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MCB's latest addition to the ranks is wonderfully talented Kelli Hayden
KHP is an old school pal of MCB's Moneypenny and
she will be chiming in every so often from Los Angeles
with her killer photos and bad ass attitude

I must confess to being lazy and suffering from writer's block and a severe lack of motivation to write about anything at all lately. Dude, all seasons of X-Files are streaming on Netflix, what more can I say? Better late than never!

Last Saturday, June 19th 2010, the Eagles of Death Metal headlined the High Times First Annual Cannabis Cup's after party, Epic Daze, at the Mezzanine in San Francisco, CA.

In case Detroit civilians don't quite know their California geography, I live in Los Angeles which is about 500 miles south of San Francisco. This is where the nicknames "So Cal" and "Nor Cal" come into play. People from "So Cal" (mainly the LA born and raised) usually don't like "Nor Cal". As someone who was born an artist and a free thinker, I, on the other hand love visiting the city of SF and have nothing against "Nor Cal"...except for the fact that the music scene is unarguably in LA.

This wasn't the first time I've traveled up north to see friends' bands perform in this city. In fact, this wasn't the first time I've traveled to SF to see the Eagles of Death Metal play there either. A good friend of mine happens to live on Market St. in the city which is conveniently a stone's throw away from venues such as The Warfield and The Mezzanine. Its almost TOO easy...but it must be done. This trip was a last-minute thing, literally buying a quick airline ticket the day before, and replacing all sleep with booze. The saying of the weekend was, "Party through it!" Rock n Roll!

This year, The High Times brought their Cannabis Cup competition to America for the first time. The Annual Cannabis Cup is traditionally held in Amsterdam, but with all the current legalization in California, why not bring it to the most liberal city in the state? In a city where a cop would bust you for lighting up a cigarette in a bar yet turn the other cheek at lighting up a joint on the street, San Francisco is definitely the next best place to hold a competition such as this.

My friend and I arrived at the Mezzanine at around 10:30pm, a hour and a half before Eagles of Death Metal go on. When we walked inside, the band Lyrics Born from Berkeley, CA were already well into their set. I took a few snaps of them who were seemingly entertaining. Their lively female vocalist kept catching my eye and I shot several snaps of her. I won't lie, reggae isn't my "scene", but I do dig the way everyone is totally cool with each other, dancing and bobbing their heads in unison while smoking joints - you know a fight is not about to break out at anytime because the atmosphere is so thick with good vibes....and pot. A little after midnight, Eagles of Death Metal finally grace the stage with their presence. What was so cool about this night is that The Mezzanine is small venue. I can't even remember the last time I saw Eagles play in a venue that small. There were no stage barriers or a photo pit, and uh, no security. I guess the venue assumed that everyone would be SO stoned, that security won't even be needed. My friend and I found a rad spot upfront before their set and took it! I was trying out my new lens (remember the one I was supposed to shoot the Spaceland shows with?) and I wanted a kick ass spot. Perfection!

As Eagles of Death Metal fans may know now, beloved bassist, Brian "Big Hands" O'Connor, was recently diagnosed with cancer and out for awhile to recover from recent surgeries and treatment while Dean Fertita (Dead Weather, Queens of the Stone Age) takes over on the bass for current shows until Brian returns. Dean was completely amazing as a temporary edition to the band, but the presence of Brian was totally missed. The entire set was incredible, more so than usual, especially when you get to see them perform up close and personal without having to fight your way up to the front, or in my case, enjoy it for the first three songs in the photo pit and then getting the axe by security to get out. Last year at a EODM show at the Glasshouse in Pomona, CA, just as the security went to kick out us photographers, Dave and Jesse both told security over their mic that the photographers can keep shooting their entire set, just before going into their 4th song. How cool is that? I got to shoot their entire set again this time too, up front, no security, no bullshit. I filled up my 4GB memory card entirely. The Mezzanine had great sound and awesome lighting, not to mention shooting with a better lens fit for concerts as well as a healthier and happier Jesse Hughes to help capture some kick ass shots.

There was no encore, at least not for the audience, but I did spot another good friend of mine there and we all went backstage where we proceeded to hang out, drink some more, step on pills scattered all over the carpet that were supposedly soaked in psychedelics, sneak out of the building with an unopened bottle of Absinthe hidden in my purse, and then brave 6th Street at 2am while walking back to my friend's Market St. crib to further the drinking and shenanigans. My friend and I were also treated to a preview of something rad coming up that one of the dream boys are apart of. Its new, its different, and its fuckin' awesome! Stay tuned.

Peace, Love, and Death Metal,