On 14 May 2022, I went to the Token Lounge in Westland, Michigan. Transportation was provided by the folks of Sunset Blvd (or someone in that band at least). It was a school bus, haven’t been on one of those in a long time. The bus ride started in Clinton Township, just two miles from my house. So I can save on the gas. I have never been to the Token Lounge before, so it’s a first. There was a time I was interested in going to Token when Winger came to town in 2017 or 2018 (can’t quite remember now), but they weren’t scheduled to be on stage until 10:30 pm that night. And the three proceeding bands were bands I didn’t know. So I passed on that. Would be nice to hear Winger do Heading for a Heartbreak live before I roll over and die.
We arrived to see a band called Prowler who does covers of 80s Metallica, they were in the middle of their set. What was interesting is these guys playing in the band were young, in their 20s, possibly late teens. I saw a few older folks wearing Prowler shirts, I kind of wonder if they were the parents of these guys. They did a very good job doing 80s Metallica. I wanted to hear them do One but sadly, they didn’t do that one (heh-heh). Or perhaps they did earlier before I arrived.
The Token Lounge is old school and doesn’t seem to hide that fact. The venue looks really crappy, but I actually like that. Besides, it’s nice to visit a venue that doesn’t give two shits about how it appears. I think we need a venue around that looks old and kinda crappy. Chances are good the folks who own the Token will see this post and the next time I show up, they will say, “Hey, you’re that blogger who said shit about this place? Fuck you, get outta here!” Token also had many photos of bands and artists that have previously played there. Quite a lot of famous bands or individuals from the 80s have made their mark there.
Next up was Dirt, an Alice In Chains cover band doing the late Layne Staley era. It’s a great thing for me because I’ve never seen Alice In Chains with the late Layne Staley. During his time with AIC from 1993 to 1996, I was a pre-teen to a teenager, and seeing them in concert wasn’t much of an option for me. Plus, their 1996 shows were cut down to a few when they were touring with KISS and that was the last of the Layne Staley era sans a couple of songs they did in 1998. I’m also aware of Staley’s final years but I’m keeping that off of this blog post.
DIRT did a very good job, they did Them Bones, Dam The River, Sea of Sorrow, Again, and also Man in the Box. They spoiled the shit out of me when they did Them Bones! The singer of this band looked more like Sammy Hagar much opposed to Layne Staley. If anything, the singer might have tried to look like Layne in 1990-91 when he had long hair. But also, Layne for the most part was a skinny guy and at times weighed 110 pounds or less. The singer of this band has some muscles on him and perhaps it’s a little too difficult for him to appear like Staley, and more like Hagar. The bassist did look similar to Mike Starr.
Prior to Sunset Blvd hitting the stage, I ran into a guy who looked like Paul McCartney. I asked if I can get a photo of us two. Also, I told him I blog and asked if it was okay if I put the above photo here, he agreed. I forgot his first name (sorry, I suck at that).
“Paul” is a truck driver around the Ann Arbor area. He said he was very busy when Covid-19 came to town and he did a lot of long drives from Ann Arbor to Dallas, Texas. He was in Dallas in March/April 2020 and from his words, it looked like a ghost town. Lots of empty roads. I told him about my foray as a DoorDash/UberEats driver during that time and saw quite a lot of empty roads myself in my area. Saw a little less of that when I was in Roseville, Warren, and even Detroit.
And now the headliners. Sunset Blvd did not disappoint. They did quite a few of my favorites and of course, Still of the Night by Whitesnake. The previous time I saw Sunset Blvd, they had a violin player doing that keyboard part, but he wasn’t here for this one. They brought in a new female singer, a different from the previous gig I attended. Not sure what was going on there, perhaps that one at the NYE gig couldn’t make it for this one? She did a few songs plus Lita Ford’s Kiss Me Deadly. Sunset Blvd did a couple of hair metal favorites I’m getting sick of hearing, like Bon Jovi’s You Give Love a Bad Name and also Living on a Prayer.
Despite this, I don’t fault Sunset Blvd for doing those two songs, they needed to be done regardless if some shithead in a blue bucket hat thinks otherwise. After the show was over, I was looking to get a photo of me and the band, but someone told me one of the buses left. A little panicked and unnerved that my cheapass might be paying for a big Uber ride (if I could get one), I rushed out of the venue (they don’t allow you back in) while opening the Uber app. The bus was still there. And for safety’s sake, I just said fuck it and got on. I looked at my Uber app and there were some cars available, but the ride would be around $70. Wowser!
Also joining us for the ride was the bassist of Sunset Blvd, also the owner of the Diesel Concert Lounge. We talked a little about how the Diesel started and also Enuff Z’Nuff. He said he has known Chip Z’Nuff for about 30 years. One more thing, sorry for the photos of Sunset Blvd, my camera didn’t do well with the lighting Sunset Blvd had on stage. I tried!
And now the ending note of this blog post and sadly it’s a sour one. I arrived home and went on Facebook to upload a few photos of this gig and to say I was at the Token Lounge. Sadly, upon going on Facebook, I discovered that a family member passed away that Wednesday. A couple of people messaged me via Facebook about this on that Thursday. But it didn’t pop up on my phone. I’m not on Facebook every day. And there are times when I don’t look at Facebook for days and weeks at a time. The funeral for the said family member was the next day on Sunday. And the next morning, I would learn on Facebook, that a friend of mine had died from a motorcycle accident that previous day.
Needless to say, I didn’t really want to look at Facebook for a while. Plus, getting this blog post up wasn’t so important at that time.