From the barstool of the publisher
It was, by far, the most fun show I have been to in two years. Hands down, nothing has even come close.
Maybe it had something to do with the fact that we hadn’t seen the band in a while, as life and day jobs got in the way of their regular touring, but when The Giraffes took to stage to open the Westword Music Showcase on Friday, June 18, it was like being surrounded by old friends — friends so good that you want to throw shit at them.
Snake Rattle Rattle Snake had already done a great job heating up the Bluebird Theater, and now the powder keg just needed a little spark to blow up. Even before the band had taken their places on stage ice cubes sailed through the air. One of the cubes I threw (hard) connected with singer Aaron Lazar right above the right eyebrow. It was kind of the punk rock equivalent of a high- five between buddies, as he flipped a middle finger back.
But a few seconds later, when the band hit its opening notes, a true waterfall of beer, liquor, spit, and God knows what else cascaded over the stage. It was Denver’s answer to Victoria Falls for a while, as cups and cans hummed toward the band. By the beginning of the second song there was enough liquid on stage to fill a kiddie pool. And it never really stopped.
As the mayhem continued through the evening and well into a multiple-encore show, I had two overriding thoughts. First was ‘Damn, the poor, poor production crew.’ Those bastards need some huge kudos for having to clean that crap up. I wouldn’t have done it. My other thought centered around electricity. Maybe it’s because I know that Lazar wears a defibrillator which has zapped him on stage before. Maybe it’s because my genius tells me that liquids and electricity don’t play nice together, but I couldn’t help but wonder if this was going to turn bad. Luckily it never did, despite a tangled web of cords that Lazar picked up and wrapped around his bandmates’ bodies, so that he could more easily pull them around on the slick stage.
I’m sure that this sounds like a ridiculous hell to a lot of people, and in some sense, I guess they’re probably right. But this event was seriously the closest I’ll ever get again to participating in the great summer pastime of playing in the sprinkler in the yard — and that’s the magic of The Giraffes. It’s brutal and obnoxious, but it’s not trying to be anything but fun. It’s not trying to prove a point, or put a hurt on anyone, it’s just trying to scream away some of life’s frustrations — and as the crowd screamed along with “Having Fun,” it was pretty clear everyone was really enjoying their “pathetic little stabs at staying young” while “having fun with assholes.”
See you at the shows.