Seeing Hot Hot Heat after the Rockies lose a tie-breaker.
I’ve always wondered if sports or music impact my life more. Both are my two main escapes and give my idle brain something to do. Whenever someone is nice enough to employ me and stick me in front of a computer, I spend equal time wasting away their investment reading about both. But last night, for the first time I can remember, they went head to head against each other; Hot Hot Heat at the Gothic and the tie-breaker Rockies game against San Diego.
I stuck around my apartment with a couple of friends until the last possible minute to go to the show. I left just as the game went into extra innings and instructed my buddy Tom to text me when anything happened. I arrived as the last opening band finished and realized I was not alone in my situation. Half of the guys there were anxiously staring down their cell phones waiting for an update. After groups of moans when San Diego hit a home run in the 13th and a collective eruption of cheers when the Rockies won, Hot Hot Heat took the stage.
The Canadian band put on a solid set with few surprises for the joyous crowd. The group’s jagged guitars and caffeinated, bouncy vocals remained intact throughout the hour and a half they played. All of their songs do sound similar, but in small doses that’s fine with me. Because it was a Monday night, the Rockies game was in extra innings and a Westword ad* that promised the wrong venue, the Gothic was shockingly deserted. I’m talking Jason Wade from Lifehouse playing a solo show at an S&M parlor empty.
Overall, the gig felt like an above-average band playing a house party 45 minutes after the keg got kicked and the cops have already come once. Not bad, but it felt like it was much cooler to be somewhere else. One positive thing about the weeding out process was only die-hard fans showed up. A tall enthusiast in a baseball cap standing next to me constantly reminded the band with slurred shouts that he was, in fact, a firm believer in “Hot Hot Heat for Life!”
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The newer songs off of Happiness LTD resonated with me the most. I have not bought the CD yet mainly because I hate the title -- it reminds me of something a group of stoned junior high kids thinks up when trying to be existential. But on this particular night, the slightly more downtrodden songs fit the hollow venue much better than the up-beat older tracks, even if they all sounded like less catchy versions of "Bandages."
Lead singer Steve Bays did everything he could to act like he was having the time of his life by routinely prancing around the stage and jumping up and down. He has definite charisma and seems like a nice dude in real life. The “crowd” also hung on every word he sang and had a good time. I personally enjoyed myself, but couldn’t get over the feeling that the band will only be remembered down the road on some over-priced nostalgic ‘indie’ CD advertised on late-night TV. But hey, fuck it, go Rockies. --Gene Davis
Personal Bias: I wished I was watching the Rockies kick-ass finish. Random Detail: The Gothic bar tender makes an uber-stiff Beam and Coke. Nice. By the Way: My heart goes out to anyone else who thought the show was going to be at the Ogden because of the advertisement in Westword.**
*The ad came to us that way, but we are sorry about the misprint. **The Live Nation ad was correct, as was the listing. But everyone involved sincerely apologizes for the other ad and any inconvenience it may have caused.