I went to the Rock ‘n Roll New Years Eve at the Indianapolis downtown Hyatt hotel. I was writing about it for NUVO. I got to hang out with 2500 of my closest friends.
I’ll admit to going in to the evening with a bad attitude. I gave myself a good talking to on the way in. “I’m lucky to be able to attend such a big event. A year ago I never dreamed that I would be writing for NUVO. Blah, blah.” And it was fun to dress up and downtown Indianapolis was hopping with the Colts game. My fake good mood did not last long. I stood in the will-call line and waited patiently under the “L-Z” sign. They could not find my name or anything under NUVO. I ran in to the photographer that covering the event. He pointed me to the top-secret unmarked table where I was given a wristband. The un-organization at the entry was indicative of the rest of the evening. The music was on three floors. I was given a sheet listing the bands, but nothing about which floor or what time. It does not help that I’m horribly afraid of heights. The place was lousy with glass elevators and steep escalators.
People were wearing everything from Colts jerseys to sequined long dresses. I would say that 2000 of the folks there were 22 years old and determined to get their $40 worth. I would be happy to never see another noisemaker again. There was a roving band of obnoxious guys that would pretend to hit on any woman over 40, and then make fun of them behind their back. That got old pretty quickly. I’d smile and keep moving. It is a pretty weird evening to be alone—and sober.
The bands were all good, in their own way. Carl Storie had a big hit in the 80’s with the ballad “Dancing Shoes.” He and his band were great, but I was feeling sad standing in that room--maybe because the room was full of dancing couples my age.
X-Ray Roger Jimmy played teen-age boy rock. Lots of guitars, ripped jeans, tank tops and screaming girls. All I heard were cover songs. I stood by a potted plant and watched in awe.
Stereo Deluxe is a power pop band of cute angst ridden 20-somethings. They started late and played way later than they should have. The next band waited not so patiently to start.
The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band was up next. Josh (the Reverend), Breezy (his wife) and Jayme (his little brother) are all great people. Josh used to be the Director of Volunteers at WFYI the local public television station. He and I would swap volunteer gigs. It’s always nice to have another volunteer that has your best interests at heart for big events.
That said, I have to admit that I only love them for a song or two. Think Delta Blues meets meth lab. Frenetic high-energy.
Click on "happy new year" for a link to their website. They are cute as buttons and it is fun to see what they look like.
At midnight they dropped thousands of balloons from the ceiling (I'm not sure how many floors the hotel has and I was afraid to look up). I was standing with my back to the wall, behind yet another potted plant. I was also worrying about the structural integrity of the building. I did get to see an engagement. The guy tied the ring to a string tied to his belt loop because he was afraid of losing it.
I listened to a couple of songs from the headlining band, the Virgin Millionaires. They are one of the best rock bands I’ve seen this year. Someone spilled a drink from above. I was afraid it was something else. I was relieved to feel an ice cube hit my head! I took that as my cue to leave.
It was a long five hours, but I survived. And I got to tell the obnoxious guys to %*@$-off on the way out the door—the first time I’ve ever said that to anyone.
Here is the review I wrote, as you can see I’m much nicer in print…..
The New Years Eve Rock ‘n Roll Ball at the Hyatt Regency rang in the New Year in nearly 2007 different ways. There were at least that many people, a balloon drop, a comedian, at least one engagement (congratulations Sarah and Gary) and a fantasy casino. People were wearing everything from Colts jerseys to sequins. However there was no doubt that the focus of the evening was on music. The DJ and the bands were spread over three floors with music spilling throughout the hotel.
Carl Storie and his band commanded the ballroom for the night. The room and the dance floor were constantly full of adoring fans. It is clear why Storie is an icon in the Indianapolis music world.
X-Ray Roger Jimmy kicked off the music on the atrium stage. Their high-energy guitar driven rock (and rock star good looks) had the 20-something crowd pumping fists, dancing and singing along. Their New Years wish of “peace, harmony and lots of sex” was a big hit.
Upstairs at the NUVO stage Stereo Deluxe proved why they were the 2005 Benchmark Battle of the Bands winners with their power pop strength. The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band took over at 11:30. They stopped for a few minutes for the official countdown to 2007, although the energy produced by the Peyton’s rivaled the thousands of people screaming at midnight. The Big Damn Band has a big damn delta blues sound produced by only three members. As the Reverend promised, they saved the best for 2007. They reclaimed the stage and the crowd with authority. And if this were a piece about fashion, Breezy Peyton would get the best-dressed nod. Not everyone can find the perfect little black dress and accessorize it with a washboard.
The Virgin Millionaires played their first show of the new year to a huge appreciative crowd. It was the perfect way to musically ring in 2007.