Adventure in Old Ventura

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Here's my first written article of the school year. It's a review of the Bloodhound Gang concert I went to on October 9.

Last week my roommate suggested that we catch the Bloodhound Gang concert over in Ventura. He said the live show he went to in Iowa was the best damn show he’d ever seen. While not one to take any Iowan at face value, let alone one that ran in last year’s A.S. presidential race, I’m a casual fan of the Gang and felt it would be worthwhile to validate this hyperbole. On Sunday night we grabbed our balding friend and his newly-dyed clone to make the trek to Ventura. We even tried to kidnap a CSO but he jumped out of the moving vehicle. If still not evidently clear, this was going to be a night of hilarity. Walking into the Ventura Theater with its quasi-classy dŽcor and seeing the banner with “Bloodhound Gang” written on top of a crossed out “Metallica” served as a warning for those without a Bam Margera-esque sense of humor. Say what you will about the juvenile and politically incorrect lyrics found in songs like “I Wish I Was Queer So I Could Get Chicks,” but the Bloodhound Gang definitely knows how to have a good time. The concert was meant to promote their new album Hefty Fine but the Gang quickly dropped their set list to let the audience pick which songs they wanted to hear. The songs spanned from the rocking “Magna Cum Nada” to the electronic “Uhn Tiss Uhn Tiss Uhn Tiss.” Out of the blue they even incorporated some Franz Ferdinand and Jay-Z into their songs. I was surprised when the band took a break for five minutes only to come out wearing helmets with drums attached to them. Drummer Willie the New Guy then played on the bands’ heads for “You’re Pretty When I’m Drunk.”

Listening to their live music wouldn’t have been as much fun without the band’s onstage antics. Lead singer Jimmy Pop shook his ass in front of super-masculine bassist Evil Jared, which kicked off a spitting contest between the two. This was a challenge as to who could spit the nastiest loogie at the other person during the most inopportune moment. They even asked the audience to get involved. Not one to quench his thirst from a deluge of saliva, Evil Jared later grabbed a beer bong full of Jagermeister and downed it in a mere couple of seconds. One of the band’s common routines is to offer an audience member a hundred dollars to pull off a dare. This time it was to strip naked and dance at the back of the theater. One burly volunteer stepped up to the dare and was immediately taken away by security. The moment things started to mellow, the roadies would proceed to slingshot merchandise or kick dozens of beach balls at the audience. There was never a lull in energy at any point of the show.

The Ventura show was less of a concert as it was an four-hour long party. I may have started as a casual fan but now I listen to the Bloodhound Gang’s songs everyday. The best shows are the ones where the band isn’t trying to take themselves too seriously.


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