Retooled venue, equipment rental put punk-rock couple on stable footing
Thu, Jun 4, 2009 (midnight)
Photo: Aaron Thompson
Boomers after hours isn’t a spectacular place. Opened in 1988, this central-Vegas bar, located at 3200 Sirius Ave., is your typical dive-drinking establishment—everywhere, there are neon beer signs, televisions older than most teenagers and the acrid scent of ancient cigarette smoke, lingering.
But as debauched local punk band The Mapes charge, in costume, onto the stage on this Saturday night, leaving insults, food and raunch in their wake, Boomers transforms into a bustling center of chaotic culture. It’s raw, it’s gross, and, thanks to promoter Roxy Amoroso and her husband, Jesse, it’s the latest haunt for Vegas’ 21-and-over punk-rock scene.
“Boomers is just another chapter for us,” says Roxy, whose previous booking credentials include Henderson casino the Roadhouse, west-side DIY warehouse/venue the Club House and short-lived West Sahara dive Squiggy’s. Boomers is also just one piece of an expanding business model the couple hopes will be its salvation. The Amorosos created Professional Backline Rentals—a music-equipment rental service/hourly vintage amp and instrument room—from the glut of music gear always at their feet. “We can’t stop ourselves from buying gear,” Roxy says. “So it came to a point where we’re like, it would be beneficial if we rented it out.” And so, Backline now serves as the couple’s financial fixture, underwriting some of their booking and promotional work.
Despite the stability the once-homeless punk-rockers Roxy and Jesse now enjoy—they juggle three kids, football practice and their own band, Pigasus, these days—the couple knows that tragedy can strike at any time. The day the Amorosos began to set up their Backline offices was the same day Pigasus bandmate Angelique “Ainjil” Keck was wounded in a gunfire attack that killed her fiancé and unborn child. “I was with her [in the hospital] when she lost the baby,” Amoroso says. “Emotionally and physically, it took us more than four months to get everything back together.”
Roxy sees Boomers—where she plans to begin bringing mid-range national acts soon—Backline and her 9-month-old son, Gibson, as her escape from chaos, to a more secure future for herself and Vegas music scene.
“I’ve come a long way from being a little girl in the scene,” she says. “I’m living my fucking dream, and it is great.”