Tag Archive for Hotel Vegas

1/10/13…Borrisokane @ Hotel Vegas

Hotel Vegas

Hotel Vegas

I have literally been in hibernation for months.  I finally started to shake off my aversion for going out and pushed myself out the door to see my friends in Borrisokane.  It really felt good to get out of my house.  I got to their show a little late and unfortunately only saw part of their set.  These guys are such troopers.  Almost all of them were sick with the flu, yet there they were plugging away.  I could tell they didn’t have 100% of their energy, but considering the circumstances, they still put on a great show.  They have added another member to the band, a violinist/trumpeter, which was a nice surprise.  He really added another dimension to their music.  I kinda loved it; especially the horn playing on their Wings cover.  I was incredibly pleased to see such a nice crowd there while they were playing.  There were friendly faces and new faces, which is what I really love to see.  The more this band gets out there to play, the more fans they will convert.  I’ve always been very certain of this and I still am.  Can’t wait to see what else they have up their sleeves.  I definitely will continue supporting them wholeheartedly!!!  Bring on Borrisokane!!

10/20/12…East Side Bar Crawl

East Side

When I got the message from my friend of over 20 years that she & her husband would be spending their 10th Wedding Anniversary in Austin, I was thrilled.  I hadn’t seen them in about 3 years (the last time I was in Chicago) and I hadn’t been in great contact with her.  But thankfully, she’s the type of friend that no matter how much time goes by, we always pick up just where we left off.  And that’s just what we did.  Without enough notice to request time off, I knew I’d be working the whole time they were in, so I decided the day I would like to devote to them would be Saturday night.  They got in on Thursday and started touring the different areas of Austin that she had heard about:  6th Street, South Congress, etc.  I asked her to save the East Side for me because I knew they would like that area as much as I do.  She had also told me that she was dying to hear some Rockabilly so I scouted out what looked like a pretty decent, female-fronted band, Devil’s Daughters.  According to their Facebook page, their show started at 8pm at Club 606.  So the three of us (Violet, Greg, & I) met up at their hotel and then moseyed over for some food at Old School on 6th street.

Making up for lost time at Old School

Making up for lost time at Old School

I had a damn good burger, while Violet & Greg munched on a chicken fried steak & wings, respectively.  It felt great hanging out and catching up with them over dinner.  I miss that type of friendship connection.  I just don’t have that with anyone here in Austin.  We got done with dinner a little late and by around 8:45 we were in front of Club 606.  The weird thing was that it was closed.  WTF??  I swore the set time was 8!!  Well, we were obviously not getting in there, so we walked across the street to possibly check out whoever was playing at Red 7.  They both liked the sound of that band.  Unfortunately, they weren’t open yet either, it was just the band sound checking.  So then, we just decided to trek over to the East Side and begin our Bar Crawl.  The first bar we encountered was Shangri La.

Artsy shot of us at Shangri La

Artsy shot of us at Shangri La

I had never been in there because it doesn’t have live music.  But I liked it immediately.  It has a very retro feel, down to the jewel-red vinyl booth in the corner.  The bar staff was friendly and the jukebox was jammin’.  This was definitely our kind of place.  We all loved it.

