It’s Thursday, Feb. 9, and SLO Brew is not packed to the gills. What the hell? It’s freaking Storm Large! I led my column with her show a full week in advance. Once again, the power of the pen underwhelms. I’ll take a sword any day.
Still, I’m excited because I finagled a booth and I’m sitting with friends listening to opening act Derek Senn of the Wedding Industrial Complex do the impossible: keep a crowd waiting for Storm Large entertained.
“Wow, these new tables aren’t nearly as shaky as the old ones used to be, and the booth isn’t stinky,” I say, thrilled with SLO Brew’s continuing improvements to the club.
“It’s not as sticky as it used to be either,” says my pal John Spears, “I don’t know from what.”
“You don’t want to know,” I quip, even though everybody knows it was from spilled drink because of a shaky table.
Derek finishes his set and the crowd gushes and Storm Large almost immediately takes the stage, looks at the audience sitting in the booths and at tables a good 20 feet from the stage and says, “You guys are situated in this room like I just farted,” and then she launches into a slow, sultry, über-sexy version of Cole Porter’s “I’ve Got You Under My Skin.”
“I know who I want to shag,” whispers my friend Cyndi Hafley.
Not only does Storm have an incredible voice, but her stage presence is riveting! Soon there’s a throng of vaguely creepy guys making a semi-circle around the stage, leering. A few people are dancing. In between songs, Storm delivers audience patter worthy of a standup comic, discussing Valentine’s Day, love songs, and how rape is funny (long story, and no, of course it isn’t, but Storm is!).
Then she sings “Hopelessly Devoted to You” from the Grease soundtrack, calling it the most romantic song ever, and asking us to imagine that she’s singing it to Danny (John Travolta) as he’s duct-taped head down to a toilet. As she sings, her facial expressions are priceless!
Somebody pitch a freakin’ tent! We’re camping it up in this joint!
Then she says she’s going to sing the second most romantic song ever, and she launches into something called “I Want You to Die.”
She discusses her “salty” language, how satisfying it is to say the word “fuck,” how you have to spit a little when you say the word “cunt,” how a lot of girls don’t like the word “but that’s OK because I’ll like it for you.” Then she talks about how just saying the word “pussy” makes you smile but how she hates the word “penis” because it just sounds small, which is why she prefers “cock.”
She warns us against becoming Stepford wives and suggests we be “sloppy and crazy and fucked up, ’cause that’s what makes life fun.” Then she jokes about how if she can’t be a good influence she at least wants to be a good cautionary tale.
She’s a real philosopher, this one, and everyone at our booth just loves her to death! It’s the most amazingly fun show! But then it finally ends with an encore, and my fiancée and I decide to wait around and meet her at the merchandise booth, and the line moves forward, and then we meet a woman named Geri who shows us how Storm signed her T-shirt, and then it’s our turn and Storm gives me a signed CD and we gush about her show and I ask Geri to use my camera and take a photo of Storm, Anna, and me. Then I say, “One more, just in case,” and Geri snaps another, and then we’re headed home.
When I download the photos off my camera, I open the files to see the ones Geri took, and they’re totally out of focus and poorly composed. Dammit, Geri! Oh well, I’ll always have the memories.
Glen Starkey takes a beating and keeps on bleating. Keep up with him via twitter at twitter.com/glenstarkey, friend him at facebook.com/glenstarkey or myspace.com/glenstarkey, or contact him at email@example.com.