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Every Mothers Nightmare & Adler's Appetite Double Gig Review

By Larry & Lea Petro, Pure Rock Patrol, Houston
Monday, April 5, 2004 @ 12:30 AM


EMN & Adler's Appetite Live at

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2 Nights on the road with Adler's Appetite and Every Mother's Nightmare before the wheels come off in Texas.

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It's not very often that an opportunity comes along like this. As a matter of fact, I have never been able to travel and see the same band or bands play two nights in a row ever, though my wife has several times. This opportunity presented itself when Adler's Appetite and Every Mother's Nightmare rolled into Texas for a mini swing through the Lone Star State.

Day 1 - Huntsville, Texas - Friday, February 20, 2004

The tour with these two bands was originally supposed to start the previous night in Dennison, Texas but from what I was told earlier in the day it was called off due to poor ticket sales. So the first date of the tour was to be in the little podunk town of Huntsville, Texas, Population 1,500.....SALUTE! LOL, no seriously, Huntsville is a nice size city about an hour and a half north of Houston and home to Sam Houston State University, my alma mater, and probably more prisons are located in this area than any other in Texas, including the infamous Walls Unit where all the death row inmates in Texas are put to sleep. How this sleepy little spot on the Texas map got this show I'll never know, but rest assured that it never had before and probably never will again have a rock show of this magnitude come through. Now I'm sure some of you reading this are probably thinking 'rock show of this magnitude?' but in this town that is what this show would be billed as. The show took place in a C&W club called Shenanigans in what was once a grocery store converted into a restaurant on one side and a club on the other.

We left for the show around 6:30 that evening to enjoy dinner beforehand with some friends that rode with us as we only live about 25 minutes or so from the venue. After dinner we head down to Shenanigans and see the tour bus parked right out in front of the building. The first person we run into is Nick Athanas, EMN's tour manager and someone who I had been conversing with for the past week or so before the show. We spoke with him briefly and learn that all the bands' sets were topsy turvy because the club closed at midnight. WTF? This is a college town for Christ's sake and they have some stupid ordinance making them close at midnight?? That made absolutely no sense to us, but alas that's the way things were.

The third band on this bill was from the Texarkana area and they were called Insinuwait. They took the stage rather early, around 9 or so, and played a brief 30-minute set. Now because of the mixup about when the club closed, etc., none of the bands had a chance to do soundcheck. It was plug-n-play for these guys and it showed. Insinuwait, bless their heart, had the dubious distinction of going on first and their entire short set was basically spent getting the sound mix right for the club. As you might imagine, the sound sucked and did so for the majority of the show, but Insinuwait played a good set of original material that I would describe as being a mixture of Metallica, Alice in Chains, and a little Pantera thrown in for good measure.

EMN, who would also have to play a very short set, only 30-45 minutes of what was supposed to be a 90 minute set. We were disappointed at this because we had so looked forward to seeing the guys again after more than a year since their last performance in the Houston area. One person missing from EMN this time around was original drummer Jim Phipps, who could not attend the festivities because of other personal issues that required his being there in Tennessee. Replacing him behind the kit was former band member and longtime friend of the band Andy Graham. I could best describe him as a human version of the Muppet “Animal.” He just had that look. We had grown to be pretty good friends with the guys and were disappointed for them.

They hit the stage around 9:30-9:45 and used what little time they had to showcase some new material they had been working on, which is really harder and more aggressive than anything they had previously done. The crowd was pretty good sized considering where they were playing and the new tunes like “Rejected,” “Get Away” and “Hole Inside” were well received and the band played with lots of energy. Lead vocalist Rick Ruhl nearly created an early ending to the tour by pissing off the only redneck who was in the place with his in between songs banter and use of the 'f' word and the 'mf' word. The redneck took offense to this and proceeded to walk to the front by the stage and let loose with his own profanity-laced tirade. As he was leaving Rick enticed the crowd to shout 'Hey Motherfucker!' multiple times and then apologized saying that was the way he was raised. A few minutes later a couple of Huntsville police officers entered the building and took up positions at the side of the stage where the band comes off. In between songs Rick could be seen talking with the tour manager and some people from the club and it looked as though the show would end early. Rick returns to the mic and states that they are allowed to play another song or two but then he's going to jail. They continue with their set and again between songs he states that he's going to jail. When the set finally ended I asked one of the crew if indeed he was going to be arrested. I was told that he wasn't and that the one cop told Rick that he likes rock-n-roll and that he did nothing wrong. Whew! One last footnote for EMN was that Andy did a fabulous job filling in on the drums!

