We arrived after a particularly harrowing journey in the back of a Lexus via the ride-sharing app Lyft. It was 9 o'clock on the dot and the line to get into Brick by Brick - a music venue located in the Morena neighborhood of San Diego, CA - went through the parking lot and off down the street a ways. But we were press. There was absolutely no way we were waiting in line after an entire day of walking and waiting.
Sterling made a beeline for the entrance, bypassing most of the people waiting for their turn to show ID and make their way into the venue. We only had to wait about 3 or 4 minutes until we were let in (*cue exasperated eye-rolling*). The wait was completely unnecessary. We’d RSVP’d days before. There should’ve been a list or something with the names of the press who were covering the show.
Inside the club, there's heart-thumping beats of rock pounding out of the speakers, people crowded right in front of a relatively small stage area, and the rest of what you would probably expect in one of this fine country's seedier bar establishments. It was dimly lit, sparsely seated, and full of people who couldn't give two fucks about either. They were there for the show (and maybe the alcohol...perhaps a combination of both?).
First, we sat on a long couch-like bench that was severely lacking in the padding department. But it was near a viewing screen, exactly what we needed. Let me tell you, after hours of walking and standing at San Diego Comic Con, there was not even a minute of contemplation as to whether I'd be standing in front of that stage for an hour (at the very least). Sitting was the only option. (Plus, the stage area was packed by the time we got inside, anyway. So sitting really was the only option.)
Brief side-note. The seating really bugged me. There could have been at least a small section for the press to have a good view of the stage. End of side-note.
Eventually, we found a more comfortable spot at a high, round table with matching stools. And it had an even better view of a screen than the previous seat. We were finally starting to get somewhere.
There's about 40 minutes until showtime by this point. On our drive to the venue, I figured that we'd probably just get food during the show. Right? A bar has drinks and food. Right? How else would one, such as myself, keep from feeling the effects of the alcohol I might imbibe? How, I ask! HOW?! Answer? Not a lick of food in sight. We found the drink menu but there wasn't a menu for ordering food. Not only that, but I, very carefully, looked around and no one had food in their hands! There were only drinks. So that dinner-at-Brick-by-Brick-idea turned out to be a no-go. (I will take this moment to mention that I have never before been to a bar that doesn’t serve some sort of food.) I can admit that I was mildly ticked when I discovered there'd be no grub for me to shove into my mouth at the speed of light while also maintaining some sort of dignity. Having not eaten since around noon(ish) earlier in the day, I was beginning to feel some hunger pangs.
By the way, I’m also feeling super sticky at this point. Was it in the air? Was it the table? Perhaps the humidity collecting due to the crush of so many warm bodies in one place. That, mixed with who-knows-how-much residue caked on our unwashed table, maybe? Whatever it was, I knew that I would be positively itching for a shower by the time we got out of there, I just knew it.
But none of that mattered as long as the show was entertaining.
The show started early. About 5 minutes, in fact. It was instantaneously enrapturing. The first number did a great job of introducing the performers. Since we were way in the back, we watched from the viewing screen. It was in black and white because the camera had its night vision turned on.
The costumes were definitely appropriate for Comic Con. We saw Batgirl, Supergirl, Wonder Woman, etc... There was even a Link costume, complete with sword and shield! They knew who they were performing for. While the numbers weren't Broadway quality, they had lots of energy. I appreciated it. You could tell all the women loved what they were doing.
I was a bit confused by one particular solo, performed to Mad World by Gary Jules in what my mind could only decipher as the demented bunny suit featured in every fever dream known to man. It was a stark contrast to the first two numbers, which were both fast and poppy. But it picked right back up again.
My favorite number had to be the bondage scene. It had a great song. The heavy beat of the bass made everything better. And then it got better when, right after the number finished, they brought a random couple onto the stage to be a part of the show, which was cute. They taught them some moves and then the guy gave his girl a lap dance.
Overall, it was a good show. I didn't find myself as into it as I wanted to be. I think that had a lot to do with the venue, which I felt had not really lived up to the standard I feel like a burlesque show should be presented (even an alternative one). The novelty of seeing barely-covered breasts wore off relatively quickly, which disappointed me a bit. But that might just be me being jaded. Mostly, I enjoyed how much fun they seemed to be having. As far as performance, it left a lot to be desired choreography-wise (the moves didn’t seem to hit like they needed to)...but I’m a choreography junkie, so I’m probably being picky. But I'd be curious to see if any of the performers have a dancing background.
We ended up leaving 40 minutes into the show. It was a lively show, and there were a lot of things I liked about it, but the things I didn’t enjoy (the venue, namely) prevented me from enjoying the show completely. The upside is that we ended up finding this great little place that serves authentic Mexican food just around the corner from the venue!
All’s well that ends well, I suppose.
Cover image from The San Diego Comic-Con Unofficial Blog.