Last night was the much anticipated Green Mountain Derby Dames fun-raiser at Higher Ground, "Hell on Hot Wheelz." I had been looking forward to the event for weeks. After all, Derby Dames are hot. And badass. In a way that my curly blond hair and Connecticut upbringing will never allow me to be.
Unfortunately due to a condition I suffer from called incredible lameness, I showed up late and left early. Which means, I only caught the middle set, "Party Star".
And.... oh. my. god.
Why didn't anyone tell me?
I'm not really sure why the band's name is in quotation marks, but I do know that even as the night got late, and the ballroom started to clear out, "Party Star" rocked with such conviction that those remaining couldn't help but gravitate to the front of the stage to stare gape-mouthed at Matt and the boys (the boys being Kyle, Will, and Dan). Matt has been serving me drinks at the OP for years now, and once allowed me to hug him awkwardly when the Red Sox won the World Series and the rest of the town was being totally lame. But while I knew he was in a band, I had no idea that his onstage persona would be so... riveting.
Staring at the stage in awe, I was immediately reminded of the scene from High Fidelity when Jack Black's character Barry gets up on stage with his band Sonic Death Monkey and merges into Barry Jive and his Uptown Five. Not that "Party Star" was singing any soulful ballads, but Matt's stage presence definitely contained some sort of combination of Jack Black and, well... pure sex kitten. When playing to late night stragglers at an event that has gone overtime, it's definitely necessary to up the anti. And with his over the top facial expressions and dance moves, Matt did just that.
Which is not to downplay Kyle's performance, as he had his share of featured vocals as well. But to be perfectly honest, I was so distracted by how awesome his sneakers were that every time he got on the mic, I sort of missed it.
The highlight of the set had to be the rap, "All my Exes Live in Essex", which drew the dames to the front for a suggestive dance party, and had the rest of us laughing at lyrics. The song also featured vocals straight from Will and his drum kit, which is one of my favorite things at a live performance. In general. Not Will specific. I'm pretty sure I've never actually met Will.
To wrap things up, "Party Star" played a proposed theme song for the Dames, the name of which I can't remember because it was after midnight on a school night and my yawning was drowning out the sound. It definitely involved one of the following words though: death, tough, kill, beat, or rage. Actually I really have no idea, but let's just say that it encompassed the room's mutual feeling of admiring the Dames, while also hoping to avoid the possibility of ever running into one alone in a dark alley.
You know, if Vermont had dark alleys.
In the end I was really grateful I had dragged my ass down to the fun-raiser, even if just for that one hour, because it's safe to say I officially have a new favorite band in town.
PS Has my tendency to disappear for weeks at a time become endearing yet? Or is it still just annoying? Or maybe you haven't noticed at all. In any case... more on that later.