If there was ever a night where Beauty Bar jumped the shark (has that term yet jumped the shark?) June 26 was it.
A few years ago when legendary Smiths bassist Andy Rourke did a DJ set at the Fremont East hangout, there was an air of excitement. Before hipsters took over, the indie kids were pumped up for weeks waiting for the man who played with Morrissey to bring his party rock to Las Vegas.
I’ve spent many nights at Beauty Bar, and that night was one of the best. Bigger acts weren’t prevalent yet on Fremont East, so getting someone with the credentials of Rourke there was a big deal. The crowd let him know, staying all night, dancing, sweating, clapping and singing along.
Fast forward to last week. Of all the nights to schedule Andy Rourke, Nickel F***ing Beer Night is the worst possible choice. Every Tuesday, you can pay $5 then drink all the beer you want, five cents a pop. These nights are overrun with bros and hos, frat boys and sorority girls. That’s fine—but it’s the antithesis of a Smiths crowd.
He started at 12:30 a.m. and was done by 1:30. The crowd was done long before that. By the time Rourke finished there were just a few of us left. I asked Rourke about the difference in crowds. He kept his smile on his face and kept spinning. I tried to get the scoop on Morrissey’s impending retirement, asking Rourke if he thinks it will stick. His answer: “I don’t know.”
Next time, let’s put him in the back room of The Griffin where indie rock still has a home.