When you are a touring rock band, you have two choices when you step on stage and find yourself in front of a very small crowd: 1) pout and play with just enough to get through the evening and out the door, or 2) use the opportunity to throw a party.
Scott Russo and his fellow So-Cal punkers that make up the band Unwritten Law chose the latter Wednesday night when confronted with a surprisingly close-to-empty Vernon Club.
Unwritten Law has a slew of albums and a decade plus of touring experience, having hit alternative radio hard in the early 2000’s with their attitude-heavy anthems “Seein’ Red,” “Mean Girl,” and “Save Me.” Currently on the road supporting their most recent riff-and-hook heavy offering Swan, the band seemed unfazed by the low turn-out in Louisville.
“This is what it is all about, “Russo grinned a few songs into the set after gathering the meager audience on the stage steps, surrounding the band with a huddle of bodies. “We’re having unprotected sex! We’re fornicating!”
Raunchy, boozy humor was the standard as Russo and band wasted no time slamming through the songs they are most known for. “Seein’ Red” and “Mean Girl” were pummeled through within the first twenty minutes of the set, leaving time to address a microphone problem on the drum set and giving Russo room to flirt and smile.
“Oh, you play guitar?” he asked a girl who had been dancing front and center. He handed his instrument over, and attempted to free-style over the fan’s inconsistent riffing.
Later, Russo called for shots and began consuming alcohol with the fans who stumbled on stage with the little plastic cups.
After 70 minutes of throwing a basement show-style party, the band blasted into “Save Me” and Russo brought the entire room on-stage for a final sing-along.
You can’t say Unwritten Law doesn’t know how to have fun.
Photo and video by Brian Eichenberger