by Shannon Claire
This New Years Eve was celebrated in every form possible. I myself attended four different events. I began with a small intimate gathering over tacos and wine, then to a friend of a friends party, hitting up downtown, and then, of course, a celebratory after-hours house party.
I was a little hesitant to go downtown this year. The thought of weaving through the people waiting in ridiculous lines at Main St. or The Fat Toad to get to my destination is never very appealing. Nor is dealing with the cops that set up in the middle of the street to indeed remind me I'm in a college town and need a babysitter. As well as running into the obliterated half-naked drunk girl who can't walk in her 4-inch heels and is crying about how cold she is and the inebriated bro declaring as loud as possible "I love you, man!" to his fellow inebriated bro.
I was interested, though, to see Mix Barcade and The Bourbon Theatre duke it out in a tug of war to be most happening NYE spot. I walked right past the red carpet, black ropes and men in tuxes to the good ol' Bourbon with my face painted in gold, ready to see what Eastwood Pants were all about. Plus, a ton of great fun party going friends of mine were in there and I was ready to get down.
As I walked passed the line of wind-blown party people waiting to get into the Bourbon, I muted the chaodic noise of guests in the front room and surged pass them to get into the main room where the beats were bumpin' and champagne was poppin'. It was a wonder one could move let alone drop it to the floor with how packed it was, but when you have "Fun Guise", better known as DJ's Spencelove and Joseph Johnson mixing, anything and everything is possible. They mixed an eclectic group of music from dance, hip-hop and electronica. With DJ Spence counting down the New Year, the boys left the club-like room hyped up and ready for the the Bourbon's cover band to ring in this highly anticipated year.
Eastwood Pants, made up of Josh Miller (Powerful Science), Darren Keene (Bad Speler, TSITR), Jim Schroeder (UUVVWWZ), Tom Ambroz (original UUVVWWZ drummer) and Luke Polipnik (former Lincoln guitar virtuoso now Madison, Wisc. resident), played a set of covers that night that I know just didn't impress me, but put smiles on most of the celebrators as well. Polipnik was asked to put together a super awesome cover band to play the traditional Bourbon Theatre New Years Eve bill. With out a bat of an eye, Keen and Schroeder were added and quickly recruited Miller and Ambroz to complete the group. Without a name they were focused on getting a setlist underway. Schroeder's dad suggested the name Eastwood Pants in conversation with Keen one day, " You all could dress up as Clint Eastwood. He's the Man."
And so they did. Taking the stage with members in button-downs, brown hats, fringe vests, denim and striped shirts, Eastwood Pants brought the warm nights back to us by opening with the crowd-friendly cover "Summer in the City." The setlist included diverse covers such as "Everybody Dance Now," "Let's Dance," and "Safety Dance." The crowd participation grew once you heard the chords of George Michael's "Faith" with party go-ers impressively singing to almost every word. E.P. put a nice, yet already done twist to this cover by ending it with a tribute to Limp Bizkit's rendition of the song. This was my personal highlight. Another favorite was hearing one of my favorite Cake songs, "Short Skirt," be covered with all the right instruments and Cake-like sounds. Just when I thought crowd participation couldn't get much more involved, friends of the band (myself included) took to the stage for the last two songs of the night. I mean, who can resist Madonna's "Holiday" and Fine Young Cannibals' "Drives Me Crazy?"
Here are some photos of people making out and gettin down ... That's what NYE is all about anyway right?
DJ Spencelove & Joseph Johnson aka "Fun Guise"
Shannon Claire is a HN contributor who can be reached at email@example.com.