You can tell we're in the heat of the summer when the temperature starts hitting triple digits, and you're not sure if the flashes you see at night are heatstroke or fireworks. When you hear the explosions, though, it's reassuring to know that Independence Day has arrived, and you aren't hallucinating.
Of course, if you stumble into Club Majestic Friday night, you might have the same reaction. Picture this: bright lights, people dancing, costumes, stage props, heavy makeup, loud music and ... wait a minute. I recognize this song ... (a guilty pleasure, perhaps?) and the singer looks vaguely familiar. Is this? Nah ... Or is it?
Don't worry. You aren't imagining things as your head spins from heat stroke. And you haven't drank that much yet. (Or maybe you have, who knows?) It's not your mind playing tricks on you, either: You are hearing Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance," and that vague resemblance isn't the real Gaga, but one of Tulsa's most popular artists at the moment.
If you've heard the rumors, I can confirm they are true. If you're wondering just what I'm talking about, Eric & the Adams will be decked out and playing a full set of Lady Gaga tunes Friday night, July 2, at Club Majestic. Don't expect a standard cover band club set, however. If Himan and his band are going to tackle Gaga, they're going all out.
"Originally, we were at band practice a while back, and we got into a small discussion of what would it be like to do just one person's songs," Himan said.
"Funnily enough, Jimmy (Adams, the band's bassist) is the one who's obsessed with Lady Gaga. So I learned 'Bad Romance' for the acoustic Haiti benefit we played and also 'Poker Face.' Not only did Jimmy freak, but people seemed to like it because I got a few requests for it later," he said.
Based on the response from that one show, the band then entertained the possibility of doing an entire set of Lady Gaga songs.
Once the idea was set in motion, Himan knew there was only one logical place to hold the show if they were to do it: Club Majestic. After all, even though the club rarely hosts live bands, it's got a nice stage, has hosted a production of "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" and has the perfect dance club vibe.
Once the band pitched the idea to club management and got a green light, plans really started taking off.
For starters, there will be a full light show, staged by Integrity Lighting, and the band has gone all out designing costumes and stage props. The band has event built a casing for the keyboards to provide the appearance of a baby grand while also serving as a smaller performance stage.
Once word got out about the show, a buzz immediately started building. At this point, it appears that not only will the band be dressing up, but a good portion of the audience will as well. It's something that Himan acknowledged and admitted is making them look forward to the show even more. After all, this is the biggest production the band has undertaken to date, even surpassing the work that was put into its CD release party.
Doors open at Club Majestic Friday at 8pm, and the show is scheduled to start at 10pm. You can expect a full set of Lady Gaga tunes, including a blow-out encore, with the band wrapping up around 11:30pm, after which the party will continue on into the night. If you want a good spot, you'll want to arrive early, and cover is only $5 for the 21 and over crowd or $10 for those ages 18-20.
Eric & the Adams has continued to work to build a buzz around the show on the Internet, including filming a semi-impromptu acoustic version of "Eh, Eh (Nothing Else to Say)" at Ida Red a couple weeks back and posting it on Facebook and YouTube.
Although the show will undoubtedly be a great time and an over-the-top production, the most interesting aspect of the show might be the fact that it shows the band's flexibility and versatility.
"Of course it's Lady Gaga, but it's pushed through the filter of us as a band," Himan said. "I've been really surprised at what we can do as a trio, and I've think we did a really good job with it (the Gaga material) so far."
Gaga fan or not, this is a show you won't want to miss, so make sure and check it out.
Lighting it Up!
Although "Eric & the Adams goes Gaga" is the big show Friday night, it isn't the biggest party of the weekend. After all, Sunday is the Fourth of July, and most people will have Monday off for a long holiday.
Although fireworks are always an integral part of Independence Day, there's no reason we shouldn't throw a party or two, right?
If you're looking for fireworks, you won't have to look very far. Depending on what part of town you're in, you might be able to sit in one place and watch two or three shows off in the distance. The biggest one in Broken Arrow is out at Rhema, while Jenks has a big one going on courtesy of Riverwalk Crossing and Los Cabos.
Probably the biggest and most premier show in town, however, is the fireworks display provided by Tulsa Parks Department at River Parks West. While the River Parks grounds and amphitheater undoubtedly provide a great view and atmosphere, I'll share a tip with you that will make the show even better.
If you haven't heard yet, Tom Dittus (yes, the man who's bringing back Blue Rose Café and of Steamroller Blues) recently took over the café and bistro at 19th and Riverside. Now dubbed Elwood's, the locale is livening up and becoming known for good food and a great atmosphere.
