Saturday Night: Roky Moon & BOLT! At Fitzgerald's

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Roky Moon & BOLT! CD release Fitzgerald's July 30, 2011

Check out all that glitters in our American Honey slideshow.

11:54 p.m.: Question: What the fuck good is a smartphone if it dies every 14 minutes?

11:54:15: Oh, sorry. Some info: We're here at the album release party for American Honey, the second album from Houston's brilliant rockers Roky Moon & BOLT!. They recorded it at ZenHill Records, and they did so in one day. One day. An album record. One. Day. FYL.

11:59: Yo, there's a photographer here who looks like Professor Severus Snape from the Harry Potter movies. Cool. And weird.

1:59:30: Did anyone ever make a porno version of Harry Potter? Hairy Twatter, perhaps? Cool. And gross.

12:04 a.m.: Earlier this evening, riot-rapper and perpetual nominee for king of Houston Underground Music, B L A C K I E, was wandering around. Did you know he shaved his head? His hair had been his trademark for a long time. Him shaving it is akin to Michael Myers taking his mask off.

12:05: BTW, a proposed new nickname for B L A C K I E: The Shogun of Houston. Can we all agree on that?

12:08: These types of shows, the ones where there are no seats and everyone just stands where they please, are generally more fun than the ones where you pay for a ticket that secures you a seat. Think about some of the greatest rock and roll shows you've ever seen or read about: U2 on that L.A. liquor store rooftop in 1987; Hendrix at Woodstock in 1969; Queen at Live Aid in 1985; etc.

They're almost all in the Standing Around purview. The obvious reason for that is because if the band is any good, everyone inevitably gets all mushed together, and the energy of the mob tends to roll over onto itself again and again.

12:10: The guy from ZenHill Records is onstage. The show is about to start. He's talking about how when ZenHill started they had designs on "starting the grooviest little record label in Houston." He's sounding very much like a proud papa right now.

12:11-14: Some very spooky minstel-ish music playing. No band is out. There is a great big lightning bolt up behind the drum set. They're letting this entire song play, it seems, building up anticipation. Neat. When you make a crowd wait, that's a dicey game to play. It goes from Cool to Come On Already to What The Fuck, Bro. But if you wait long, it can roll back around to Cool again. It looks Roky Moon and BOLT are gonna tr---

12:14:05: Bam! They just came flying out(!)... the guitarist, bassist, saxophone player, and keyboardist have glam paint all over their faces(!)... crowd noise like a m-effer(!)... Roky comes out last(!)... he's wearing an all-white suit(!)... his face is painted too(!)... holy Christ.

12:15: A guy standing directly in front of us just fell the fuck out. He landed right at our feet. His eyes are wide open, but he's not responsive. We pat him on the chest several times to snap him out of it (that's what a doctor would do, we're certain of it). He doesn't move. Great. We're less than a minute in and Roky Moon and BOLT have already killed a guy.

12:16: A large man picked up the guy that fell out. Glad he didn't die. It was the chest pats that saved him, no doubt.

12:29: RM&B are saucy. The music shifts pace fearlessly and confidently, like a Ferrari.

12:29:15: FYI, the Ferrari thing, that's just a guess. We've never been in a Ferrari. We have, however, been in a 2001 Hyundai Accent. That thing changes directions like a guy with two twisted ankles. Roky Moon & BOLT! are not like that. They have extra ankles.

...What the fuck is going on right now? Ankle metaphors? Ferraris? Geez. Sorry again.

12:30-38: They're doing that song that ends with, "We don't know where we go when we die," the crowds goes yo-yo, then BOLT! leaves and Roky does two songs by himself. His guitar? All-white, of course. If a young Col. Sanders played the guitar, this is exactly what it would look like.

12:39: BOLT is back. Into some pretty heavy, swampy rock right now. There's another guitarist onstage now, an older guy, maybe 40. Naturally, he's in a cloak and face paint. Excellent. You have to love the idea of a middle-aged man potentially at home with his wife like, "This week was brutal, honey. Ed from Accounting was on my ass big-time. My TPS reports weren't in on time. I don't know if I'm gonna make the quarterlies. I need to work on that now. Have you seen my briefcase? ...You know what? Never mind. I've got that show tonight. Instead of my briefcase, have you seen my face paint and cloak?"

12:40-42: HO-LEE-HELL. BOLT's lead guitarist (Aaron Echegaray) has spun out of control. He is atomizing a guitar solo, half of which he has decided to play behind his head. This is insane. It's hard to state exactly how amazing this is. It's inspirational. It's aristocratic. It's religious. We want to give him all of my money and punch our son and eat a light bulb and drive into a wall at a high rate of speed.

What Leatherface did with a chainsaw, Echegaray is doing with his guitar. What Mark Zuckerberg did with someone else's idea, Echegaray is doing with his guitar. If you were to open up the sun and look at its core, you'd see Echegaray in there, powering it with the solo that he's playing right now. You know at the end of the The Matrix, when Neo flexes and the room pulsates and wobbles, then he looks up and realizes that he doesn't see the fake world anymore, he sees the numbers and computer coding that run it? Echegaray sees numbers and computer coding right now.

No hyperbole: We have never seen anybody play the guitar in person as well as Echegaray is right now. Nobody. NOBODY.

(Note: After the show, we went home and searched out Echegaray online to learn more about him, sure to find indirect evidence that he is a deity disguised as a curly-haired miscreant. We found his Google+ profile, the last update reading, "It's a good feeling knowing I'm going to give the performance of my life tonight." The man sees the future. Proof.)

12:43: Still recovering.

12:44: Still recovering.

12:45: Roky is back. And he's just taken his belt off. This shit is about to get personal, it seems. Maybe we're about to start filming Hairy Twatter? Where'd Photgrapher Professor Severus Snape go?

12:53: Of course there's a rock opera built into their set. Minus a brief lull during the second of Roky's earlier songs he performed by himself, these guys have been impeccable. Drummer, bassist, saxophonist, keyboardist; none of them have had a misstep. There has been passion and energy and showmanship to be admired. It's beginning to feel like more than just a Saturday concert or an album release concert; this is an End of Summer concert. Book that.

1:03: They finish off with that "Hot Saturday Night" boogaloo and that's that. Thanks for coming out, good night.

1:05: Screams.

1:06: Screams.

1:07: Screams.

1:08-14: After the crowd screams for three solid minutes and refuses to leave, Roky comes back out. He's gushing, apologizing that the show is over... screams, screams, screams... people are shouting for an encore... "I'm sorry, we don't have any more songs" ... screams, screams, screams..."We don't"... screams, screams, screams... "Sorry"... screams, screams, screams...

"Okay, okay. What about some Bowie? Everyone loves Bowie"... SCREAMS, SCREAMS, SCREAMS. Roky runs through his own specialized version of Bowie's "Ziggy Stardust." Game over. Roky Moon & BOLT! win.

Personal Bias: Last December, we interviewed RM&B for the Artist of the Week column.

The Crowd: Was loud but not shove-y.

Overheard In the Crowd: "For real, if anyone touches my shit, I'm fuckin' 'em up," said a woman who placed her bag down on a speaker.

Random Notebook Dump: There's no difference between getting a lip piercing at 40 years old and being 40 with a lip piercing that you've had since you were 15. And even if one is more legitimate than the other, either way, you're still a 40-year-old with a lip piercing. Go ahead and take it off.

Follow Rocks Off on Facebook and on Twitter at @HPRocksOff.

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