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January 12, 2007

Night at the Truckstop

You can probably imagine the debauchery that's sure to ensue when a lineup includes bands named Roadkill Kings, Trucker Up, The Cheatin' Kind, and Saints of the Gutter. Throw all those bands together at Alex's Bar (the only So Cal bar I'm aware of that's cool enough to have Shiner Bock on tap) on a Thursday night, and the picture in your mind only gets worse.

The reality of the night exceeded any of those expectations. Where else can you find an LA truckstop girl (complete with mini-skirt, leather jacket, and cowboy boots with stiletto heels?!), a guy so drunk that just when you're convinced he's about to pass out he asks you exactly how much do draft beers cost here anyway, and a traffic accident that involves a fire hydrant, four (five?) cars, and floods East Anaheim Street? Only during the country night at Alex's.

The music started a little after 9pm, with the fabulous honky-tonk sounds of the Roadkill Kings. They're a great band, but broke the unspoken rule that if you're going to cover a variety of songs, you should only cover one song per artist, and not perform two songs by Hank 3, and especially not two songs by Hank 3 from the same album. However, they redeemed themselves in my eyes with their last song, which they dedicated to anyone who has "a dream."

(At this moment in time, the Widowmaker of Trucker Up looks around and announces, "Nobody here's got a dream! You see any dreams here? I don't see any dreams here. I see a couple of nightmares over there!")

They started playing a ballad, which I thought was terrible - I'm all about inspiring songs, but who the hell closes their show with a ballad?! No one thinks it's a good idea to put the crowd to sleep with your last song.

Then they started singing. And the opening line stopped me from yawning.

"Sherry was a waitress...."

It was at that point that, I LOST. MY. MIND.

It didn't matter that I was the only one reacting. It didn't matter that I was the only one who knew where they were going with this. It didn't matter that I was clearly the only one who recognized the opening lyric from Robert Earl Keen's "The Road Goes on Forever."

I cheered like there was no tomorrow.

Trucker Up, per usual, outdid themselves. I tell people that they shouldn't come to a Trucker Up show if they aren't real, true, hard-core country fans, or if they're easily offended, because Trucker Up offends everyone ("including hard-core country fans!" according to the Widowmaker). Thursday night, Trucker Up pulled no punches - and took shots at and offended not only their Merch Girl, but also female lead vocalist and guitarist Southbound Sandi. Why the Widowmaker isn't a star already baffles me.

Trucker Up's lead guitarist, the Kentucky Colonel, was double-clutching it that night, as he followed up Trucker Up's rable-rousing set with his "other" band The Cheatin' Kind, who rocked my world with my "always-favorite" cover of Tammy Wynette's "Your Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad." Saints of the Gutter wrapped up the show, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't like it when the lead singer grabbed his crotch. Nothing could have been more appropriate for a night like that.

I can't wait to go back. No, seriously, I can't wait. All shows should be that much fun.

Posted by darlin at January 12, 2007 7:27 PM