Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A New Sweet and Tender Hooligan

 Sweet and Tender Hooligans at Anaheim House of Blues

My nephew, Cody, attends school at Tustin High, where Roland and I teach. Yes, I know it must be a "boost" to his social life! Lately Cody has been riding with me, Miguel and Oliver in the mornings to school and naturally, I listen to Morrissey or The Smiths every now and again. Naturally. Cody said that he liked Morrissey's music especially Years of Refusal having never heard of The Smiths or Morrissey before. As a Christmas present and to encourage an awesome taste in music, I took him to see the Sweet and Tender Hooligans at the House of Blues in Anaheim. Roland and I decided to see them again during our break. Let me rephrase that: I decided that we were going.

It must be a nightmare being married to someone like me sometimes.

The gig was in Anaheim so no adventure stories trying to get there. No detectable wierdos. Pretty dull.

The Sweet and Tender Hooligans were supported by a Depeche Mode tribute band called Strangelove.  They were excellent. Technically, they had every move and every note and piece of syth equipment down-just like DM. Problem: its no longer the 80's and Depeche Mode seems kind of boring for an hour or more. They are very "of their time" in my opinion.

Let's face it. How many times can you watch Dave Gahan twirl around with a microphone stand? I kept waiting for him to accidentally hit one of his band mates. I kept imagining it. Not quite hoping.

On the other hand, DM were extremely popular in Southern California back in the day. The audience at Anaheim HOB seemed to know the words to nearly every song.

Gig Legs
It was difficult watching Cody, a mere seventeen year old, at his first gig hanging onto the wall so that he could stay on his feet. It made me impressed with my own 46 year-old legs and feet. That they were seemingly stronger!! My gig legs.

We were kind of situated near a corner by the bar and a door leading to the stage, I guess. It had a pretty good view, but the down side was that everyone and their dog had to pass by us to get to the bar. It was an All Ages event and we saw a child or two younger than Oliver there but I couldn't imagine taking anyone younger than Cody unless they had such a keen interest in Morrissey and the Smiths that they could withstand the noise, the drunkeness and the debachery.

The gig itself was like one big singalong with fellow Morrissey/Smiths people. Jose Maldonado is a spot on performer and the band is obviously extremely talented. Jose has a great voice and he dances like Morrissey used to back when we were younger. I wanted to dance like that again, but I was self-conscious. My gig legs could do it though, I'm sure.

Roland and Cody leaning on the wall

A good tribute band gig is like receiving Holy Communion. I've noted this before when seeing this band. Its like all the lonely people have crawled out of their holes and decided to not be so lonely for an hour or so. Not in a sad way. In a celebratory way. Its reassuring to know that lyrics like Morrissey's speak to so many people. And you aren't alone in your identification with the meanings.

While it was awesome for me, I am not sure what Cody made of it all. He does not know the lyrics to any of the songs except for Throwing My Arms Around Paris. Although I think he appreciated it, it was not great fun for him. He really did have a hard time staying on his feet.

Therefore, we ended up leaving a little early so that I could get my coat easily from the coat check and we could get out of the parking lot without hassles. On our way out, I spotted the performer from Strangelove who impersonates Martin Gore. He had on an amazing outfit and he kindly let me take a photo with him. Wish you could see his shoes in the photo.

We complemented his voice since he really does have a fantastic one, only to learn later that he is a classically trained opera singer. I am glad we complemented him, but he probably knows this already.
Me with Brent, otherwise known as Martin

Love Ya, Jose. But . . .
I only have one tiny bit of criticism for Jose of Sweet and Tender Hooligans: when addressing a crowd from the OC, instead of changing the words in Hairdresser on Fire from "all around Sloane Square" to "all around Manhatten Beach", maybe say "Newport Beach" instead. Its not a big deal, but it shows awareness of our plight as people in the OC. Trust me, we exist and have existed next to some snobby- ass rich people. You don't need to drive clear to Los Angeles to find them!

Dance with Morrissey
I began to think of my Morrissey fantasy. Strange as it may sound I just want to dance with him in that twisty Smiths/80s kind of way. Perhaps one day . . .
Inspired Dancing by Jose Maldonado

Not So Shriney
So. it was interesting finding out that Moz did not enjoy singing to a "mass of hair" at the Shrine-according to True to You.net. Morrissey's official website. I was so overjoyed to simply be there and then wondered why there was no encore. Well, I know now. Its understandable. Interesting to get a new perspective.

Merry Christmas
My family had a very Merry Christmas and hope you did too! 

1 comment:

  1. I love this article, Willo -- you've a great style that I admire. It would be a blast to attend a concert with you some day.