Concert Reviews

Bender’s Ball

The bouncer on stage did a decent Axl Rose impression -- complete with bandanna. “All we need is just a little patience,” he sang into the karaoke mic. In the room next door, a DJ mixed Stevie Wonder’s “Uptight (Everything’s Alright)” with “Sweet Child O’ Mine."

It could only be Night of the Living Shred, Bender’s Tavern’s Thursday-night blow-out that won Westword’s “Best Club Night” for 2008 (as well as “Best Club Night for Hooking Up” in 2007). By midnight, the joint at 314 East 13th Avenue was jumping.

But when 1:35 a.m. rolled around, the same bouncer who’d sung “Patience” proved that he practiced what he preached. After giving last call, he and his colleagues were the friendliest people-thrower-outers I can remember encountering (the ones that I don’t remember probably weren’t that friendly).

Even when a dumb drunk threw a cue ball at him, Mr. Rose stayed calm -- and had him out of the bar faster than that cue ball had flown across the room.– Luke Turf

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Joel Warner is a former staff writer for Westword and International Business Times. He's also written for WIRED, Men's Journal, Men's Health, Bloomberg Businessweek, Popular Science, Slate, Grantland and many other publications. He's co-author of the 2014 book The Humor Code: A Global Search for What Makes Things Funny, published by Simon & Schuster.
Contact: Joel Warner

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