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Black Rebel Motorcycle Club at Hotel Cafe 12-15-05

I arrived at Hotel Cafe at around 5:30 PM after a brief adventure of riding Metro Red Line and the 721 and 25 buses from Orange County. I heard a sound check for “US Government” at around 5:37 PM. According to KevinK, BRMC are such perfectionists that they sound check for 4 hours before every show. At around 6 PM, I met Kevin and his wife Michelle. They were waiting for their friend Lacey who we later met walking over to Vine Bar, which was closed when we got there.

We all ended up going to a bar called Three of Clubs. It was happy hour and I got a Midori Sour. The music was really good at that bar, and we sat and talked until around 7:30 PM when we all headed back over to Hotel Cafe. Most people were already inside when we got there, but Jackie (who I’d met in San Diego) had some problems with not having her name on the list. She had taken Greyhound from San Francisco just to be here, so Kevin called David to get it all worked out. Eventually, Kevin’s calls worked and she was inside the venue.

Setlist:

Grind My Bones
Faultline
Devil’s Waitin’
US Government
Love Burns
Howl
Sympathetic Noose
Rifles
Ain’t No Easy Way
Shade of Blue
Still Suspicion Holds You Tight
Mercy
Weight of the World
Shuffle Your Feet
The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll
Restless Sinner
Too Real

Hotel Cafe is a really nice intimate venue with a bar and small seating area in front. Peter and Robert were walking around a little before the show. At around 8:30 PM, Peter took the stage and played “Grind My Bones,” the cool slide guitar b-side of “Ain’t No Easy Way.” I saw Robert standing near by and he was standing right next to me during “Fault Line” (during which, Peter had a major sound problem) and “Devil’s Waitin.” Then, he went up on stage and joined Peter for the slowed down version of “US Government.” Next, they played “Love Burns” with cool alternating lyrics between Peter and Robert. Here are some more highlights:

“Howl” always heartfelt and lovely with new lyrics.
“Sympathetic Noose” more like the album version also with new lyrics.
“Rifles” – a crowd favorite, Kevin recorded it on my digital camera.
“Ain’t No Easy Way” the rabble rouser that got the party started!
“Shade of Blue” beautiful and just as I imagined it unplugged!
“Mercy” – the b-side to the upcoming “Weight of the World” single, a beautiful song with Peter playing some odd harp-like instrument
“Restless Sinner” – Peter mostly did this song solo, then Robert joined in on the chorus
“Too Real” – a gorgeous version of this song off the first album, one that they’ve played so well recently.

At the end of the set, Peter exited backstage while Robert stuck around to chat with fans. Me and Alexander took pictures with Robert, but unfortunately he’s closing in eyes in both of them! The one that he might have had his eyes opens was blurry! During the show there were plenty of smiles from Robert, though I couldn’t see Peter from the far right side of the stage where I stood. I could occasionally see Peter’s hair, nose, and the neck of his guitar.


Kevin, Michelle, and Lacey headed out to Vine Bar right after they started kicking people out. Me, Alexander, and Chris stuck around a little while Alexander chatted with friends. Suzanne (donnaaudrey) spotted me at the door, she was at the front of the line. We chatted a little bit and I told her a little about the show. We left her to enjoy the late show and were off to Pink’s for chili dogs. The line was really long, but we got through eventually. I got a chili cheese dog and a Yoohoo and split some chili fries with Alexander. We finished eating and went to Vine Bar at around 11:30 PM. By then, I was a little sleepy so I went up to the bean bag chair room with Alexander. We sat and talked for awhile, but there was a lot of smoke in there.

We went back down stairs and Chris ordered me a Red Bull, which was only $3 and it woke me up a little. I walked outside for some fresh air and this guy asked me about the BRMC show. He said he heard some of the late show from outside, but didn’t have a ticket. I told him about the early show and we discussed the gospel influence of HOWL.  Nick Jago walked by and I said “hi” though he didn’t know who I was, he still said a quick “hi” back. I kept talking to the guy until I heard “Rescue” by Echo & the Bunnymen playing. Eventually, I got up the nerve (and volume) to ask Nick if he’d gotten the book on stars and planets from some girls in Italy (for Ornella). He said yes and asked if I was the messenger. I said no, not really knowing what he meant and he said it was a good book and he had it on his bedside table.

I kept getting tired, so I followed Lacey and her friend out as they smoked. There were a couple other smokers outside who introduced themselves, Adam who provided fire and high scores on arcade games (AMR). There was a girl in a short skirt with no nylons named Kelsey outside smoking too. Later, Suzanne came by and told me that BRMC played El Paso, Mercy, and The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll. She wanted to request Nick to play Renegade Soundwave, but he didn’t have any with him. We kept talking until the last call. Alexander chatted with everyone from BJM’s manager the Yeti to Dave from Little Radio. Sharin Foo of the Raveonettes was there too. We left after last call and dropped everyone off at their car/homes.

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