Following a short changeover it was time for Adler's Appetite. Now you can call these guys a Guns ‘N Roses tribute band if you like, but I like to think of it as an all star band featuring the music of GNR. The band came out pumped and full of energy, opening with “Welcome to the Jungle.” The crowd was most definitely into them and the guys all were having a great time. Steven Adler had an ear-to-ear grin during the entire show and it seemed as if he had not missed a single step since his departure from GNR many moons ago.

The band played about and hour and a half set consisting of mostly tracks from Appetite For Destruction, with just a few covers thrown in like AC/DC's “Sin City” and Thin Lizzy's “Hollywood” for which the mic was turned over to Keri Kelli and I must say he did an excellent job of handling the vocals on that one. The show ended about 15 minutes after the stated closing time for the club so once the show was over the employees did their best to rush everyone out. A friend of ours who was at the show needed to use the restroom before leaving and encountered a very hard time from one of the employees who simply didn't understand the severity of the need. As he emerged from the restroom the employee had run and told the cops that our friend was disrespectful to him and so they were waiting there to escort him from the building. We kicked back on the couch and chatted with all the guys for some time telling them how much we enjoyed the show. It was at this point that they made mention of the fact that there was no soundcheck that day and the sound sucked. At some point during the conversation Troy says, “Ya'll gotta come to the show tomorrow night in Shreveport (Louisiana). PLEASE come to the show in Shreveport!” Then the other band members chimed in as well all nearly begging us to come to the show. Now we have 3 teenaged kids at home and for us to get away to do much of anything is difficult enough let alone driving to Louisiana the next day for another concert, but we told them we would do the best we could. EMN's tour manager Nick told me to call his cell tomorrow and let him know, but then returned a couple of minutes later and told us that we were already on the guest list for the show and that we couldn't back out now. We left it at that and headed home.

Day 2 - Shreveport, Louisiana - February 21, 2004

I had some things to do early that Saturday morning and when we both woke up we were still not sure if we were going to make the drive to Louisiana. All my wife's talking about going got me excited about it so when she said that she didn't know whether we could go or not, I told her that of all times that we could do this, THIS was the weekend to do it. I ran out for my errands and whilst in the middle of them I called my wife, Lea, to find out what she had decided. Her first words after answering the phone were, “I booked us a room in Shreveport!” Woohoo! So I hurried home and we quickly packed for the journey.

The drive really wasn't too bad, only about 4 hours or so from our house and we arrived in Shreveport around 4 p.m. Now this was a Mardi Gras weekend and so we were expecting a TON of people to be there for the show. After settling in and getting a bite to eat we headed to the venue to watch the EMN soundcheck. The show was at a place called Bourbon Street Music Factory. A very nice establishment with a very cool stage, light and sound setup. I could tell now why the bands wanted us to come to that show. What we didn't know was that this show would be the last one for this club as the owner evidently owed thousands of dollars to the City of Shreveport. The bands were also informed that since it was Mardi Gras the crowds would not be getting pumped up until late so the set times were pushed back and the club was not even going to open until 10 p.m. Since we had some time to kill we headed to a nearby bar and settled in for some drinks before heading back to the show.

The opening band Insinuwait went on around 10:45-11:00 and played a good solid hour-long set which included a nicely done ménage of Black Sabbath tunes played in a medley. At this point there were about 40 people or so in attendance.

Every Mother's Nightmare hit the stage well after midnight, actually around 12:45am, but at least they got to play the full set they were supposed to be playing the entire tour. The sound was WAY better this time around and the light show the club provided was fantastic! The band was full of energy again and played their fucking hearts out to the crowd of about maybe 70-80 people that had spilled into the club from the streets. The first night Adler’s outdid EMN in performance simply if for no other reason than the fact that they had to play an abbreviated set. But on this second night EMN clearly had the upper hand and as it would turn out, the most people were there during their set.

