Rock of Ages Movie Release Party
Revolution Live, Fort Lauderdale
Better than: Staring at the hideous green netting that was draped across S.W. 3rd Ave. in front of the club during filming.
Critics have not been particularly kind to the movie version of Rock of Ages. This fact mattered little to the crowd of '80s rock devotees who packed the house at Revolution Live where much of the film was shot-- ephemerally renamed The Bourbon Room -- on Friday night to celebrate its release.
Teased hair was a surprisingly rare sight at the Rock of Ages movie release party, but there were still plenty of tight blouses, tight pants, sparkly miniskirts, aviator shades, and bandanas to go around. "These are the remnants of the '80s music scene," said attendee Shawn Becker of Miami of the garb.
The median age range of party-goers was 45, and more than a little gray hair peeked out from beneath cowboy hats and red bandanas, but the crowd still exhibited a youthful zeal for the shameless rock 'n' roll of that era. Event emcee Steve Stansell, a former DJ at defunct South Florida rock radio station Zeta 94.9 FM summed up the crowd's devotion to the '80s sound as purely nostalgic. "There's just an association with this music that's special to them," he said. "It's what they grew up with. It's what they lost their virginity to."
Teenage students from School of Rock of West Broward and Coral Springs
performed admirable renditions of classic rock anthems by Thin Lizzy and AC/DC, both bands interestingly featuring girls on vocals. Several extras from the film were also on hand. Patricia Wires of Fort Lauderdale had a small role, but says it was still a lot of work for only a few seconds of screen time. "Imagine the last time you went to a concert and rocked out. Imagine doing that for 12 hours a day," she said.
Dawn from Pompano Beach raved about the film and its music. She left work early to catch a 5 p.m. showing of Rock of Ages in Coral Springs. "I love this music," Dawn gushed, gesturing with her Miller Lite bottle. "I once camped out in the snow for Bon Jovi tickets."
The evening was capped with a two set performance by local '80s metal tribute band Lazy Bonez whose guitarist Brev Sullivan starred as Tom Cruise's guitarist in Rock of Ages. The music -- which was crushed dead under 20 tons of flannel in the early '90s and regarded derisively in the ensuing years -- was received enthusiastically by the crowd as Lazy Bonez belted out hits from Poison, Van Halen, Ratt, and Guns 'N Roses. Lazy Bonez played the part of '80s rockers well, from their clothes and vintage gear right down to the strutting, falsetto screeching of various rock concert platitudes, and posing with guitars slung low against denim clad inner thighs on the solos.
There was perhaps a sort of satisfaction among the attendees who, years later, suddenly find the music of their youth being held in high regard, no matter what the critics might say.
Overheard in the crowd: "When is this fucking band coming on? It's past my bedtime."
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