There’s this great story about the Atlanta band Mastodon.
Standing on the red carpet for the 2015 Grammy Awards, dressed in a full L.A. Dodgers uniform, guitarist Brent Hinds was trolling reporters by telling them he had just came from late night practice with the Dodgers and that he “only hits home runs.” Then he dropped a bag full of underwear, money and weed. After refusing to pick it up when asked, he was subsequently kicked out of the Grammys, allegedly.
That’s essentially the story of El-Rocko’s 5th Anniversary Party, except no one kicked Brent Hinds out.
Five years ago, Rocko’s original design leaned more towards cocktail lounge than rock ’n’ roll bar, but supply and demand (and ambitious staff members coupled with owner Wes Daniel’s music appreciation background) has driven it in a different direction.
This is probably true: For the first time in America in over a year a six-band bill, mixing Atlanta and Savannah bands, was put together with former Jinx staff slinging drinks behind the gold-flaked fancy bar, to celebrate five years of Wes’ Rock Lounge.
Savannah’s Basically Nancy and Atlanta’s Sporrs opened a 5 p.m. show (!) with some stellar punk/garage rock before local legends Reverend Bro. Diddley and The Hips played a killer set of psychedelic/indie rock. All great stuff, but the next band brought the madness that made the night.
The moment UPCHUCK struck the first chord, the first mosh pit in America in a year (also probably true) started. At the center of the dance floor a tornado formed, fed by ruckus hardcore punk, that nearly tore the place down.
Midway through UPCHUCK’s set, the floors were bowing and the rafters were literally swinging as water sprayed in all directions from unknown, unseen sources. Larry Jack made a home in the middle of it. It was almost like everyone there had spent a year locked inside not moshing. The pit even got political. Because everything is political. (Except this post).
After a nice recess for the floor and rafters, Brent Hinds, not dressed in a Dodgers’ uniform, sat in with the 4th Ward Afro Klezmer Orchestra and then manned the electric guitar for his project West End Motel to finish out the night. Around 1 a.m., frontman Tom Cheshire was just getting warmed up as West End Motel bounced through their best hits, officially declaring late night shows back in Savannah.
El-Rocko is, apparently, where rock now happens in Savannah and no one cares what’s in your bag, man.
Happy Birthday you beautiful bastard.
Here’s Tom Cartmel with some photos: