Review and photos: Paradiso Girls serve up 'Patron Tequila' at the Kennedy
Confession time: I am a terrible drinker.
I don't mean, like, I have a drinking problem. Or that I'm a nasty drunk.
I mean, I am literally unskilled in the art of drinking. I walk up to a bar, and I never seem to have any clue what to order. I'll drink a Guinness or a Corona, or I'll try some new beer if I see a cool-looking tap, but when it comes to mixed drinks, I'm in a total and perpetual fog.
I think I probably need to go on one of those weeklong, Nicholas Cage Leaving Las Vegas-style benders, the kind where you fill your shopping cart with liquor and experiment with every possible combination until you find a cocktail that suits you. That might be the only way I'll find "my drink." Until then, I'm a lost cause. Hopeless.
Thankfully, my drink Friday night at The Kennedy was never in question. I knew what I'd be having even before I left the house.
The musical guests were the Paradiso Girls. And therefore, I would be drinking Patron tequila.
Patron Tequila, of course, is the hit single by the Paradiso Girls, a worldly collection of lasses who are frequently compared to the Spice Girls and Pussycat Dolls, in that they are unapologetically poppy and clubby and willing to shake their moneymakers until they become MTV starlets.
This may or may not come to pass (a sex tape or two would probably speed things along, if you ask me), but the Paradiso Girls have already mastered the art of selling out. In a world where there are about 30 songs on iTunes simply titled Patron, that's no small feat. But it would not surprise me one bit to learn this girl group was fabricated entirely so a record company could solicit bids from tequila companies to be part of the title of this song*.
I bet a lot of Patron is consumed at The Kennedy. Owned by Tommy Ortiz, who also runs South Tampa megahotspots the Hyde Park Cafe and Cheap, the club is undeniably swank, yet it's also just a wee bit sleazy. Something about the place gives off an ever-so-faint faint whiff of Terry Richardson. Not a bad thing; in fact, it can be pretty sexy.
At any rate, swanky or sleazy or sexy, it didn't matter -- I'm pretty sure I was both the least attractive and most underdressed person in an 8-block radius. The club was packed with pretty and muscular and well-dressed people who could probably list their 10 favorite cocktails off the top of their head. Damn their cosmopolitan ways!
First onstage Friday night was a thing called "Space Cowboy." Space Cowboy is apparently a British DJ who wears plastic sunglasses and skinny ties has collaborated with Lady Gaga, and he has a couple of sparkly little singles, including a new one with the Paradiso Girls.
It would be easy -- so, so easy -- to rip Space Cowboy for having the laziest stage name in the history of rock stardom, but the truth is, I actually kind of dug him. He looked more at home behind the decks than front and center singing onstage, but one of his songs, Talking In Your Sleep, I actually liked. It had catchy '80s guitars and hooks. I would totally see this guy again. Just goes to show, you can't judge a book by its really super-douchey M. Bison hat.
And then it was time for the Paradiso Girls**. When they appeared offstage, looking fly like models, the camera phones flashed like crazy. Let's hope the fans caught the Girls then, because they definitely weren't onstage long enough to book several shots.
The Paradiso Girls were only booked to do 10 minutes, which is probably for the best, considering they only really have the one song.
Actually, that's not true -- they opened with a song called Who's My Bitch, off their yet-to-be released debut album, and it was a fairly danceable number. Certainly, the Paradiso Girls were into it -- they strutted around in shorty-shorts and skintight pants, jutting their hips and whipping their locks and wiggling their fingers and ... singing?
Truthfully, I couldn't really tell. It sounded a little pre-recorded to me, but then they got to Patron Tequila, the chorus to which goes, "I'ma have you SO! F---ED! UP!"*** That, I felt fairly certain they were singing, because everyone else in the bar was screaming those lyrics, and you'd really have to be lazy to be lip-synching at that point. And despite the fact that they only "sang" two songs, "lazy" is not a word I'd use to describe the hyper-toned Girls.
At some point in the evening, as the Paradiso Girls hopped and strutted and conducted elaborate choreography with one another, it occurred to me what was happening: I was watching a girl group. This could have been a decade ago, and I could have been watching B*Witched or All Saints.
Part of me was suddenly embarassed, but then ... oh, who am I kidding, of course I got caught up in the excitement of screaming "SO! F---ED! UP!" like everyone else.
And at one point in the night, yes, I did get my own Patron tequila -- a shot, to be exact. Spicy. Smooth. Kinda strong, but not so strong that I couldn't down it quickly. I did not, unfortunately, get -- what's that expression again? -- SO! F---ED! UP! But at least I can cross a shot of Patron drink off my liquor life list. There are still plenty of brands left to try.
Maybe the Paradiso Girls' next single could be called Tanqueray Gin. I could get with that.
-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*
* I just thought of an amazing coincidence: On the same night the Paradiso Girls were singing Patron Tequila at The Kennedy, country singer Tracy Byrd was across town at the Dallas Bull singing Ten Rounds With Jose Cuervo. Hmmm ... maybe I should re-think my whole "The Paradiso Girls are sellouts" theory.
** All night, for some reason, the emcee called them the "Paradisio Girls," as in, par-a-dee-see-oh. Such a faux pas!
*** Subtle. Can't believe Dylan never trademarked those lyrics.
Below check out some more photos from the Paradiso Girls' concert Friday night at the Kennedy.