Go-go dancing, tributes and 'The Guys'

by Ted Holteen

I think my head’s going to explode. Durango is on entertainment overload this week, which would usually be good news for one who writes an entertainment column of sorts in a Durango newspaper. But talk about too much of a good thing. Where were the pro wrestling and Zeppelin cover bands and Wonder Years dad in mid-July when I was scanning church bulletins for material? If memory serves, I had to resort to writing about viewing stars at an elementary school just to fill half a page. Now, all of the above and more are on the menu this Labor Day Weekend, and if I weren’t fleeing town in my Winnebago, I might even enjoy myself. Probably not. I don’t care for renegade attorney bikers so I’ll take my leave, but I’m sure you’ll have a great time whatever you choose.

Whether you call it Rally in the Rockies, the Iron Horse or hell on earth, you will be sharing the road, the bar and the road again with upwards of 10,000 of those remarkably successful street thugs. And hoo-boy, has the town of Ignacio pulled out all the stops to welcome them. The real hotspots appear to be the Beer Tent and the Main Music Stage, which I hope are next to each other. Get a load of this lineup:

• Thursday:

6:30 p.m. – Go-Go Girl Cage Dancing competition. Kind of explains itself, doesn’t it?

9 p.m. – Led Zeppelin Super Tribute concert. My take on tribute bands – if I want to hear Zeppelin songs without seeing Zeppelin, CDs are available wherever fine music is sold. The finals of the Go-Go Girl cage dancing follow the show, then something called Jelly closes out the evening. Bra-vo.

• Friday (eerily similar):

6 p.m. – Female wrestling. Then at 9:30 p.m., it’s the Lynyrd Skynyrd Super Tribute concert. This one’s even more muddling, as I don’t even want to listen to Skynyrd CDs. Then the finals of female wrestling. I’m seeing a pattern developing.

• Saturday:

6 p.m. – Male Professional Wrestling. Don’t expect to see Hulk or Macho Man here. But you will see Fusion Pro Wrestling champ Psycho Sarge and some other steroid-poppers bleed all over each other for three hours for glory and about 50 bucks. Top that off with a concert by The Guess Who – not a tribute to the Guess Who, but the actual Guess Who. Looking at recent photos of Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman, perhaps a tribute band would have been in order. And what does this mean for the future of BTO?

• Sunday:

Noon – The big Parade of Iron Horses (those are the motorcycles that you’ll see occasionally this weekend, but now they’ll be all in one place. Oh, goodie. Look for local tramps to make cameo appearances as the passengers of old bikers who really think that they’ll get some out of offering the bubblehead a ride. Sadly, some will.) Then, it’s back to Ignacio, where the Professional Women’s Wrestling gets under way, again at 6 p.m. Do not confuse this with Friday’s women’s competition – these are pros. Pros like Adrenalyn and Courtney. And what musical act could possibly put a bow on such a gift of a weekend? Why, an AC/DC Super Tribute concert, of course. And I’ve only scratched the surface of the cultural delicacies waiting to be sampled. My RV odyssey doesn’t sound so silly now, does it?

Enough of that. We move now to a curious event that seems to be completely devoid of anyone wearing leather, so we’re off to a good start. For the next four nights, the Abbey Theatre presents not a movie, not a concert, but a play. I’ve always thought they should do more plays, but no one ever listens to me, and I probably won’t get credit. It’s called “The Guys,” and it’s the story of a 9/11 fireman (see also “hero”) who hires someone to write eulogies for dead heroes so he can sound smarter or something. Then there’s some kind of realization or epiphany in which he learns stuff. I’m giving the plot the cold shoulder because it and everything else in the play takes a back seat to the star of the show, none other than Dan Lauria. Please don’t say, “Who’s Dan Lauria?” Dan Lauria is just the guy who played Kevin Arnold’s cantankerous father on “The Wonder Years,” that’s all. This is no Dan Lauria tribute band, this is the real deal, just like the Guess Who, only Dan is still able to perform his craft at the highest level. What Dan may not know is that his government is chiefly responsible for the death of all those heroes, but that story will have to wait until next week. It’s a good one. And at Thursday’s gala opening, you can meet the cast and taunt Dan with the Joe Cocker song like I would do if I was stupid enough to stay in Durango this weekend. As no small postscript, all proceeds from the performances will be split between the Silverton San Juan Volunteer Fire Department and Country Kids With Cancer, the group that pays for transportation for the families of rural children who have to spend time at metropolitan medical facilities.

One other event that should provide a nice windfall for the coffers of the La Plata County Sheriff’s Department and keep the E.R. at Mercy hopping as well takes place on Saturday, when DMR hosts the 7th annual San Juan Brewfest, a glorified keg party in the mountains offering discounts to Rally attendees. Yeah, the same rally attendees riding all those motorcycles. Locals Steamworks, Ska and Carvers will be joined by a whole bunch of regional microbrewers, and music will be provided by something called the Alpiners, who may or may not wear lederhosen. It all happens under the big tent from 1-4 p.m., and a shuttle service will be provided. Please use it.

There’s also a full slate of local music happening all weekend, but I can’t go into detail without costing my overlords precious advertising space. So here’s a quick look:

The Summit: Mama’s Cookin’ on Friday night, Freewill Recovery on Saturday, Warsaw on Wednesday the 7th. Open Mic Night every Tuesday featuring The Hotmops. I hear good things.

The Abbey Theatre presents The Motet on Saturday night after the play, "The Guys."

A local music fest on Saturday in Rotary Park features Aftergrass, Freewill Recovery, Dialogue, Desert Reign and probably some others. I don’t know what time that happens, but it’s probably during the day.

On Tuesday, the 6th, blues up and comer Jonny Lang plays at the Concert Hall. Tickets ain’t cheap, but the kid’s the real deal and it’s worth it if you can swing it. If not, I direct you back to my earlier advice regarding CDs. Tuesday is also the deadline to enter the next round of the Concert Hall’s “Spotlight to Stardom” talent search. And you thought those tap lessons were a waste of time.

Save the date: KDUR is holding the new DJ meeting next Thurs., Sept. 8. Anyone can be a DJ (hell, I was even on the radio once), but if you have poor taste in music, please stay home instead, as some of us may be listening. Examples of poor taste include Phish-like jam bands, anything that sounds like Phish, and Phish.

Got a cage? Let’s wrassle! egholteen@hotmail.com. Hey, Nighthorse – we’ve got your dog. •



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