it.
And 45 minutes, an hour, two hours went by.
And the energy took over.
Avalanches of it.
And whoever was there got to see, hear, and feel 35 years of space waves flying faster than a sonic boom off a burning rock in Russia.
Furious tsunamis of soul.
That shit was like brain yoga, on acid. Were we in the Himalayas? Was this the most high you could get? Did you peel back your skull and let the waves crash into you?
Or was it just another winter concert in a parking lot?
Who the fuck knows.
But at least it was fun. And...
This guy bid $1500 for charity to buy the LEBO painting. Signed by Fishbone.
And just like that...
They were gone.
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