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Elvis Birthday Extravaganza
Echo Lounge
January 2005

Elvis Birthday Extravaganza at Echo Lounge with Kingsized Elvis Birthday Extravaganza at Northside Tavern with Johnny Knox and Hi-Test

We were supposed to meet the gang for dinner, then hit the Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown show but on a shopping cruise through L5P early in the day we found a sign on the Variety Playhouse indicating that show had sold out in advance. SW wasn't feeling well so I called the gang and reorganized. I picked up degenerate CD and headed to Flatiron, only to find the place packed. We got a small table and waited about 10 minutes without the waitress even noticing us before giving up and heading to The Earl for dinner instead. Plenty of seats, waitress came by right away, good food - not sure why we considered The Flatiron in the first place...

We found the rest of the crew at Flatiron, had one quick drink and headed down to Echo to get in line early. I had run into Mike Geier earlier in the day and he'd said they'd already sold something like 250 tickets in advance so we wanted to make sure we got in the door. Lots of other people had the same idea so we couldn't find seats in which to lounge away the hour or more before the show would begin, so we went ahead and staked out standing room right up front.

Eventually Mike sauntered onto stage and called out numbers for a few raffles. Somehow I didn't get a ticket, but I don't know what I would've done with the life-size cardboard Elvis and none of the other stuff they gave away really interested me.

Mike was joined on stage by "Patritcia", a familiar face to those who've been to Tiki Torch Night at Trader Vic's, though the costume wasn't familiar.

Soon the rest of the band appeared to the piped-in sounds of Elvis fanfare, took their places and kicked off the show.
The set was much the same as the usual Kingsized tribute, perhaps with a bit more gospel than the previous shows I've attended.
The addition of a couple of female backup singers really fattened up the sound. Not to mention the amazing Elvis-in-mosaic-sequins dress...

And she played trombone.

A few of the lovely Dames A'flame appeared as go-go dancers on a riser at the back of the stage, giving the show even more of a Vegas feel.

As always, regardless of who else is on stage, Mike's towering presence and booming vocals take the lead.


Instead of the jumpsuit and faux Karate histrionics that make up the entire act of many an Elvis impersonator, Kingsized is all about the music.
Sure, it's not the music that rocketed Elvis to fame - more the music that he coasted along to, after rockabilly and b-movies had gotten him there. But Mike fuckin' sells it.

There was a brief intermission and encore, then Mike brought up the owner of Echo Lounge. She announced that we'd just seen the final show at Echo, thanks to the continued troubles with Atlanta City Council (have I told you bastards to go fuck yourselves lately?) She added that drinks were on the house for the rest of the night.

We screamed for another set, since it wasn't near curfew yet and even if it were what were the cops gonna do, shut the club down?!? But no, Kingsized called it a night and we hustled to the bar for a round of free cocktails.

I looked around for some sort of Echo Lounge souvenir and found one of the posters on the wall catching my eye. It was for a Steven Malkmus show SW and I had attended, but the poster wasn't available at the many poster sales they'd had at the club. So I sauntered over and began removing the screws holding in the frame. I was carefully pulling lose the staples when an Echo staff member came up, "What are you doing?"
"Stealing this poster," I said, working lose another staple.
"Well stop it."
"Oh, come on. It's the last night and I can't get this poster anywhere else."
"No, it's the club's property. This isn't a free-for-all."
"Oh, alright," I said, climbing down off the stool.

Meanwhile, other degenerates had begun removing other posters so the staff had to run around stopping people one by one. While they were distracted, I, stubbornly, returned to pull the last staple from the poster, only to find it glued to the frame. Across the way, degenerate JH just gave his poster a sharp tug and it was his, but I was, foolishly, trying to be careful with the thing. By the time it began to come loose the staff spotted me again and told me if I was gonna be an idiot then I should just get the fuck out.
I don't blame 'em.
So I downed my free drink and sauntered out onto the sidewalk, the last person to ever get kicked out of Echo Lounge (and, come to think of it, the first time I've ever been kicked out of any bar.)
Degenerate JK appeared with his poster in-hand. He wanted to stash it somewhere so he could go back for a free drink or two, so I offered to hold it for him since I'd been kicked out. I should've gone ahead and left, but I was waiting on other degenerates when one of the staffers spotted it rolled up in my hand and came out to snatch it. Apparently he was having to go from person to person inside, retrieving posters and such.

R.I.P., yet another portion of Atlanta's nightlife.

Elvis Birthday Extravaganza at Echo Lounge with Kingsized Elvis Birthday Extravaganza at Northside Tavern with Johnny Knox and Hi-Test

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