Thursday, January 28, 2010

Fight Night with Pistolero and Friends

Highway patrol, police units; they are roaming in packs tonight, taking down anyone they can in sight, trying to make their Christmas quota to receive their bonuses. Alcohol checkpoints are set up all over the county, including right down the street from La Cave in Costa Mesa. Take the back roads, lay low, and finally take a space in the steakhouse parking lot. The crowd is mixed at the show tonight. Techno DJ’s, a metal band, and a surf punk group will serve as the combination for the perfect storm in the red cave on this warm December night.

Downstairs, the bar is full with replicas of dudes and the chicks that orbit around them. On the dance floor, youth are treated to a feast of house and techno beats. Neon red and green lights are on the ceiling, spinning, dancing, whirling in patterns. Security is short tonight with no one to man the back door. Out on the smoking patio, a crowd begins to gather. A police car circles the parking lot, searching for mischief and drug paraphernalia.

Pistolero is still waiting, waiting, waiting to drag their equipment down below. But the trance party continues. The stage is slowly cleared and reset. Both DJ’s linger, leaving their soundboard for the metal band to plug into for the show. One DJ begins leaning on an amplifier, still dawdling with a smirk. This sparks heated words between Pistolero members and the DJ’s, and chests begin to puff in defense.

An uneasy vibe floats over the swarming crowd as Pistolero finally takes stage. The five members begin to feed off the electric energy that emanates from the sweaty, intoxicated youth who have now huddled before the small corner stage. A deep bass line bumps from the speakers. A warning, a preparation for battle. Nowhere to escape, nowhere to run. The bass line drops, a humming silence, then screaming vocals cut through the air, “Live for tomorrow like there’s no today, death is the reason that you have to praaaaayyyy!!!” The reckless moshing begins and the crowd is set ablaze. In the depths, the DJ creeps towards the soundboard to pick a fight.

Before he can reach his destination, the DJ is blocked by the Pistolero entourage. Frustrated in his attempts, the miscreant takes a swing at the nearest member. The young man being attacked returns the hostility and drops the aggressor to the floor. From the stage, a guitar player joins in, flying from his position, sending the sole of his boot straight towards the chest of the DJ.

The masses react and begin tearing themselves apart from the inside-out. Glass shatters on the wooden stage. But the classic metal never stops. The four mobile members line the front of the platform, chests full to the audience, ready to fight. The lead singer reassures the crowd, “I’m gonna rape every last one of you…” Hands pull the lead deep into the black hole as he continues to scream demented lyrics. He throws an instigator aside into a dark wooden cocktail table. Again boots fly into the crowd. The guitar player grabs the vocalist and drags him back to stage. The lead guitarist looms nearby, ready to fight, but never missing an earsplitting solo. The bass player constantly curses towards the adolescents, veins bulging from his screaming neck. The drummer, tucked away in the corner now adorns a deer mask. Despite the obstructions, he continues every time change, every beat, every transition with ease.

Then it’s over. As the security guy crosses through the threshold, the battle ceases. Amidst all the damage, the DJ’s are nowhere to be found. A few decide to make a run for it, clearing some room for movement on the dance floor. Despite the disorder, the band remains on stage, pulsing with heavy Sabbath-like guitar riffs. Destruction is the theme, and there’s no slowing down at this point. As the set finishes, Pistolero still twitches with electric testosterone. The crowd has finally calmed, and the instigators have made their apologies. Everything is finally settled.

Until a young hooligan sprints past the front-door bouncer. He checks a chick into a wall as he hurries down the stairs. Into another female near the bar. Boyfriends begin to take notice, and are prepared to team up for a fight. Glass begins to fly and shatter through the hallways. Strong hands collectively imprison the flailing young man, and force him into the elevator for a good beat-down. Through the smoking patio and into the parking lot. The boyfriends are having their fun, pummeling the miscreant. Someone calls the police, and as two fire-trucks, an ambulance and four cop cars enter the scene, the fight dissipates. Just another night with Pistolero. Just another evening at La Cave.

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