Dispatches From the Viernes 13 Booze Cruise

Story By Juan Gutierrez | L.A. Weekly
Monday, June 3, 2013 at 4:00 AM

Rock the Boat LA, featuring Viernes 13

Long Beach Harbor

May 31, 2013

Underground ska band Viernes 13 — which means Friday the 13th, you gringo — incorporate elements of punk and rockabilly. On Friday night, for a booze cruise called Rock the Boat LA, they performed on a boat called the Grand Romance that departed from Long Beach Harbor.

The ship had three floors, two dance floors, two bars, and, fittingly, a shit-ton of booze. There were also people smoking pot and a wild mosh pit. The night went something like this:

Juan Jose Gutierrez-Romero

Juan Jose Gutierrez-Romero

11:00pm: At the harbor, people are waiting to board the boat pre-gaming — the ceremonial act of getting drunk before getting drunk. I am one of them.

11:15pm: I board the boat, to the sounds of new wave, cumbia, Spanish rock, and “Ice Ice Baby.”

11:20pm: The boat starts up and we begin to move.

11:50pm: Opening band the Paranoias start their set, coming on with full vigor and energy; some begin skanking (almost like a drunken attempt at moonwalking) and I somehow do not spill my drink. Their drummer is surprisingly turned up.

11:55pm: Ok now I’m spilling my drink.

12:05am: The Paranoais set over, I head up to the third floor dance area and, in a very inebriated manner, attempt to dance salsa. I nearly fall down.

12:23am: Viernes 13 are getting ready to go. Their lead singer screams out, “Let’s party, you have nowhere else to go, you’re stuck in this boat, so fuck it!” He continues: “I just took some shots of tequila, let’s get drunk, some of you might get DUI’s though!”

12:45am: He later shouts out all the people in his life that should’ve been in jail, including his beloved mother.

12:55am: A mosh pit forms. People begin to skank, shove, and jump. I try to earn my skankin’ legs. The band goes into a full fury, getting the crowd even more hyped up. There’s now a full-on mosh.

1:20am: Viernes 13 perform the song “The Lucky Juan.” Awesome. I didn’t even realize they knew I was here.

1:45am: They segue into the slow-tempo “Lagrimas De Agave.” Painful and awkward memories of high school come to mind.

2:10am: The band ends with the song “Johnny Pistolero,” going out with, of course, a bang. The tired skankers give it their all, and never has the smell of weed, booze, sweat, and the ocean, all mixed together, been so strong. I down the last of my Jack and Coke.

2:30am: The boat docks and the drunken crowd spills out. “You don’t have to go home,” says the security guard, “but you have get the fuck out of here!”

Personal Bias: The song “Lagrimas de Agave” reminds me of a girl who stood me up back in high school.

Overheard in the Crowd: “You never take a bitch you really like to a pool party.” Good to know!

Random Notebook Dump: I’m on a boat!

Set List:
Los Cuernos del Diablo
Crocodile Tears
Chrome .45
Animal
Suicide
Old News
Workin’ Man’s Chant
Pierdete Chica
Slow and Low
Ultimas Palabras
The Lucky Juan
Jessie Castro
Rude Caddy
Lagrimas De Agave
Rosa Sola
Christine Keller
Just Move
Bailando Con La Muerte
John E. Pistolero

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