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I Wanna Rock & Roll All Night 

Three-word bands, wanna-bes, and boozers

After putting off laundry and washing dishes and doing schoolwork on Saturday, I felt sufficiently rested from Friday night to hit the town in search of live music and a coupla oat sodas. Target? The Visulite Theatre, hosting a performance by the new band Bullship, along with Triangle act Patty Hurst Shifter and our own Les Dirt Clods. Bullship plays what one attendee described as "old school math rock," a term he knew would set my heart aflutter. Charlotte's got a lot of great bands right now -- more of real quality than we've had in a decade -- but many of them are good in a similar way. Bullship have the potential to both please and piss off, which is no easy feat. Patty Hurst Shifter, a band with one of those irony-grafted names so popular nowadays, also pleased. They pleased with their Whiskeytown pop swagger and, after an Absolut and cranberry, with inspiration. Normally I don't like games, since they're a dumb approximation of real life and a stupid waste of time (unless it's a drinking game, in which case you're already wasting time and dumbly approximating real life), but this one was fun. You have 10 seconds to do a quick-graft Patty Hurst Shifter-like, three-word band name, or else take a drink. I gamely offered up The Barbeque Streisand, which I was particularly proud of, and then followed it with the localized Two Dollar Sex Pistols and Salmonella Rushdie. For some reason, nobody else really seemed to want to play along. -- Tim C. Davis

Let me get one thing out of the way in a hurry. As a band, Kiss sucked. Bad. Only a few of their songs would even have been worth a listen were it not for the whole makeup/light show/codpiece/breathing fire element. However, they did have the makeup, they did have the fire breathing and light show, and they did have the codpieces. Which is why hundreds descended upon the University Hilton Sunday for the Kiss Expo. Gene Simmons was far and away the most popular member, if the costumed masses in attendance were any indication (indeed, it was the cow-tongued one's birthday Sunday. . .he was 81). Then again, that could be due to homophobia and rumors that Paul Stanley is gay, or perhaps due to the fact that nobody wants to be Ace Frehley or Peter Criss. Lots of second-string Kissers were there, including one-time guitarist Bruce Kulick, who was with the band in their non-makeup days, and Ron Keel of the band Keel (there's originality!), who had Gene Simmons produce his record, or over for dinner, or something. Most interesting were the people who didn't dress in elevator boots and makeup, yet still looked like the band -- 40-something, with died-black perms and lots of silver jewelry, and a little paunch around the middle. Perhaps there's a reason Gene & Co. brought back the Maybelline. -- Tim C. Davis

Hippie-fied rednecks, young and old, twirled the night away at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at the Allman Brothers Band's Friday concert with opening act Galactic. The crowd was the sparsest I've seen yet in the 10-plus years I've been joining the Brothers for their annual stop, but the folks who were there -- mostly red-eyed dudes in tie-dyes and beatnik chicks in tanks and long, printed skirts -- were ready to party. The short lines at the beer stands probably added to the cause, too. On one trip to the ladies room, about midway through the show, I watched as a woman with a cigarette hanging from her lips staggered around trying to find a non-existent door on the handicap stall. I let her stumble around and grope the frames on each side of the doorway for a good minute or two before telling her the stall didn't have a door. "Huh? Iwus lookin' feroneuvthum hideaway doors," she mumbled. "Guess Iain't stoopid or nuthin' then, therjusain't a door!" I still think I'd qualify her as fairly stupid. Now whether the folks at Verizon were being water conscious during our much publicized drought, or whether they just realized that some of the crowd could use some sobering up, they waited to turn on the "mist tent" until after 9pm. Actually, it was more like a real rain shower than a mist, but it was still a big hit. In the dozen or so times I've seen the Brothers -- who, by the way played numerous new songs off an upcoming album (who said they haven't done anything new since Duane died in "71?) -- being that I'm nearly five months pregnant, it was probably the first show I'd taken in without being in, umm, an altered or intoxicated state. And I'm here to tell you: the music is really that good, although the psychedelic light show isn't half as interesting as I once thought. -- Lynn Farris

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