What has SXSW come to when rock stars can't be rock stars? Last night at the Jade Tree showcase at Lambert's, headlining act These Arms Are Snakes almost had their lead singer kicked out of the bar right before the venue tried to cut their set short. The Seattle hardcore outfit's lead singer Steve Snere is known for his rowdy onstage antics but apparently the venue's bartenders didn't know what they were in for. During an instrumental interlude Snere jumped up on the bar and poured hot wax from a candle onto his hand. The bartender (who apparently wasn't paying attention to the concert going on directly in front of him) turned around and immediately told Snere to get off the bar and snatched the candle from his hand. Snere looked confused and got off the bar and continued with the song. The bartender then turned to a security guard and told him to kick Snere out of the bar to which the guard quizzically replied "but he's in the band" and motioned to the stage. The bartender then likely realized what an ass he was.
Now we're not arguing whether or not it's cool or necessary to pull a Ricky Martin during a hardcore show, but what the hell does it matter? It's not like wax stains concrete. Let rockers be rockers, especially if fans are enjoying themselves and not tearing your bar to the ground. To make matters worse the staff tried to cut the TAAS show off in the middle of a song and let them play an encore only after the band and the crowd pleaded with them for one more. "We drove 17 hours to get here but you guys won't let us play one more song — thanks, thanks a lot," said Snere as he sarcastically applauded Lambert's and staff.
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In other news, The Gossip took over Emo's earlier in the night with a set as powerful as it was half-dressed. During the punk/soul/rock group's set, singer Beth Ditto pulled the weave from her head and threw it into the audience and then took of her dress. A long-time proponent of lesbians and big girls everywhere, Ditto proved that size doesn't matter during The Gossip's final number "Standing in the Way of Control." Ditto sang and danced her way through much of the song in only her bra, undies, pantyhose and heels. Good thing she wasn't at Lambert's or the bartender might have thought she had just had too much to drink. -- Dusti Rhodes