His pseudonym is Late Night Billy, he works late at night and the beneficiaries of his labor are late-night music aficionados in Mammoth.
A promoter out of South Lake Tahoe, Billy brought Mickey Avalon to town in December, and “Late Night Productions” was in town again last weekend with “The Long Beach Invasion Tour.”
The headliner for the event was Sublime LBC, a cover band that included former bassist, Q-ball, of the original group.
For $20, hundreds of people swelled into the lobby at Whiskey Creek to grab up tickets to see and hear the event.
The show opened with a band named Weapon, a three-piece set out of Long Beach that played a reggae-rock style of music similar to that of Sublime. Within a short amount of time the smells of body heat covered the auditorium as people swayed and ground upon each other, and a sense of amusement overtook the night.
A rapper, Don Dizzle, came out to do a few songs after Weapon and before Sublime LBC began. Don’s performance fell flat on a tired audience that had just danced for 45 minutes and did not seem all that excited to listen.
Suddenly, the bar, bathroom, and smoking stoop in front of the building became more packed as the stage and people tried to make the most of this time.
As Don Dizzle finished his last song, the first of three fights I witnessed broke out. The security at Whiskey Creek was quick to quell the brawl and carried the fighters out of the building, but a sense of indignation was evident among the still-drinking attendees as the night wore on and people just wanted to see the group they had come for.
It was past midnight when Sublime LBC was finally called out to the audience, and the fun and dance and drink of the night started all over again.
The group began with familiar songs, a mosh pit formed and the band’s mellow, Southern California vibe felt lost in the sea of people pushing and shoving.
A reggae mosh pit seems like an oxymoron when you consider that all the songs were about rolling joints and jamming to music with friends, but Sublime began as a punk rock band and this is part of that culture. Eventually this ferocious energy turned around after Sublime LBC was able to regain control by gathering some girls onstage, and exploiting the audience’s heartstrings with some classic Sublime hits.
The swagger and vibe of the show soon turned back to a more relaxed occasion, and became what one would expect from a Sublime experience.
The night was like a rollercoaster, in one moment I had a feeling like I was back in high school listening to 40 Oz of Freedom for the first time, and in another moment, I was back at Whiskey Creek watching someone get thrown down a staircase head first.
Nevertheless that is what going to shows is all about; you never know what is going to unfold. And Late Night Productions does a great job in fetching us entertainment from abroad that we can look forward to in Mammoth.
Another of Billy’s shows, starring Placentia’s Kottonmouth Kings, comes to town Jan. 19 at Whiskey Creek, with San Francisco rapper Andre Nickatina playing the following month.