Thursday, July 25, 2002 @ 8:35 AM
EMN Live In Houston, TX at the
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Party band for hire. Reasonable rates.
Have you ever wished that you could get a rock band to play your birthday or other special occasion? Well, if you have a couple thousand in spare change burnin’ a hole in your pocket and you want a fun time band that likes to party and kick your ass with raw, frontal rock-n-roll, then call your local club and tell them to book this band: Every Mother’s Nightmare.
EMN loves to play in Houston, Texas and Houston, likewise, loves to have EMN come and play here. In fact, EMN has played more in Houston the past year and a half than they have probably played in their hometown of Memphis, Tennessee. The hard rockin’ EMN brought their ‘Deeper Shade of Grey’ tour into H-Town on Friday, July 19, 2002 at the 19th hole Bar & Grill as part of a 3 gig Texas swing before heading out to the West Coast for a couple shows around Southern California and Las Vegas. This marked the 5th time for EMN to play Houston in the aforementioned time frame and the second time they have accepted an offer to play based on an initial request to play a friend’s birthday party. Now that’s my kinda band! Hell, the band doesn’t really care what the reason to play is, they just want to play.
Opening the show on this evening was a group called ‘That ‘80s Band.’ This group was pulled together at the last minute by various musicians
from Houston area tribute bands, most notably the band Destroyer, a Kiss tribute band. They put the band together on a few days notice and put together a very nice set list of memorable ‘80s rock tunes which kept everyone in attendance upbeat, enthusiastic, and into the show. Songs in their set included “Round & Round,” “Looks That Kill,” “Metal Health” and “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” before closing out with the Beastie Boys’ “You Gotta Fight.” A very enjoyable set from these guys.
Every Mother’s Nightmare took the stage somewhere around 11:30. The truth is, I wasn’t really paying attention to the time at this point, maybe a result of the longnecks that were talking to me the whole time. The band kicked off their set with “Bathe Me” from the band’s latest release, Deeper Shade of Grey, then jumped right into “Walls Come Down” from one of the band’s much older releases, and threatened to do just that to the 19th Hole. The band continued through their hour and a half set, drawing evenly from their last two cds, Smokin Delta Voodoo and the already mentioned Deeper Shade of Grey, while throwing in some of the band’s earlier material and even playing a couple new tunes.
You know, that’s one thing I really like about this band is their work ethic. They never stop writing and creating new tunes, even when they’re out on the road, and nearly every time they have played Houston, they showcase something that has never been played before. During this show they included two brand new songs, “Hole Inside” and “Burn You Down” (forgive me guys if I got the names not exactly correct). Both of these songs totally kicked ass and were a perfect fit into the set.
The guys were in top party form as usual with lead vocalist Rick Ruhl providing the in-between songs raunchy banter. And just like other times we’ve seen them, the set list is only set in stone up until about half way, then turning into a no-holds-barred it’s-anyone’s-guess kinda evening. The biggest change in the band since we saw them last on New Year’s was the addition of original drummer Jim Phipps, who replaced Kris ‘Newt’ Beavers earlier this year. Jim’s presence was definitely apparent as his drumming style added much more depth and heaviness to the band’s sound. It was great to see Jim back in the band.
The set list, in no particular order, was as follows:
Walls Come Down
Deeper Shade of Grey
Burn You Down
Takes Your Breath Away
Love Can Make You Blind
Long Haired Country Boy
Saturday Night Special
18 (Alice Cooper)
After the show I had the opportunity to speak with Rick regarding the band’s future plans. As was mentioned on KNAC.COM, the band has the following dates lined up for this week:
07/25/02 Tarzana, CA Paladino’s
07/26/02 Anaheim, CA The Shack
07/27/02 Las Vegas,NV Pink E’s
There was also an additional show lined up for the 28th at the Viper Room in West Hollywood, but was cancelled when an unnamed actor wanted to rent the club for $15,000. We also discussed what had transpired with the band’s latest attempts to get on a package tour. He expressed frustration at the fact that some of the bands they were going to tour with were bickering and complaining amongst each other as to who was gonna play what slot, how long they got to play, and so on. This infighting seems to be the reason why these tours never materialized. And some the bands in question were never that popular to begin with, at least not to the point where they could start dictating which part in the tour they were gonna play. EMN has quite a different outlook on the matter. Says Rick, “I don’t care when we go on, I just want to fuckin’ play.” Now, it seems that band’s tenacity may be starting to pay off. It was revealed to me that EMN’s plans include a short jaunt with Faster Pussycat in late September and then quite probably the opening slot on the Skid Row tour supposedly going to start in October.
My wife and I have become pretty good friends with the band, and are there to support them every time they roll into town, and we are equally excited for them as their future continues to unfold. The band gives 100% whether it’s playing to 5 or 5000 people. So, if you’re looking for some great American home grown rock-n-roll, you must check these guys out live! Look out Southern California, the Nightmare is headed your way!
(Photos by Larry/Lea Petro)