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Drive Invasion
August 30, 2003

Friday, Dragon Con Saturday, Drive Invasion Sunday, Drive Invasion
Somewhere we heard gates opened at 3 on Saturday for the Starlight Drive Invasion, but then degenerate DN called at 2:30 and said he'd been there for a while looking at classic cars and drinking cold beer and we hadn't even gotten our coolers packed yet. So we hustled as quickly as we could and got there around 3:30, just early enough to get our preferred spot on the second row. Another surprise - anyone driving a pre-80's car got in for free, so I saved the $30 two-day admission. (Of course, I don't want to talk about how much I had to spend to get that pre-80's car running...) It was hot as a furnace on those acres of blacktop but I dug an umbrella out of the thunderbird for portable shade and cruised the classic car show. Lots of beauties to drool over! And the cars weren't bad either...
A few people gave me a hard time about walking around with an umbrella in the blazing sun, but a few minutes later these same people huddled around me when the skies opened up with torrential rain.
Lust was on stage, done up as pirates, when the storm blew in and scared off most of the fans. But some huddled under tents nearby and others found their own umbrellas and stuck it out.

 

In between acts, the lovely ladies of Dames Aflame did burlesque numbers with more flair than flesh - lots of strange costumes and fun dance numbers.
Gargantua brought the heavy stuff. I think Shane, pictured in the center here, may have painted the creepy backdrop for the stage, perfect for drive in madness.

Some of the Dames stuff was just weird. Like the monkey in a suit cooking up a pot of body parts and doing the robot dance, which led into a striptease by another dancer with veils and such. It was like every drive in movie mixed up into one bit of performance art.

Even though there were plenty of sweet cars there both days, my favorite ride was definitely the Rascal, brought by an old work buddy.

Sure, it only goes 5 mph, but you're much less likely to get pulled over for DUI.

Riverboat Gamblers, from Texas, followed with good punky tunes and plenty of energy to back 'em up.
The rain had cooled things down a bit so soggy fans regrouped for the set.
There's a little pedestal-like thing in the fence in front of the stage that is a popular thing with lead singers.

More Dames Aflame, including a sexy sword dance.
Unfortunately, you can only go so far at a "family show." But that didn't put a damper on the fans' appreciation.
The Henchmen were next, sounding like an average rockabilly band from the other side of the parking lot, but when I got closer I noticed they've replacing the traditional stand-up bass with a keyboard, giving it a strange sound somewhere between rockabilly and 60's garage rock. I enjoyed it, though I think it turned off some of the rockabilly purists in the crowd.

And more Dames Aflame, with extra mustard.
And a PBR to wash it down with.

The Forty Fives did a set that absolutely killed. The sun had returned and combined with the humidity to turn the parking lot into a sauna, but that didn't slow the band down for an instant. I couldn't believe I was in a drive in for a small, local festival and hearing music that good. The MC said "These guys should be famous" but I'm glad, for my own selfish reasons, they're still just a local band you can catch just about any week in intimate little clubs. They kick ass in a big, big way. Unfortunately, my camera only had a few shots left due to a low battery and I've got dozens of pictures of them so I put the camera away and just jumped around with the crowd.

My favorite t-shirt of the night. Would have been the perfect wardrobe for the movie 2000 Maniacs, shown later that night.
Southern Culture on the Skids cranked up as the sun dropped low, doing their usual shtick with a little more energy than the last time I caught them at Echo Lounge. Or maybe it was the afternoon of sun, sangria, sexy ladies and sexy cars. Either way, everywhere you looked people were bobbing and weaving along.
SCOTS played until well after dark, wrapping up with the expected fried chicken and banana pudding, distributed by female fans dancing along the front of the stage. The lovely lass on the left could really dance.
Degenerate DN said, "Oh, that's trouble. I might actually start liking banana pudding."

 I headed back toward our spot and noticed the row behind us had been rearranged in a less than orderly fashion - a tent was askew, a couple of trucks parked at an angle in the middle of the row. Then I noticed a crowd gathering, smashed glass, crushed lawn chairs, all the signs of a moment of automotive chaos. Apparently a young man had lost control of his massive, overpowered pickup and plowed through a beautiful Pontiac Tempest, pushing it into a bystander and another car, hit another truck and pushed it into another car. It was unclear if it was a mechanical problem, such as a stuck accelerator, or driver error, but witnesses said he seemed inebriated and the police later took him away in cuffs. Could've been either or both. But there was only one person who was injured. If it hadn't been SCOTS on stage there would have been serious injuries and possibly deaths. Instead, nobody was in their seats to be crushed. I'd just met the girl in the row behind us (seen in the Rascal photos above.) She and her two friends' lawn chairs, where they'd been sitting before SCOTS came on stage, were under the tires of the big pickup, flattened. The driver of the bashed Tempest was in good spirits, saying it was only steel.

During all the hullabaloo I missed the opening cartoon and trailers, but I settled in as Blood Feast got going. It's the tale of a man who wants to resurrect the ancient Egyptian Feast of Ishtar, and if you've seen Ishtar you know what a horror that's going to be - Warren Beaty and Dustin Hoffman's worst film ever!
OK, not that Ishtar, though Blood Feast shares a lot in common with that film - bad acting and flat dialog, but whereas Ishtar was supposed to be funny and wasn't, Blood Feast wasn't supposed to be funny (I don't think) and was hilarious. A few good gore scenes, some incredible eyebrows, and the only police chase slower than OJ's.

A brief intermission later, it's more trailers, including the incredible Caged Virgins, a film I really hope to see at the drive in some day. If not, I may have to resurrect the b-movie night we used to have once every few months for that film alone. The next feature, 2000 Maniacs, was shown at a previous drive in event that SW and I missed. It got high marks from everyone so I had high expectations. I was not disappointed. It's a typical story of a band of merry southerners out to kill Yankees, in strange and often complicated ways, in revenge for the civil war. The southerners are exaggerated to the point of caricatures, with every child waving a rebel flag and everyone speaking with accents so thick even I had a hard time understanding them occasionally. It even has a Deliverance/Oh Brother soundtrack that's particularly funny when they do "Rolling in my Sweet Baby's Arms" as a girl's arm is rolling on a spit over a fire. The goofy twist at the end is the icing on the surrealistic cake.

They didn't have a cartoon or trailers before the third feature, Trader Hornee, a super-soft-core T&A flick with a plot thinner than a busted condom - something to do with stock footage of Africa and a guy in white gorilla suit. Terrible, but it did feature quite a few full frontal nudity scenes with shapely women. But I'm old and jaded and that just doesn't hold my attention anymore, especially sometime after 1 AM, so we beat a retreat.

Friday, Dragon Con Saturday, Drive Invasion Sunday, Drive Invasion

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