Tuesday June 15th 1999 at a house party in Lawrence, KS
Casket Lottery, Tristeza & Akarso

I was sitting in the straight lane at the intersection of 13th and Massachusetts in Lawrence preparing to start a long hunt for house I had never been to when Jesse, Lucus and crew pulled up next to me in the turn lane. They flashed me the devil sign so I upped them one by showing them I was listening to Shout at the Devil. Impressed, they rolled down their window and asked if I was heading to the show. Yep, and since they knew the secrets of one-way streets, I turned left from the center lane and followed them to the house.

There were already a tonnage of people when I pulled in at 9pm. Everyone was outside talking or sitting on the front porch on the couches that inhabit front porches in college towns or the midwest in general. Early shenanigan highlights included Harry Jr. getting the world's biggest wedgie and handfuls of shaving creme getting shared with only semi-willing participants. I plopped on the couch to talk to Pepper and his friend Grant while the definite 9pm start time eroded to at least 9:30.

The house was a nice big and open old house built between 1910-1920 I would guess with a few additions to increase the size and allow for more bedrooms for college kids. Lovely moldings and hardwood floors but only minimal decorating. But it was really hard to tell since all furniture had been pushed to other rooms. Now at some point I'm actually going to have to talk about the show but I dug the house as it reminded me very much of my last two homes in Indy and so I thought I'd make you sit through my admiration.

Right off the bat, Akarso were incredible. They were just as tight as on the split but 10 times more hectic. The often annoying vocals on the CD weren't so annoying live as the polished hardcore studio vocals gave way to urgent yelled indie rock. The band wound its way through 8 or 9 serpentine songs to a totally awestruck crowd before calling it quits. I know I had to have seen like a dozen CDs being totted around that night so they must have made a good impression on others as well.

After some minor complaints for the neighbors a couch was moved in and placed up against a window, more blankets were placed over the windows, and resident Celeste asked we not go in or out except for between songs. Well at least the show hadn't been busted.

San Diego's Tristeza set up next minus a member - their keyboard player stood to the side and watched with his arm in a cast, a victim of a sports on-tour injury. The band were a fairly open and moody indie rock band that were long on songs, but short of interest. I enjoyed the interplay of the two guitars but neither ever took command and drove the songs forward. Neither bass nor drums were able to pick up the ball and run with it so songs were repetitive and aimless. I gave up after a handful of songs and went outside to sit on the porch. Evidently other folks were into them so this is certainly a "your milage my vary" moment.

Before The Casket Lottery went on the rules were tightened and Celeste announced "Anyone who wants to see the band come in now because I'm looking the door." Wow, her neighbors must pack heat!

The Casket Lottery packed in most of the folks there and they played a good set to them. There is just something missing with the band though, the hooks aren't big enough or the song structures aren't strong enough or something, but whatever it is, it keeps me from really singing the praises of this band. I sat in the back of the room in a small e-z chair and in no time at all had dosed off. It was actually very nice floating between asleep and awake all surrounded by powerful but cradling noise.

A little after midnight the band finished up and I said my good-byes to everyone and made a bee-line to Dunkin' Donuts before heading home.