On Friday night we went to Mayslack’s in Northeast Mpls to see T/N/T, an AC/DC tribute band. One thing I’ve discovered since our venture is that it’s important to make the distinction, when talking about T/N/T, is to make sure you distinguish it from TNT, another AC/DC tribute band based out of Los Angeles (basically, the fitter version).
While it’s not surprising that there is more than one AC/DC tribute band (with so much material, why should only one band reap the cover band gold?), it’s not clear to me why only one name is allowed. Is there a TNT franchise that one can buy into and set up shop in a region? Could one of the bands be High Voltage or Back In Black or, if I were going to have an AC/DC tribute band, American Thighs?
The band we saw, T/N/T, is the Midwest-based AC/DC tribute band, which one can pretty much guess by looking at them. One of the singers – mostly supposed to sing Bon Scott’s songs – looks a bit like Louie Anderson – overweight, kinda sweaty, pasty skin. I was a little worried that he would have a heart attack during his performance but, luckily, I’m sure the show held no surprises for him.
“OK, now I go into ‘Big Balls’ and then it’s onto ‘Dirty Deeds… Let’s get on with it.”
I saw him sitting at a table in the back of the room during their break and he was yawning and putting his head down on the table. I’m not sure how I felt about this. I don’t think that the guys of AC/DC would do this. Admittedly, they don’t take a break and they do have a backstage area to hang out in but… just seeing the guy yawning and looking like he so desperately wanted to go to sleep did put a damper on things for me.
The big thing that T/N/T is supposed to offer is, according to their website, “T/N/T is the ONLY AC/DC tribute band in the world that recognizes the individual talents of Brian Johnson & Bon Scott by employing two lead vocalists for the closest representation to the bands original sound.”
This was pretty much lost on me. I’m not a huge AC/DC fan. But Keith is. His takeaway: “They knew the songs amazingly well. They did the solos note for note. After putting that much effort into knowing the songs though, they really didn’t sound that much like AC/DC. The guitars were flat and assy – AC/DC has great, great guitar tone – and, of the two lead singers, the Bon Scott guy was really good at singing either Bon Scott or Brian Johnson but the Brian Johnson guy sounded more like Grover. Still, it was pretty fun.”
Oh wait, – he also says, “AC/DC is kind of a band where you can get away with playing the hits. Some of T/N/T’s cuts were a little deeper than they needed to be.”
Lest you doubt T/N/T’s clout in the world of heavy metal/tribute bands, here is a partial list of the bands they’ve appeared with:
Warrant – AW, YEAH
Grand Funk Railroad
L.A.Guns – REALLY?
Georgia Satellites – WOW
Mini Kiss – MUST SEE
Regional Acts & Tributes
One – THE Tribute to Metallica
Def Repplica – MUST SEE
Zed Leppelin – SEEN THEM TWICE
Rattle & Hum
Strutter – MUST SEE
Luckily for me, the crowd offered plenty of things to be excited about. The first was a guy sitting next to us on a bar stool with very tight, long curly hair. Or maybe it was permed. I wanted so badly for it to be a perm. He was probably somewhere in his 40s, maybe late 40s, and was wearing a hooded sweatshirt with a metallic crucifix on the back, an AC/DC t-shirt and jeans. He also had on these really cool looking Euro “trainers” that looked like they were made in Italy. That was perhaps most baffling. Where did he get these cool shoes and the wherewithal to purchase them?
He looked as if he lived in an apartment complex that was built in the 80s in Richfield or maybe St. Louis Park and would be the neighbor who would haul some buckets of water and a chamoix out on a summer day to wash his Trans-Am in the parking lot. He looked like the kind of guy who would ask you if you wanted to grab “a slice.”
He ordered some nachos and then something wonderful happened. His friend Patrick showed up.
[I know his name was Patrick because Curly Hair With Trainers offered him some nachos by saying, “Hey, Patrick, get in on this.” Patrick proceeded to demolish most of the chips. His beer of choice as Miller Genuine Draft. This seemed like a detail worth remembering at the time.]
Patrick… where to begin? His hair was big. Not long but BIG. He definitely went at it with a ratting comb. He had a heavy, drawn face, bulbous nose, bags under his eyes. He was wearing his AC/DC t-shirt, black Levis, a hoodie and a leather jacket with his keys tagged onto the zipper. He had three rings on each hand, all silver and thick, and a big, honkin’ silver crucifix around his neck. All eyes turned to him when he walked in because of THE HAIR. This was some glorious hair. This was like one of those rainbow clown wigs that shake when the wearer moves their head except it was all brown in color.
Patrick looked as if he lived in St. Paul. With his mom. He calls her a bitch behind her back but then does everything she says.
I think Patrick and Curls really enjoyed the show. I know Curls did because he was basically putting on a karaoke display complete with hand gestures. In fact, he may want to inquire out about franchising… he could maybe form T*N*T and set up shop in Ohio or something. I know Patrick enjoyed the show because there was a lot of hair bobbing.
Curly Hair was on the prowl, too, talking to a lot of women around him and then convincing one of them, a woman who looked perfectly normal, to go out for a smoke break with him and Patrick.
Once the intermission (or nap time) was over and the second set started, a new couple moved into our space. This was Lambada Couple. Do you remember the lambada craze of the 1990s? The “Forbidden Dance?” Basically, it involves a lot of grinding and humping of legs and such… which this couple proceeded to do with enthusiasm, at least on the woman’s part. The guy was too drunk to do much of anything. He did not actually have his eyes open. They were just tiny slits that let in the minimum amount of light needed to stay vertical in the room. I’m fairly certain that his field of vision was about 10 inches in front of his face.
Now, I’ve been this drunk many times. Granted, it was all a long time ago, something I’m grateful for. It’s the kind of situation where you feel yourself crossing over into a state that could be potentially dangerous but it’s too late. You can do nothing. You must helplessly stand by as your body shuts down various senses and abilities and hope for the best. You can hope for spontaneous puking. You can hope for a safe place to lie down. A dark room is best but at that point you’ll take a ditch, a closet or a bathtub.
So, Lambada Woman would wrap her legs around this guy and then throw the top half of her body around wildly, shaking her hair. He just kind of smiled. Now that I think about it, he was pretty much functioning as her stripper pole.
Then she ordered them some drinks. I guess he was supposed to pay for these drinks because he spent about five minutes padding the pockets of his coat and jeans, feeling around for something that could be used as currency until finally coming up with a credit card. I watched him suck down what was probably a rum and coke and thought, “You poor, poor bastard, you’re so drunk you don’t even know that you should be in triage mode.”
After the drinks, more lambada. I stupidly turned to Keith and asked him what the hell was up with them and he said, “Well, they are drunk and they are horny.”
The evening culminated for me when T/N/T sang “The Jack.” If you’re not familiar, it has a very bluesy, New Orleans, show-me-your-tits kind of feel (and was supposedly inspired by a letter that Malcolm Young received from a woman who claimed he’d given her a venereal disease), which really got the crowd going. I don’t think I have to tell you how much Lambada Couple enjoyed it but it also got some of the other ladies in the crowd undulating, much to the amusement of Curly Hair, who was checking out their asses. If Patrick cared, I couldn’t tell because his face was obscured by hair.
All in all, I have to give T/N/T and Mayslack’s two thumbs up.