Scenes From Saturday Night's Sold-Out Social Distortion Show At Gas Monkey Live's Opening.
Before the crew from Discovery Channel's Fast N' Loud opened their second live music venue over the weekend, they talked a big game about the potential of the 2,500-capacity Gas Monkey Live.
Immediately, they said, this place would compete with similar-sized venues in town like House of Blues.
And after this Saturday's sold-out grand opening show, which was headlined by the Americana-tinged, Cali-punk legends Social Distortion, it's safe to say they were right, at least to an extent. Experience-wise, the show did feel an awful lot like a House of Blues show — albeit one with better sound.
Let us drive that point home: The sound was awesome.
As far as sight-lines go, though, we'll still give a slight edge to House of Blues. Because the venue is longer than it is wide, it can be a bit tough to see the show from the back of the room. And, unfortunately, that's where the big, guitar-shaped bar that takes up the majority of the space resides. On Saturday night, that thing was very crowded all the way around, all night long. Paired with the fact that the bar was maybe understaffed, and it was fairly difficult to get a drink.
Still, Mike Ness and Co. put on one hell of a show regardless. And, all things considered, the drive out to Gas Monkey Live's little entertainment oasis was more than worth it — at least on this night.
It's also worth noting that the parking lot on Saturday was full of hot rods and souped-up bikes. It's hard to say whether that's just the normal Social D crowd, Gas Monkey's typical clientele or just another element of the venue's grand-opening festivities.
Also hard to tell: Will the venue make it for the long haul? Considering how, prior to Gas Monkey's arrival, the Technology Boulevard area was known primarily for its strip clubs and chain restaurants, that remains a toss-up. Whether the talent buyers here lean more heavily on legacy acts or opt to bring in more “current” artists, will also be a factor.
It'll take some time before answers come for these concerns. But, for now, this much is clear: They're off to a hell of a start.
All photos by Karlo X. Ramos.