I have known my friend Joe since middle school back in Washington but after we graduated he went to Washington State University in Pullman. I did not get to see him much after that until he moved to Portland a few months before this show. It was great being able to hang out with him but I was still dead set on moving to California and believe it was right around this time that I made the decision to pull the trigger and dropped the bomb on Joe. At least I was able to introduce Joe to Mark before I left. They hit it off so well they began making music together and became roommates. I think it was just me and Joe at this one and it was the first time I was able to see the Melvins since I saw them open for White Zombie back in 1995. I really like the song “Queen” so that was a highlight for me. My strongest memory of this night was after the show when me and Joe were staggering around the streets of Portland waiting for a bus and decided to belt out an a capella version of “Rooster” by Alice In Chains at the top of our lungs (this would not be the last time we decided to stagger or belt out this tune a capella).
SETLIST: Let It All Be, Lovely Butterfly, Manky, Hooch, Youth of America, Night Goat, With Teeth, Tipping the Lion, Queen, Promise Me, Black Stooges, It’s Shoved, The Fool, the Meddling Idiot, Snake Appeal, Halo of Flies
This was a special Paranormal Party because it actually took place on Halloween and Halloween is hardly ever on a Friday. The band this year was Powerman 5000 who I had just gotten to see about 4 months earlier. One cool thing about the Crystal Ballroom is the band plays in a corner on a stage that is not very elevated so you can go right in front of them. It feels a lot like seeing a band in a small club which just enhances the energy of the entire place that much more. Long story short me and my buddy Mark were pretty drunk and had a blast. Every member of Powerman 5000 was in costume. I don’t remember what we were dressed up as but Mark ended up pissing into a cup in front of the stage right before they came on because he did not want to work his way back to the front. It sounds cool until you realize he dropped said cup full of piss and everyone on the floor was now sliding around in it. If that’s not Rock N’ Roll then I don’t know what is.
What do I remember about Billy Idol? I remember that from afar the man looked the same and from close range I remember that he still had it. Not that I ever knew he had it in the first place. I am what could be called a casual Billy Idol fan. But the songs that I do like, I like very much. “Rebel Yell” is pretty badass live. Lots of energy out of a somewhat older crowd. The kicker for this show is the fact that I was heading to the Tri-Cities directly after the show for boat race weekend. I ended up arriving at about 2:30 to Matt’s house and there were a few drunken scragglers still awake. Got a few winks and started the debauchery with some drinks.
I first heard the Toadies via their song “Possum Kingdom” late one night watching MTV (when they still played videos). I ordered the album Rubberneck from Columbia House based on liking this song and loved it. Fast-forward about 7 years and they had finally released their second album, Hell Below/Stars Above, in late March of 2001. By this time I had completely forgot about the Toadies but saw the new album randomly on a trip to Fred Meyer, my preferred place to buy a new CD. I initially didn’t get totally into the new album but jumped at the chance to see them when I learned they were coming through Portland in support of the album. Jack and the same girlfriend he had from the A Perfect Circle show accompanied me on my second trip to the famed Crystal Ballroom. After drinking some beers in the car we ventured in. I can’t remember everything they played but I know they split their set pretty evenly between both albums and hit all the songs that I really wanted to hear. The amazing thing to me was how hard they rocked. Their songs at their heaviest are not super heavy but that changed when translated to a live show. This was demonstrated by how much action was occurring throughout the audience. I feel especially lucky to have seen this show because less than 3 months later the Toadies broke up due to the departure of their bassist Lisa Umbarger.
The Crystal Ballroom is a very cool place to see a concert because the floor is the only sprung or “floating” floor in the United States and the sound is decent. It is in a building run by McMenamins in downtown Portland that consists of 4 floors. McMenamins owns several bars in Portland and a few in Seattle that feature beers they brew themselves that are flat out delicious. The Paranormal Party is something that KUFO put on every year either near or on Halloween. Oleander played this year. I decided to go because I liked Oleander and I wanted to meet people. I dressed in my devil priest costume (see picture) because I thought and still do think it’s funny. One highlight for me was being pulled into the ladies restroom. The girl who pulled me in apparently thought I would be someone her friend would like but instead the friend looked at me and said, “that’s disgusting.” Hopefully she was referring to my costume… I met another girl in the bar downstairs and ended up hanging out with her for a while until I saw a cougar dressed in a skintight pleather mini-dress I couldn’t resist. The first girl got kind of upset with me when she realized I was hanging out with my new slutty looking friend. I ended up going home with her but nothing really happened. Oleander put on a good show but obviously on this night my mind was on beer and girls.