Blunt Club's Halloween - Yucca Tap Room - 10/31/2013
Photos by Jeff Moses
"Halloween is like drama club... on crack." That was Dumper Foo, the Blunt Club's resident live artist. Foo, a local celeb in his own right, came in sporting a Bob Ross afro, a paint pallet at the ready for his homage to the happy tree afficianado, Bob Floss. The Blunt Club's other organizer, host Mouse Powell, arrived as his running buddy, Dumper Two.
It was a star-studded event at The Yucca Tap Room, even if some of the stars weren't real. "Flo" from the Progressive commercials and a very realistic Joaquin Phoenix were joined by some of Phoenix's best performers, like Jason Devore of Authority Zero, Cori Rios of The Hourglass Cats, and a friend of his who may or may not have actually been Kenny G.
Blunt Club's resident DJ Pickster got the night going and the crowd moving with an hour-and-a--half set to get the juices flowing before Busdriver took the stage. "I work here every week; I'm the only resident DJ at the Blunt Club. I've known Busdriver a long long time, and I played with him overseas in Europe," he says, "and I'm a fan. So it's good, we're good."
Before Busdriver took the stage Mouse got up to award the PBR-sponsored prizes for the costume contest. Beetlejuice, Bluntman and Chronic, and Flo all went home with brand new PBR trucker caps, bandannas, beer koozies, and other fun stuff for their costuming prowess.
"I've always had a secret crush on Flo from the insurance commercials," says Powell, about his personal favorite. Some of the other costume highlights were A Tribe Called Quest, a Coors Light can knight, and the Maitlands from Beetlejuice.
Following the costume contest it was Busdriver's turn on stage, and one thing was for certain when the "Unemployed Black Astronaut" took the stage: Headliners headline. According to the fliers Kool A.D. of Das Racist was headlining, but according to the packed house during Driver's set the show's featured act went on first.
Busdriver got on stage and did what he does, providing a unique brand of hip-hop with high energy and lightening-fast delivery while looping his own beats. Every song ended with thunderous applause from the jam-packed Yucca Tap Room.
Bus Driver had the crowd enthralled with his lyrical capacity, and even had a few brave crowd members trying to rap along with his signature speedy flow. But the Yucca was jam-packed shoulder to shoulder for the entirety of his set.
"This is a low-level crappy venue, and I love doing venues like this, and it was fine and we did it," said the reserved Bus Driver following his set. "Any questions that are about if I'm happy or how I'm feeling are going to end with 'I don't know' because I don't know. Because I'm not that kind of person; I can't sum up how I feel. It's just another day and it's great to be here. I'm not here to have fun; when I have fun I'm doing something else. This is craft, this is rewarding."
Whether or not Driver had fun didn't matter, because it was obvious he got a feel for the venue when he described it as "a piece of shit." Yucca may not be the biggest or the baddest venue in Phoenix, but what it is is our piece of shit, providing dirty, dingy, divey hip-hop, country, punk rock, or whatever other form of music is looking to get closer to its roots as the noise that filled the bar and made the drunks happy.
Kool A.D. and his gang got up on stage next and they definitely did their thing. But there was a very noticeable drop in attendance following Busdriver's performance; the highlight of their set was the shirtless unplugged guitarist.
He was not unplugged in the MTV sense of the word; he was unplugged in the playing an electric guitar with no amp as a joke sense of the word. But don't tell that to the girl in the front row who was not in on the joke and kept yelling for the sound guy to turn up the guitar.
Blunt Club San Diego resident DJ Tram Life closed out the show with some musical stylings that included some very excitable renditions of Old Dirty Bastard songs that really got the crowd moving. Finally they took it way back to the '80s for a Halloween staple, "Thriller."
It was during "Thriller," that all hallow's eve party moment went down, when Walter White of Breaking Bad got up on stage and showed the crowd how Michael would have done it if he was still kicking.
Blunt Club goes on on every Thursday at the Yucca.
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