Rock the Boat LA, featuring Viernes 13
Long Beach Harbor
May 31, 2013
Underground ska band Viernes 13 — which means Friday the 13th, you gringo — incorporate elements of punk and rockabilly. On Friday night, for a booze cruise called Rock the Boat LA, they performed on a boat called the Grand Romance that departed from Long Beach Harbor.
The ship had three floors, two dance floors, two bars, and, fittingly, a shit-ton of booze. There were also people smoking pot and a wild mosh pit. The night went something like this:
11:00pm:At the harbor, people are waiting to board the boat pre-gaming — the ceremonial act of getting drunk before getting drunk. I am one of them.
11:15pm: I board the boat, to the sounds of new wave, cumbia, Spanish rock, and “Ice Ice Baby.”
11:20pm: The boat starts up and we begin to move.
11:50pm: Opening band the Paranoias start their set, coming on with full vigor and energy; some begin skanking (almost like a drunken attempt at moonwalking) and I somehow do not spill my drink. Their drummer is surprisingly turned up.
11:55pm: Ok now I'm spilling my drink.
12:05am: The Paranoais set over, I head up to the third floor dance area and, in a very inebriated manner, attempt to dance salsa. I nearly fall down.
12:23am: Viernes 13 are getting ready to go. Their lead singer screams out, “Let's party, you have nowhere else to go, you're stuck in this boat, so fuck it!” He continues: “I just took some shots of tequila, let's get drunk, some of you might get DUI's though!”
12:45am: He later shouts out all the people in his life that should've been in jail, including his beloved mother.
12:55am: A mosh pit forms. People begin to skank, shove, and jump. I try to earn my skankin' legs. The band goes into a full fury, getting the crowd even more hyped up. There's now a full-on mosh.
1:20am: Viernes 13 perform the song “The Lucky Juan.” Awesome. I didn't even realize they knew I was here.
1:45am: They segue into the slow-tempo “Lagrimas De Agave.” Painful and awkward memories of high school come to mind.
2:10am: The band ends with the song “Johnny Pistolero,” going out with, of course, a bang. The tired skankers give it their all, and never has the smell of weed, booze, sweat, and the ocean, all mixed together, been so strong. I down the last of my Jack and Coke.
2:30am: The boat docks and the drunken crowd spills out. “You don't have to go home,” says the security guard, “but you have get the fuck out of here!”
Personal Bias: The song “Lagrimas de Agave” reminds me of a girl who stood me up back in high school.
Overheard in the Crowd: “You never take a bitch you really like to a pool party.” Good to know!
Random Notebook Dump: I'm on a boat!
Full set list on the next page
Los Cuernos del Diablo
Workin' Man's Chant
Slow and Low
The Lucky Juan
Lagrimas De Agave
Bailando Con La Muerte
John E. Pistolero