Freak-Out: Hell-O-Ween XXX-Travaganza Tour

The Pitts, Jimmy and the Teasers, The Hillbilly Werewolf, and Old Man Mustin & the Teenage Abortions
at Tokyo Rose
Friday, October 25

The basement of Tokyo Rose, with its blood-red walls and moody lighting, has always seemed to possess the qualities one would look for in a movie set, if your movie's chosen genre was B-horror. Maybe the script would run along the lines of a band of devil-worshippers, fronted by the damned one himself, playing sexually charged Rocky Horror Picture Show guitar rock to a crowd of mesmerized onlookers, turning them into monsters, zombies, and other freaks.

Well, unfortunately for all you aspiring directors out there, your big idea became a reality last Friday at the Rose.

The Pits and Jimmy and the Teasers are the main bands on the Hell-O-Ween XXX-Travaganza tour– The Hillbilly Werewolf and Old Man Mustin & The Teenage Abortions supported them for their Rose performance. I've gotta say that all three acts that I witnessed, The Pits, Jimmy and the Teasers, and Hillbilly Werewolf, owed a sizable debt to the humorously dark rockabilly group The Cramps.

Frequently 2/4 drumbeats, simple guitar riffs, and shock rock vocals made up the Cramps' cult-favorite sound. The bands on the HXT tour followed their lead to the extent that someone like me, who has only a passing knowledge of the Cramps discography, could not tell a cover from an original, unless the audience knew the words.

Hillbilly Werewolf was on first– guitar, bass, and drums, a fake beard, and a made-up bassist summed up the stage for their performance. Their set was definitely the most diverse of the three bands, mixing the shock-rock that comprised most of the other two act's sets with some fine rock tunes– that weren't scary, just good.

Jimmy and the Teasers were on next. Jimmy and his guitar took stage left, to his right and behind were the Teasers– three ladies playing guitar bass and drums, all wearing devil horns and some matching t-shirts. Scary rockabilly was the group's forte, and they didn't get off that pony for an instant.

Local Whitespot alumni Elvis followed, in a performance called "Elvis Lip-synching To Elvis." Pretty self-explanatory, and the addition of Elvis' apparently total inebriation made it all the more hair-raising. The Pits were the last band I witnessed, as my ability to stomach one 2/4-rockabilly drumbeat after another was flagging. A bloody surgeon at stage left vocalized the repertoire, but most (mainly male) eyes in the place were on the group's bassist– she of red bra and lingerie bottom.

Combine the antics on stage with the ghouls, zombies, and axe murderer victims that made up the audience, and for once a press release for a show seemed to be telling the truth: "Terrifying!!! Shocking!!! Sexy!!!"

That about covers it.