Performers Pay Tribute
"What's the 27 Club?" If you don't already know, we can't be friends. I first learned of the 27 Club at a friend's apartment in NYC circa 1996. A friend of a friend, an NYU student, had made a painting of Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain and called it "The 27 Club." I inquired as to the meaning and it immediately dawned on me the age at which all of these famous legends* died: 27. I was still young at the time and 27 seemed a lifetime away, but it stuck. My whole life.
Cut to some years later and I find myself (after living and making films in Chicago, Portland, London, Bucharest and LA) back in my home state of Michigan and I'm out at a bar called, "Shots" after a Motley Crüe concert.
Photos by Lisa Enos
Clockwise from top left, Anthony as Jimi Hendrix, Austin David as Kurt Cobain and Whitney Shay as Amy Winehouse at Riverside Casino in Laughlin, NV June 8, 2019.
I'm drawn to the band in the bar and park myself front and center for the duration of the night while the other people in my party get shwaysted at the bar. The band is Round Brown Suitcase, and their singer, a personable young man named, Austin Poel, who seemed to know every single song in any bar band's repertoire. Somehow we got each other's social media info -- honestly could have even been MySpace to start with it was so long ago. I had been angry with my boyfriend that night for flirting with his friend's sister. Somehow all that ceased to matter as I became absorbed in this guy's aura.
Cut to just as many years later and Austin is still on my radar, but now he's Austin David and, instead of performing old cover band standards, he's living in LA and has written a myriad of soulful songs with heartfelt lyrics, and has even managed to make some entertaining/professional music videos, showcasing himself as the lead singer/star and doing a damn good job of holding up his own LA. His original songs are currently making Spotify playlists and charting. On an upward trend he lands a gig performing as Kurt Cobain in a Vegas style tribute show. I'm invited. I attend. I. Am. Blown. Away.
Words can't describe what I saw and heard at the Riverside Casino in Laughlin on June 8, so I've decided to share some pictures of this unexpected, lively & brilliant show that takes the 'tribute band' business to a whole new level. Keep your eyes peeled for this show, as it's poised to take the Vegas Strip by storm or maybe a favorite venue near you. Next up, a three-day stop in Sedona, Arizona in late September Can't wait.
*Sadly, Amy Winehouse joined the club in 2011
For More information on the 27 Club contact:
Six String Society
@lisaienos is an award-winning filmmaker, actress, photographer, videographer, screenwriter and photojournalist. Follow her at enos.lisa on instagram, @lisaienos on Twitter and facebook.com/lisaenos