PHOTOS: Rock & Roll All Night- Hairball 2021 in Casper, Wyoming
When Mrs. Bruce told her son Jam, along with his friends Hawk, Trip and Lex that it was “about time that you gave up that STUPID dream of yours once and for all!” because “no son of mine is gonna be a career musician…ever ever EVER!” she immediately painted herself as the main antagonist of the 70’s Throwback film Detroit Rock City. Parents were the enemy, man. They wanted to control you. They wanted to stop your dreams. They wanted to save your soul before it was offered to the Knights In Satan’s Service. Parents just didn’t get it.
In retrospect, it shouldn’t have been that surprising. When Hairball, a Glam Rock-Hairband-Pop Rock. Pretty Much Any 80’s Band Ever cover band was announced to play at The Gaslight Social on September 4, 2021 it was assumed that it would be a success. 80’s Nostalgia is in full swing thanks to television shows, movies and, yes, music that have been influenced by, arguably, one of the greatest decades in the modern era.
It was not surprising, then, that there would be a HUGE crowd on that Saturday night in September. What was surprising, but shouldn’t have been, was just who that crowd consisted of.
Since it’s opening in 2017, The Gaslight Social has been a hub of 20-30 somethings looking for a good time. While Gaslight has always claimed to be ‘open to all-ages,’ even going so far as to promote ‘Family Days’ on Sundays, the ‘typical’ Gaslight crowd has generally been full of Millennials. One needed to look no further than the arcade to see who Gaslight typically catered to.
But this wouldn’t do.
Perhaps wanting to remind everybody that Gaslight was, indeed, for everybody, the owners decided to book ‘Hairball,” a band that claims to be more than just a mere tribute- they were an event. This was proven in spades on September 4, as KISS took the stage and, if you didn’t know any better, you would swear that it was The Demon, The Starchild, The Spaceman and The Catman themselves rocking said stage. As the band morphed into Guns ‘N Roses, Twisted Sister, Aerosmith, Prince, Queen and more on that night, the crowd at Gaslight was taken back in time and, in a world full of easily digestible, homogenized, catered-to-the-lowest-common-denominator types of songs, they were reminded just how much music could rock.
Hairball at The Gaslight was truly an event. It was an experience. There were lights, cameras and a ton of action. It was magic, really. But the most magical thing about this night was not the band.
It was the crowd.
Panning the crowd, one would have expected to see the usual mix of Gaslight regulars- people between the ages of 21-30, with their heads buried in their cell phones. But this wasn’t the case. This show, this concert, this experience; it wasn’t for them and they knew it. It was for the people who grew up in the 70’s and 80’s. It was for the people who didn’t want to record this concert; they wanted to remember it. It was for the people who had to hide their KISS records in Donny Osmond covers. It was for the people who swore to themselves that they were never going to be like their parents. Those people are who made up the majority of the crowd at The Gaslight on Saturday and, for one blissful evening, they weren’t grownups with bills to pay and families to raise. They were kids again and the only thing they had to care about was the music, man.
As Hairball took the stage, playing all the hits from the greatest era the music industry has ever seen, it wasn’t 2021 anymore. For one night only, thanks to The Gaslight Social, it was 1978. It was the greatest bands in the world. It was a raised fist and a “f--- you” and a smile. For one night only, it wasn’t a random summer evening in Casper, Wyoming.
It was Detroit Rock City.