Adler's Appetite took the stage at an unheard of time of like after 2 a.m. to crowd that had dwindled down to about 30 people by this time. Clearly someone in the club had anticipated crowd shit all wrong. The band was noticeably disappointed but played the best they could for those of us that were there. It was very sad to see especially since I thought the people that weren't there were missing one hell of a couple of bands and show. This night Adler’s actually played a slightly shorter version of their original set list because they were just flat wore out from having to play this late. We left the club as they ended their set and headed back to our hotel room where we crashed for the night before heading home the next morning. Who would have thought that within the space of about 3 days the entire tour would fall to pieces?

This next section is a somewhat summarized version of events that took place following these shows. I have taken the liberty to use facts from messages Jizzy Pearl and Steven Adler posted on their respective websites as well as information I obtained from other sources, such as EMN's tour manager. Here's what transpired:

Epitaph

Following the Shreveport show, EMN had 3 days off before their next show with AA in College Station, Texas. AA had scheduled 2 shows on their own without EMN for support. The first show was in Houston the following night, Sunday, February 22. They played that show and there were about 100 or so in attendance. Then on Monday, AA's day off, while heading to Baton Rouge, Louisiana for their next show the tour bus driver suddenly pulls over in the middle of nowhere, Louisiana and stops. It is here that he informs the band that the checks the promoter gave to the bus company bounced and would they please get their shit and get off the bus because it's going back to Memphis. Well, AA had an agreement originally that called for the band to pay for the bus for these extra 3 days out of their own pocket because they weren't on the original tour itinerary. So, the band forks over $1000 of their own money to the bus driver and the bus proceeds on down the road to Baton Rouge. Once there, the driver and bus company thanks the band for the money but tells them that unless the rest of the outstanding bill is not paid, the bus is leaving for Memphis, which it does. Unbeknownst to AA, the trailer the bus was hauling behind it contained ALL of EMN's gear and the only one with a key to it was the bus driver!

Now, somewhat stranded in Baton Rouge, the tour manager for EMN gets in touch with them and lets them know that he will have an RV sent there to pick them up after their show to take them to College Station, Texas for their next show with EMN. During this time the original promoter is telling AA that there was just some big misunderstanding and that he would straighten it all out and have a NEW bus waiting for them in College Station. When AA arrives, there is a tour bus parked there as promised. However, the first bus company contacted this new bus company and told them that they had gotten stiffed on the bill so the new bus company informs the band that unless the money is paid for it up front it would be leaving as well. Well, now neither band at this point has any money to speak of because the promoter has not paid them for the shows they have already played so this bus leaves as well. Both bands play their show in College Station, where they were told that ticket sales were 'healthy'. Evidently not. In addition, EMN played their show with rented gear considering they had theirs confiscated for bus bill collateral.

After the show, it is revealed that the promoter has been telling everyone, AA included, that this whole entire mess is EMN's and their tour manager's fault! EMN's tour manager goes to talk to the promoter about the whole situation and in very short order fisticuffs ensue, not once, but THREE times! All hell broke loose and it ended with both bands being left in College Station with no way home. Adler’s Appetite had plane tickets from Dallas to get home, but they weren't good for another few days since the bands still had a few more shows left to play on the tour. Somehow they managed to procure transportation to Dallas and made their flights home only after canceling the rest of the tour. EMN on the other hand was left stranded in College Station until late the following day before they could get a couple of rental cars to get them home. What a nasty end to what was supposed to be a nice little run for these two bands.

My most humble thanks goes out to all the members of both bands, Jizzy, Robbie, Brent, Steven and Keri were impressively sociable to us the entire time and Rick, Troy, Jeff, Travis and Andy from EMN were the friends they have come to be with us and it was a pleasure to finally see them play again.

These are the setlists that were used. Keep in mind that EMN's set was short the first night and Adler's set was short the second night. In no particular order:

Every Mothers Nightmare:

Get Away
Rejected
Honey
Mother, Mother
Deeper Shade of Gray
Long Haired Country Boy
Love Can Make You Blind
Walls Come Down
Pray
Hole Inside

Adler's Appetite:

Welcome to the Jungle
It's So Easy
Night Train
Out Ta Get Me
Move to the City
Sweet Child O' Mine
Mama Kin (Aerosmith)
Knockin on Heaven's Door
My Michelle
Hollywood (Thin Lizzy)
Mr. Brownstone
Rocket Queen
Sin City (AC/DC)
Paradise City











(Photos by Larry & Lea Petro)



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