For weeks, we’ve planned to see punk band Hans Gruber and the Die Hards. The goal was to add more diverse genres of music to our “30 Shows in 30 Days” campaign. Just days before the show, actor Alan Rickman died of cancer. Rickman was known for playing the character Hans Gruber in the ultimate 80’s Christmas classic, “Die Hard.” As we entered The Sidewinder, we notice the dimly lit bar surrounded by candles with the images of Alan Rickman from his various roles throughout his career.
Vocalist TJ stepped on stage with shopping bag filled with more candles. Drummer Chris, Guitarist Hans, and Kurt, a nearly-nude bassist who also resembled iconic 80’s party monster “Ogre” from Revenge of the Nerds wearing nothing but blue boxers, followed the group.
The music kicked off with a furious blast of energy and chaos. TJ’s stage persona kicked into full gear as he made his presence felt across every part of the stage. It was only a matter of time before the stage became too small, and he took to the floor. Their versatility was on display with elements of classic thrash, dancehall ska, and old school punk all mixed into a short 30 minute set.
To everyone’s surprise, they broke into their rendition of Harry Belafonte’s “Jump in the Line” with the mic stand acting as an almost makeshift limbo pole. Shortly after the party favorite, the show took a more serious tone.
The band then made their tribute to Alan Rickman by reading a eulogy, later posted on their Facebook page the following day. The candles brought on the stage earlier were then passed out to audience members, and held high while TJ read from the folded, sweat-drenched piece of paper. Some points were very comical, but it was also very heartfelt. The love of Rickman’s character brought these men together and formed a group as homage their favorite movie villain. The final words in the eulogy were also made famous by the protagonist in the Die Hard film, John McClane, played by Bruce Willis. The crowd yelled in unison, “Yippie-ki-yay, motherfuckers!” A fitting end.
-Rene De La Mora, TipCow