Stardust Pajama Party with:
@ Stardust – Orlando, FL
Friday February 10, 2023
Photos and story by Jeffrey Howard
Kick Bright has never been about bands, or shows, or music, or reviews or anything anyone else has ever associated this with. It’s about me just trying to navigate this stupid world. It was never an attempt at journalism, because duh. Show reviews aren’t show reviews. They’re my memories — what band did what song or what person I saw at the show or the niceness of a new friend.
I reread my show reviews a lot and notice I am friends with so many people still to this day. Hard to believe I know anyone from more than twenty years ago. I notice writing about people I haven’t seen in years. I wonder how they are. Do they ever think to look up Kick Bright? Maybe someone will even see this and say hi like no time has passed. That would be nice.
Anyway, I came to this show by myself. I haven’t heard or heard of any of the six or seven bands that played this show but that’s not a deterrent. It was also a pajama party. Yes, I totally wore my pajamas and my super cool hot air balloon robe. It is really one of my favorite clothing pieces though I never wear it, not even at home. It just hangs on the bathroom door of every house I’ve lived in the past few years. You know, what if someone knocks on my front door in the morning. Whatamigonnado?
Now when talking about this show and sharing these pictures I don’t know which band was which. I even looked them up afterwards and still couldn’t figure them out. Except one: Paperback Romance.
Now Paperback Romance was the reason I even showed up. I was delivering them buttons they had made with us. But this wasn’t just a client drop off. One of the members of this band actually tracked Kristin and I down. Now, see we were both members in the band Courtneys along with two of our favorite Courtney’s ever.
Courtneys were a death/cutecore band that sounded cute but also had violent lyrics. We were in it from 2005-2008 or so but the two Courtneys had been doing their thing for a couple years prior with other members. It was a super fun time. Our tour with Doris Delay in 2006 will always be a fond memory.
So two friends (one being in Paperback Romance) were at a thrift store and found a Courtneys CD on the shelf, bought it, listened to it and loved it. Time passed and the CD went missing. Oh no! You can’t find those on Discogs! They looked up the band on the internet and eventually tracked down us, the former members. They messaged us if we had any copies left.
When the hurricanes hit in 2022 our storage unit was completely flooded. Among the losses were the last of Courtneys CDs, all the handmade ones the ladies had drawn. They were so cool but we all ruined and had to toss them. It was devastating for me to do.
Now in one of our Hot Hands (one of our most current bands) tour merch cases I just so happened to find three copies of the official version left. They were literally the last ones to exist. Sure, the music is on Bandcamp but physical copies are rare and special.
I messaged them back and said I brought the tour merch case to our newly opened shop and they came down. I shared with them some Courtneys stories like our fun bloody tour outfits and such. They had their favorite songs like “Eladon”. Kristin always mentions that her drumming on those recordings make her sound like a drum machine.
Now this show was Paperback Romance’s first show ever and I must say they were really good. They are one of many promising “younger” bands. You know the kind, where their parents attend the show to show support. How cute, right???? Their influences sounded all over the place, grabbing some pop punk, some indie without sounding like either. I was impressed.
The other bands were also entertaining. Like I said I don’t know who was who but what I can tell you their music was interesting and ALL OVER THE PLACE. Listening to new bands like this they have so many influences that I wouldn’t even be able to comprehend how they find and listen to music. Between all these bands the following bands were covered: Weezer, Oasis, Blink 182, Black Sabbath, Sublime, Radiohead, Mannequin Pussy, Rage Against the Machine and a cover of Van Halen cover of the Kinks. There was even one song the band was “Everyone sing along” and I had no idea what the song was. I mean, what????? My friend Sarah (the only person I knew at this show) and I were looking at each other trying to figure it out. We laughed at our failure.
The audience was also special. They were all having a real fun time.
Between bands I was being introduced as being a Courtney. And they even knew who that was. What???? I messaged with Courtney M during the show. She was kinda mad because WHO IN THE WORLD WOULD DARE GIVE UP THEIR COURTNEYS CD????? She makes me laugh because that’s exactly how she would react and also appreciate she’s at the point where she is an influence on people. And that goes for me as well. It gets me choked up.
I don’t have to figure it out, I just get to enjoy it.
Yes, all of this made me very emotional (I’ve already been an emotional wreck lately) and I couldn’t help but have some tears. No fighting them back— it was time to just let them go. This show had so much joy I’m going to add this to my “Favorite Shows Of All Time” list.
And going home afterwards, since I was already dressed in my pajamas it made going to bed super easy. I just hopped into bed. Nighty-nite to me.
Thanks for reading,
and of course