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Monster Bash 2009
Starlight Drive In

Text and photos by Frederick Noble

Things at the drive in have been chaotic this year. Drive Invasion has been reduced to one day, as of the moment I'm writing this, and apparently Monster Bash was thrown together only a few weeks before the event. With the economy such as it is we're lucky to have a drive in at all, people, so keep showing up regularly and support your local scene!

Pandora of the Silver Scream Spookshow led The Spookshow All-Stars through some punk covers, apparently on last minute notice. She reminded us every few minutes that she'd only known about the gig 15 minutes beforehand. "Man-up," as they say, and sing the damn songs. Fortunately, there aren't many people in this crowd who are too picky about perfection, practice, or even what is on stage. We're all friends, we've all got drinks and we're all smiling.

This, despite the fact that it's 85 fuckin' degrees and humid and the sun is bearing down on us like we are ants and God is holding the magnifying glass.

The Monster Midway couldn't be assembled this year. However, there were the requisite Hearses on display.

Acres of tattoos, monster-related arts and crafts, a little burlesque, a little Spookshow slapstick, and all for $15.

Hard/heavy/metallic Courtesy Murder were next on stage, bringing the loud rock and roll type stuff the kids are into these days.
Well, a few of the kids, and a bunch of old men.

I skipped a bunch of acts to relax in the shade under an umbrella. The clouds crept across the sky then mercilessly parted as they neared the sun. Combined with a hangover from the night before, I wasn't up for watching a bunch of bands and/or burlesque I could see just about any week in Atlanta. Instead, I socialized with folks in front of the movie screen.

But eventually Bigfoot drew me back to the stage. They feature Jet from Rock City Dropouts and other efforts, as well as several other familiar faces in Atlanta's rock scene.

However, Jet had obviously had one, or five, too many. He's got a hell of a voice and normally backs it up with a macho swagger on stage. However, at Monster Back it was more of a macho stagger.
Fortunately, this type of music is more about the guitar than the vocals. Toward the end of the set the energy on stage spilled out into the crowd, inspiring some macho mosh pit action.
The bands ended before dark for the first time at any drive in event I can remember, which gave everyone time to hit the bathroom, find their spot and socialize a bit before the movies cranked up.

This year we got Tales from the Crypt, a 1972 film based on the comics of the same name featuring Joan Collins, Peter Cushing, a bunch of unknowns, and Ralph Richardson as the Crypt Keeper in his pre-zombie form. When I finally got our chatty neighbors to shut the hell up we enjoyed the film, though I remembered some of the plot twists from the comics and the HBO versions.

I really wanted to watch The Howling under the full moon that was shining down but I was beat. Work would drag me out of bed in the morning, so we left just as the vintage trailers flickered up before the second feature.

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