Blogs » J.Q. Tomanek of Victoria » An architect, landscaper, software guru, retail manager and a theologian walk into a bar...


So the story goes, an architect and a theologian walk into a bar. They are joined by a software guru, professional landscaper, and a retail manager. The architect probably orders a Blue Moon or Scotch, the theologian a Miller Lite. If you are waiting for the punch line, you will have to wait longer, for this was a reality; it was snap, crackle Pop Rocks Ugly live at the Forum.

Before the night begins, the talisman is pulled out. It is not the lucky rabbits foot, rather it is a shot of tequila, salt, and lime to loosen up as a shared ritual among band members, or at least a few of them. The bar tender wonders, “Why are these guys so thirsty?” Like the bar scene in “Desperado,” they carry in guitar cases but these don’t have arsenal underneath the guitar and they were not there to seek revenge. Instead, they needed hydration for their vocals.

It was epic. I am not a believer in disrespecting the philosophical truth of the principle of non-contradiction, but it was epic and not “Epic” at the same time. I was asked a few weeks ago, “Jared, we are searching for some more songs to play, if you could choose any what would you recommend?” We began remembering songs from the past and I had a brain blank on the band and name of song I was recalling. He asked me to sing it the tune and with no avail, we spent five minutes trying to figure out what it was. Finally, we agreed it must be Faith No More’s “Epic.” By the way, I was duly impressed with my vocals because the iPhone App “SoundHound” figured it out super quick. I just have to remember to use that app next time.

No, “Epic” didn’t make the set list, but the crowd was invited to make requests with the caveat that the song was on the set list. Hilarious. Some just sing, some just make noise; Pop Rocks Ugly entertains with great alternative/metal/rock covers. The interaction with the crowd is also a class act. It is not just the music, but also the personalities of the band that entertain. The conversation that ensues between the crowd and the lead singer gets me roaring. You can tell the drummer and the lead singer have known each other for some time because if the lead pulls a blank on these impromptu conversations with the crowd, the drummer steps in without hesitation. It is dry humor mixed with sarcasm and this concoction must be heard well or you miss the boat.

And then there is Lance. I don’t know who Lance is, but he is like the third member. There is the crowd, member 1; the band member 2; and Lance, member 3. Lance is not loud like the crowd, he just murmurs words not even audible except to the lead because Lance sits about 3 feet from the stage. But the crowd gets the conversation because it is answered in the dialogue response.

Stone Temple Pilot’s “Wicked Garden” set the tone for the night as the opening song. As the first song ended, it was obvious that crowd was in for some good times. There was a lady at the table behind us dancing to the music, shouts for Ozzy from the bar, and I was just hoping Weezer would be played before I left.

The crowd was small at first, got larger, and then VARRA, Victoria Area Road Runners Association, showed up for the tunes. Although I had to leave at the first break and missed Weezer (3rd set), I thoroughly enjoyed Creed’s “My Own Prison” and the reaction of the crowd seemed to agree.

It was a good time to see a live band from Victoria offering their talents for their local fans! On a weekend night, you can go out pretty but do so by going out Ugly. Afraid you will miss their next gig? Don't worry, you can follow them on Twitter and Facebook.