"Thanks for sticking with us," lead singer Mary squeaked in the same juvenile voice I'd heard her use to perform aggressive feminist poetry both locally and at the National Poetry Slam. "Maybe we have too many instruments."
The thing about Mary's squeak it softens her hardcore politics so that people usually rally behind her. Or, in this case, forgive the band's disorganization. I was sorta enjoying the irony of the band's name.
After the Z!O!! set, I met John, who confessed that his job "selling investments to people with too much money" was boring but that it satisfied his short-term goals.
"Well, I guess, if you have STGs...," I said, rolling my eyes.
That got a laugh.
"Well, it doesn't sound like a good thing when you put it like that!"
Timb and the Band of Erics then shifted the room's focus to rock. Katie began plucking people from their barstools and pulling them onto the dance floor. Inspired, others began to pull bystanders into the drunken fray. In a So You Think You Can Dance-inspired move, Katie lifted me off my feet, and I wrapped my legs around her waist as we all bounced to the music.
In the stew of bobbing weirdos, the working-class regulars all of them male and, to appearances, all Latino at the pool table behind us looked on at the bedlam on the dance floor. They'd take their shots, swig their beers, and return to observing the bizarre behavior of los gringos locos. It was a meeting rather than a clash of cultures.
Ending the evening with the band aptly named for the night's feverish activities, the Freakin Hott made sure things ended dirty, despite the sweat bath, as we pogo-ed, slammed, jumped, bumped, and ground on the dance floor. Ending with a cover of Outkast's "Hey Ya!," they incited the crowd to be on their "baddest behavior." Though the people whose dance moves included a simulation of oral sex didn't seem to need the encouragement.
Even though no storm had even begun to brew in the Atlantic, Hurricane Fest '06 was one hell of a birthday blowout.