Wind West Turns 21
A 21st anniversary party is nothing to shy away from in the West. When done right, it can become one of the most memorable nights of your life. Having attended more than a few parties and anniversaries in the past, I will review Wind West’s 21st anniversary by comparing the key features a party needs to be unforgettable.
What made Monday 9/9/13 special was being able to see some friends I haven’t seen in months, one friend even a year. However, this night was not about me, so I asked the sound engineer, Bob, what made this 21st anniversary different for him compared to previous years and he said:
“This year some old staff and musicians who worked here when we started, from ’93, ’96, ’98 and 2000, are here tonight. It’s nice to see them again.”
The music was the centerpiece of the night. Although Wind West is already known for its great live band, the 21st anniversary performances were very entertaining and diverse. A total of seven bands played during the course of the night, including one foreigner band, Sugar Mouth. The other six bands are Boulenium, Whisper, Coffee Midnight, Dak Fai, Smile Black Dog and Technofriend, The range of music played went from Nirvana to Blondie, Guns N’ Roses to rockin’ Thai music. Sugar Mouth actually played original songs during their twenty-minute show. I would describe it as groovy pop. Things got pretty wild towards the end of the night but you can read about it further down.
When it comes to food, I have no complaints; it was free. There was a big buffet which included laap, fried rice, salad, spring rolls, pat pak, chicken and even a monster of a pig slowly cooked over charcoal.
If I had nothing to complain about with the food, the drinks I do. As is standard at Wind West, a small bottle of Beerlao is… wait for it… 25,000 kip. I can three large beers for that price just across the street. I’ve been told it is a psychological high-so thing to charge a lot and get a little. Knowing the price in advance, I usually go for cocktails when I am there, more bang for my buck. However, that night, the bartenders were given the order not to serve cocktails. When I asked Bob why this was so, he said: “This is their party as well, they need to take a break too.” Good reason… but I was still disappointed.
The crowd at Wind West is usually quite energetic and receptive to different kinds of music. Thus, instead of reviewing this section myself, read the words from one of the crowd, Ms. Poupey Pommachach: “It was the best night. I love to go anyplace any country that feel like family and this is the place of combo.”
A great party can’t go without great decorations! The ceiling was decked out in blue lights. The stage glass was covered with the words “21st Anniversary”. The staff was dressed in their cowboy outfits and the lighting on stage was exciting.
Here’s the one you’ve all been waiting for. Did shit get weird? Yes! Yes it did! For all those who have been in Lao long enough, you will know people can lean on the shy side when it comes to getting down and funky dancin’. But when the last band hit the stage, the band members’ shirts came off and then the men in the audience took their shirts off too, from Lao, to Japanese, Americans and more. Bob the owner went on stage topless too and ripped out Guns N’ Roses right into the microphone creating ripple effect off the wooden walls and a roar in the wild Wind West.
by Kevyn McGraw