And in case you're wondering, yes it's true: Blue Rose Café will be returning, with groundbreaking for the new restaurant scheduled for later this month.
The important news this weekend, however, is that Elwood's (which is just across the banks from River Parks West) might just be holding the best Fourth of July party in town. Music, food, a great atmosphere and even free shuttle service are making this a great place to settle in Sunday afternoon and into the evening.
Because the bistro is small and has a limited capacity, outside vendors are being brought in for the day to provide more options and efforts have been made to keep the costs reasonable. Food and drinks from the vendors can be purchased with tickets (think Mayfest style), and the ticket booths will open at 10am.
"Why should I go to Elwood's for the Fourth?" you might be wondering. Maybe because there's an all-day party as well as plenty of shade and trees as it's located in the heart of River Parks. Not to mention, since it's just across the banks for River Parks West, if you stay through the evening, you've got one of the best views of the fireworks in town.
Elwood's is even cordoning off a special reserved area with a clear view of River Parks West, so you can spread out with friends or family to enjoy the afternoon and fireworks display without tripping over one another.
Live entertainment will be provided all day, beginning with Junaluska at noon. Eric & the Adams will take over the stage at 1:30pm for a two-hour set that will include the band's original material, a host of covers and perhaps an encore of a Lady Gaga tune or two; although none are promised.
At 4:15pm, Sam & the Stylees will keep spirits high with the band's eclectic take of Reggae, which has been incorporating a little more rock and funk vibe lately. Finally, Mid Life Crisis will close out the evening with two sets: the first starting at 7pm, then after the fireworks, the band will resume playing until 11pm or a little after.
The music and grounds are open to all with no admission fee, but tickets for the preferred viewing area will be $15 for adults and $5 for children ages 6-11. Capacity is limited, so you'll want to arrive early to get your passes before they sell out -- even if it's only to return later in the day. Coolers are prohibited from the preferred section due to limited space, but blankets and lawn chairs will be happily allowed and encouraged.
The Elwood's crew seems to have all bases covered and has even considered the lack of parking space. If you're looking to make it an easy experience, you can park in the Brady Arts District and catch the "Scooby Express" shuttle, which will run every 30 minutes to the Elwood's site and back, with the intervals shortening to 20 minutes during peak hours.
Afterwards, the shuttle will return you to the main pick up and drop off location at Main and Brady.
It's also good to know that The MET will be on hand, helping with recycling and a portion of the proceeds from reserved tickets and vendor sales will go to the Child Abuse Network. Although Elwood's is throwing a great party, it's really just a teaser for what can be expected in the future, once Dittus and company finally get things up and rocking. Still, it's probably your best bet in town on Sunday.
I've already rambled on long enough and many of you will be skipping town and heading to the lake for the holiday weekend anyway. Even so, there are a few shows around town for those of us who stick around.
Thursday is actually pretty quiet this week, but you can never go wrong with a pint and a few Irish tunes at Arnie's with Cairde Na Gael. You might also want to drift over to Eclipse and check out Soul Therapy to unwind.
Friday, July 2, has plenty going on, not the least of which is the aforementioned Eric & the Adams gig. Elsewhere around town, however, The Fiddlebacks are at Mercury Lounge, Sam and the Stylees rule the patio at Hunt Club, and Ceceda plays Soundpony. If you're looking for more bang for your buck, though, you can check out the Afton Live showcase at Bob's with The Living Machines, Triple Fang, The Balcony Scene! and more for only $12 at the door.
The show that's really flying under the radar on July 2, however, is an intimate all-ages show by Stars Go Dim at Rock & Jock Pizza (formerly Joe Momma's Express at 61st and I-169). Apollo and The Heartless Moment will open and tickets are only $8 in advance or $10 at the door to see last year's Best new Artist and Pop/Rock Band, SGD.
Saturday, July 3 is particularly quiet around town with your best bets being William Joseph Band at Hunt Club or Matt King at Mercury Lounge. If you're still looking for some new music and bands, Bob's hosts the Nemesis Entertainment showcase with The Heat Circle, Driving Avery, Amanda Byers and four other acts.
Looking out into next week, BOK Center hosts Justin Bieber on Tuesday, July 6. If you're looking for one of the best unknown pop/rock bands touring right now, though, you'll check out House of Heroes previewing tunes from their new CD, Suburba, at The Marquee with Between the Trees and Seabird. My personal best bet of the week!
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