at the Glam Slam, Mason
Phoenix AZ USA
Nostalgia is a weird thing. I keep a small wooden box on my dresser which contains various souvenirs left behind from past romances. When the hinged lid is opened, there's a pair of panties, a garter belt, bracelets, and even aCanadian coin. Sometimes I wonder if I should throw this shit away because it's old and irrelevant. Conversely, these objects bring back those old feelings of unrestricted good times and raw lust. This is the same reaction I get from the Glam Slam event, which is held in Phoenix AZ about every three months. It's the brainchild of Psycho Gypsy and their manager that became a reality when they convinced a club owner that a "retro 80s glam rock night" would pack the club and sell lots of booze. The shows are held appropriately at the Mason Jar
Niteclub. The Mason Jar is the dingy and slightly worn survivor venue that has remained intact despite the shifting trends in rock nightlife. They still book the bands who formerly sold out arenas and stadiums ten years ago. Several attempts have been made to "modernize" the place but this is a stubborn establishment with a sense of loyalty to its metalhead clientele. The sound system is a little muddy and if you're looking for drugs or sex, this is the place to be.
Faithful to the Mason Jar tradition, the show was opened by several garage bands who are basically just background noise generators to my ears. Finally, after I'd had the opportunity to guzzle about 3 bottles of Corona, Foxy Roxx tookthe stage. Most readers will probably be familiar with their 1994 CD "Shake the Foundation." The CD is a mediocre album with sporadic moments of anthem glory that clearly shows a band with an identity crisis. In a live environment, Foxy Roxx does not disappoint! The stage was veiled with a sheet of opaque plastic before the band went on. When they jumped up on the stage, singer Tony Starlin
spray painted the Foxy Roxx manifest "Stay Glam, Be Cool" then tore the sheet down as the band launched into their recent song "Mixed Up World." The group's sound has evolved into a Twisted Sister cum Ramones style. They have taken the venom of the best punk rock while staying true to the "rock and roll all night, party every day" ideology. They're not too metal and they've steered clear of anal musicianship. This band displays top-notch showmanship and lots of energy, which contemporary music so badly lacks. They gave a final salute to the Reagan years by closing the set with a cover of Poison's "Fallen Angel" but I think their set easily proved that they're not STUCK in that era.
I can't imagine having the overwhelming responsibility of headlining a show with Foxy Roxx on the bill. After being blown off the stage by them last year, PsychoGypsy were certainly more prepared this time. The musicianship has improved very much since the early Glam Slam shows and they have more pyro gear and lights as well. If you're unfamiliar with Psycho Gypsy, they are best described as the perfect cartoon metal band. These guys are ALWAYS dressed like rock stars! They remind me of the old days, hanging out in Kentucky trailer parks. My friends had the Motley Crue and W.A.S.P. posters tacked up on the wood grain Masonite walls. There was always some heavy metal anthem blaring from the Soundesign speakers. The guys in Psycho Gypsy are still living in the era when Bold Hold hairspray was still doing big business. They certainly strut around in retro territory but there's always the unconditional guarantee of a good time. The spirit and camaraderie generated by this band is unbelievable. They are always surrounded by an entourage of friends and groupies who are looking for kicks. Raise your fists in the air and yell out "FUCK THE P.M.R.C!!!!!" when Psycho Gypsy comes to your town. It may be an outdated gesture but it sure is a blast.
By Jay Smith