No, I'm not talking about those cheesy "we'll buy your scrap metal and strip your wires for free!" ads on late-night TV, but about the upcoming Rock the Bayou metalliganza that's coming this Labor Day, August 29th-September 1st, over at what used to be Astro World (S. side of 610 at the Astrodome/Reliant Stadium/etc.) but has been re-christened (at least temporarily) the Rock the Bayou Grounds.
The four-day festival features nearly every cheese-metal band you've ever heard of, with only a few exceptions (what, no White Lion? no Sleeze Beez or Winger?), and includes some of the more obscure metal bands of the '80s, revived voodoo-style from that shadowy Realm Where Dead Metal Bands Go. Hell, I'd actually forgotten KIX even existed, and I at one point thought "Don't Close Your Eyes" was The Best Song Evar (I may still have the cassette single somewhere). Yes, I was long-haired wannabe metal guy in my youth, and no, I'm not ashamed in the slightest that I can still recite the lyrics to every song off Queensryche's Operation: Mindcrime and immediately break into a stupid grin at the thought of Dangerous Toys' underrated "Scared".
This is my childhood & my musical roots, as it were, and I make no apologies. So I'll freely admit that seeing a bill with folks like Slaughter, Faster Pussycat, Enuff Z'Enuff, Great White, & Lita Ford(!) gives me a weird tingly feeling. I loved 'em then, and there's a part of me, definitely, that still loves 'em now. And hey, they've even dragged some decent local folks along for the ride, like The Blue Threads, Whorehound, & Downfall 2012, so that's hard to beat.
That said, I wasn't planning on going, mostly because I'm a Lazy Old Dude w/Kid now and just can't do the all-day festival thing anymore. I chuckled a bit when I saw the lineup, threw my mind back to the heady days of the late-'80s/early-'90s when these bands held sway, and smiled, and that was about it.
Until David over at Houston Calling pointed out this little tidbit: the tickets for the festival cost $125 for a four-day pass. Yes, that's 125 fucking dollars (apparently the passes were $99, but they went up in price today). Granted, it's only (hah!) $55 per day if you go that route, but still, that seems awful high for a bunch of bands whose heyday was nearly 20 years ago and who haven't really made the transition (that I've heard, anyway) to "classic" radio.
I dunno -- maybe this is just how much these things cost nowadays, or maybe the reality is that The Metal Band Lifestyle just requires more $$$, even when you get older. More power to you Rock the Bayou folks (and all of my favorite bands of yore), but I'm afraid I can't afford to shell out $100+ to relive my teenage years. (Now, if White Lion were playing...)
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