The whole gang at Shangri La

The whole gang at Shangri La

Violet and I each had a drink with whipped cream vodka.  YUMMY!!  It tasted like a chocolate martini, but on ice…nice!  After one drink and more catching up, we decided to keep on walking.  I had always intended to take them into Hotel Vegas because I knew there would be some live music.  I really wanted to slip in to Volstead Lounge (Hotel Vegas’ next door neighbor) but it was closed till midnight due to a private party.  BOO!!!  So off we went into Hotel Vegas.  Greg got excited by the video games.  So while Violet and I sat at the bar and chatted, he was off to the races.  He came back after the band had started playing.  This band called Jones was a little strange.  It was a four-piece and the lead singer, who had a baseball hat on with a clothes pin on it, was a trip!!  He was just all over the place.  At one point some guy in the audience asked for his vocals to be turned up, & the lead singer was like, “What??  Who cares??”  OMG!!  Then his hat came off and he had the clothes pin in his hair like a barrette.  What a weirdo.  Violet & I both agreed that we could not classify this band’s music.  It was kinda fun, but nothing I would have chosen to see on my own.  There’s Austin for ya…hit or miss.  Anyway, once Violet realized that she would never be able to finish her nasty drink, the bar’s special of the night, we decided to head out to the next spot.  I had never walked further than Hotel Vegas, but one of Greg’s buddies had recommended The Grackle, which was just a couple of blocks away.  From the outside, it looks like nothing more than a beer garden, but once inside you have a full-on bar space.  It totally reminded me of the 70s for some reason.  I don’t know if it was the decor or just the way the space was built out, but it definitely took me back a few decades.  It was cool & Greg just loved it.  We stayed there for a little while, talking and letting Greg enjoy another local brew.  Then Violet asked if we could go back to Red 7 and maybe check out the band we had heard sound checking earlier.  I said, oh yeah!  So we headed back.  Before we got back, we stopped next to Cheer Up Charlie’s where there are a load of food trucks so my friends could check out the local cuisine.  You can’t come to Austin and NOT eat from a food truck.   I forgot to mention that we had also picked up some dude on the way back that we had met at Shangri La.  He was a lot more wasted by now though.  Ay ay ay!  Just when I thought we would be saddled with him, Violet gracefully found our exit strategy.  And after she & Greg were done eating we made our way back to Red 7.  Unfortunately, there was no band playing yet and the cover was a little high for us to just spend 30 minutes in there, so we decided to call it a night.  As much as I wanted to spend the rest of the night out with them, I also had to work early the next morning.     So we walked back to my car and I drove them back to their hotel.  It was sad to say goodbye, but I look forward to seeing them again, hopefully when they come back for another visit to Austin.

 

 

1/28/12…Nameless Horses @ Hotel Vegas

Hotel Vegas

Hotel Vegas

So it was back to the East Side tonight.  I was excited to get back over there and see a different part of this cool neighborhood.  Once I got down there and started looking for parking, I was quickly disappointed.  It took me way longer to find a spot than I thought it would.  In fact, I had no idea that this side of Austin had become such a destination spot.  I guess I’m a little behind.  I’ll have to scope out a secret parking spot for the next time I come down here.    Once I finally got into Hotel Vegas, I took a quick look around.  Nameless Horses was already on stage playing so I didn’t want to miss too much more of their show.  The main room is actually pretty small.  In fact, it’s so small that the sound was sometimes overwhelming.  The stage is directly to your right as you walk in  and there’s a small area of floor space to watch the band.  The bar is along the far right wall inside the same space as the stage.  There’s also a couch and a couple of stadium seats along the back wall.  I think my favorite part of this place is the “living room” that connects to the main room.  There’s a makeshift sound area in here with a cut-out window in the wall so the sound guy can see the stage.  There are also easy chairs and a couch to hang out.  If you keep walking back there is a backyard with some picnic tables.  It looks like it could be cool when it’s nice out.  I could see potential.  There was another band playing next door in a tented area which I could totally hear, so if you didn’t care for the band playing in Hotel Vegas, you could go out to the backyard and get a free listen of what’s playing at the bar next door. lol  But I wasn’t there to hear that band, I was there to listen to Nameless Horses, so I made my way back to the stage.  The bar was not that crowded when I first came in, but more and more people were walking in as Nameless Horses was playing.  There were definitely people there to see them specifically.  I could tell by their enthusiasm.  There were two dancing-girls, in particular, that were very into the show.  I’ll call them “Swaying Hippy Girl” and “Hippity Hop Dancer”.  They were quite entertaining.  It took me a minute to kinda figure this band out.  Basically, they’re a very guitar driven band.  It’s four guys:  a vocalist/guitarist, drummer, bassist, & lead guitarist.  It was the lead guitarist’s playing that first stood out to me.  He really made that guitar sing.  He was great!  There were some bluesy inflections to his playing, but I have to be honest, the sound of this band really evoked the 90s grunge era for me.  But I’m not talking Nirvana or Soundgarden, I’m talking Mother Love Bone & Screaming Trees.  Not sure that that’s what they’re going for, but that’s what I got from them and I actually really liked it.  Their songs are long, but the playing really draws you in. These guys JAM!! My favorite song was the second to last one they played.  The drummer went B-A-N-A-N-A-S, and I say that in a good way.  They were all just going nuts at the end of the song.  I loved it!  I almost wish they had ended the set with that one because it was so powerful.  The last song they did, while I could see it as a crowd-pleaser and a way to get the audience involved, was not as strong.  I’m not sure the band realizes that the song before that is the song they should close with.  Again, this is just my opinion.  I did like this band.  They made me forget how tired I was and that I had to work really early the next day.  So for just a moment they swept me away, which is why I LOVE live music!