Played an Infinite Justice show in Vegas at the Bunkhouse, December 26th.
It is always a pleasure to play in that band, which is almost a supergroup, as it consists of, besides me: Rod Pardey of Romance Fantasy on guitar and vox, Jesse Harvel of Eleven Thousand on bass, and Clayton Scrivner (my dear brother) of The Rodeo Boys on drums.
This time around we added Kevin Brewer to the usual line-up and, as last time, Ryan McIlvaine came up on stage for our standard cover, Pavement’s “Grounded.”
The best thing about Infinite Justice is that we are all usually just blowing through town all transient-like for a one-off gig. Normally, I’m in London, Clayton’s in Salt Lake, Rod’s in Austin. So when we meet up we only have enough time to address the needs of each song, and no time for the usual band ego-politics. We practiced two-and-a-half times after a two-year hiatus, and played to a pretty packed house about 6 or 7 songs. Well done, n’est ce pas?
This gig soaked up extra special status because it fell one day before Clayton’s betrothalment. He and Chelsea, after dating for 11 years, decided to do a spur-of-the-moment Vegas drive-thru wedding on the 27th, just a day after and a few blocks away from the Bunkhouse gig. The gig thus doubled as a bachelor party/reception.
Indeed, in the lead-up to the show, Rod, Ryan (Pardey) and Clayton grew intent on making bachelor-party-esque mischief. We spent a few days lurking around downtown, up to no good, Infinite Justice style.
Well, back to the gig itself. The first band Zeusophobia was alright–a theremin-fuelled indie techno orchestra with duct-taped Speak-n-Spells and whatnot. The next band was Blue Vino. (Shall I remain silent when I have nothing good to say about a band? Uh. I guess that about says it).
Then we took the stage at last. Rod and I did a duet a la Dean Martin and Ricky Nelson, the smooth cowboy anthem from the film Rio Bravo, “My Rifle, My Pony, and Me.” Then we played a new one from Rod, called “San Antone” and then an Inviolet Row standard that I had resurrected a few weeks before at a show in Glasgow, “Clothes.”
Then Ryan got up and did some Halloween Town tunes. He had been recording with Mark Stoermer and some guys from Louis XIV. Ryan gave me a personal tour through the tunes a few days before as we drove through the back streets of downtown, roundabout the El Cortez (where recently he had been living, according to rumor, legend, folklore). The tunes sounded great live, backed up by a friend of his whose name I forget. Ryan’s three songs were followed by a song by Bryan Todd.
Then Infinite Justice took the stage again and Ryan (McV) joined us while Rod took a break to rope up some strays. We played “Grounded,” with Jesse and Ryan on guitars and myself on bass. Then Rod came back for another Rod song (a great new one called “Quicksand”) and ended with a tune Kevin and I recently wrote called “The Row (You Won’t Forget Your Love).”
The gig was especially memorable because it was attended by lots of family and friends whom I had not seen in, in some cases, years: My youngest brother Jordan, my sis Katie, high school friends Ian Pugh and Danny Kucan, Vegas mates Jack and Corlene and Jesse and Roxie and Monica, et al.
Looking forward to polishing more songs and delivering an ever-more-stellar set. Till next time, friends, fans, and lovers.