We got the beat at Molloy's.

Green Day 

We got the beat at Molloy's.

If there's one trend that we thought would have died by now, it's the mania for all things '80s. But nooo -- VH1's I Love the '80s Strikes Back is still sucking us in, and even though our own Have a Nice Day Café closed, other retro bars flourish elsewhere. So say what you want about the nostalgia factor or camp value of that decade -- we contend that '80s music is not only great but even more fun to listen to when lit.

Which was the case when we were at Molloy Brothers Irish Pub on a Saturday night and found out that an '80s cover band called the Zeros was performing later. We stumbled upon the group almost by accident. We were having a girls' night out with a friend who was in town, so we were drinkin' and chattin' when we noticed that the bar was getting packed. "It's because of the band," explained Research Assistant Heather. "They have a big following."

The crowd was pretty eclectic and consisted of a disproportionate number of hot, preppy guys (whose presence was explained when we later learned that this was a benefit for the Kansas City Rugby Football Club), a smattering of older women who, with their big permed hair and stiff bangs, looked as if they were frozen in the '80s, some hipsters (including one wearing an "I [heart] nerds" T-shirt from Target) and some skinheads (the nonracist kind).

The best look of the night, though, belonged to a trio of women who had gone all '80s; one was wearing a denim mini with fishnets and Converses, and all three sported jelly bracelets and had even crimped their hair and pulled part of it into high ponytails atop their heads. "The backup dancers have arrived," RA Betty said. Naturally, the Stereotypical Bar Chick was also in attendance; she was the one with shoulder-length dark, glossy hair wearing a black, one-sleeved shirt on which "Bebe" was spelled out in rhinestones in front. (Are items of clothing that display a store's name the equivalent of the letter jacket to the post-high school crowd?) And, of course, she was sporting white fuck-me pants that were cut low enough to display the butterfly tattoo on the small of her back. She and her crowd of slick-looking guys in French-blue shirts were probably the youngest people in the bar, so they were almost oddities. "I like how this isn't an über-young crowd," Betty said.

As we drank our Dewar's and water on the rocks, the band started with Gary Numan's "Cars," and we immediately started giggling at the, like, totally awesome stage show. The colored spotlights moved in time to the beat, and a smoke machine started billowing. "It's like a bad video!" Betty said. Throughout the night, different people jumped onstage to dance on a box, kind of like Courteney Cox in the "Dancing in the Dark" video. The guys in the band wore skinny ties, and the guitar player was clad in a sleeveless shirt that showed off his impressive biceps, which we couldn't help ogling. For a brief, shining moment, he was our John Taylor for the night. But it was the faithful rendition of various '80s hits that transported the bar back in time. "It sounds just fucking like it," Betty said. "It's like my favorite radio station," RA Nicole added. "They're a lot of fun. Next time they play, we have to dress up!"

We noticed a group near us wearing various plaids and pastels and wondered if they, too, had dressed for the occasion. Ross, who was in a pink polo shirt (we had to turn his collar up) and light-blue visor, explained that no, they had been in the Barstool Open (a pub crawl involving mini golf) earlier that evening and had left it to drink some more and hear the band. As we talked, his friend came up to us. "Are you the Night Ranger?" he asked. "I'm in love with you!"

"Thanks!" the NR replied, then jokingly asked, "Wanna make out?" Yeah, we had totally regressed back to seventh grade with our instinctive response to any declaration of love. Sadly, the offer was declined, but that's OK. Tainted love, you know.

The Zeros will be back at Molloy's on St. Patrick's Day. According to Ciaran Molloy, who owns the bar with his brother, Fintan (possibly the only Irish bar owners in KC who actually hail from Ireland), there will be a tent outside featuring more traditional Irish music. Inside will be various DJs, and the Zeros will be the closer band of the night. Also of interest will be a smoothie made of Bailey's, Kahlua and milk, which will be churning in a machine that the bar trots out for special occasions. "It's like a milkshake," Ciaran said. "It's very popular! They work, too, if you know what I mean." Oh, we know what you mean, all right. After a few of those, we'll be the ones doing the robot inside. You can't miss us -- let our neon-green clothes be your beacon.

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