And so we begin the bleak descent into madness that is winter. This season is filled with pagan rituals, cold, unrelenting weather, and of course, the whipped cream on top of the pie: a mutual anger for having to put up with people in general. If this all doesn't relate to metal, then I don't know what does.
Fortunately for me, I started this season off right by cozying up to an amplifier at Katacombes to go see Derelict. I should mention that this show was put on by fairly new company, Productions Kranium, that apparently is going to be specializing in doing shows that only have a few local metal acts rather than the current set up of everyone under the sun. Look out for them in 2013, providing the Mayans aren't right and the world doesn't end on December 21st.
First up was a band named Epiphany from the Abyss, who's cryptic name was also accompanied by some questionable band practices. This is going to sound like me going on a rant, but it's really constructive criticism for what I'm guessing is a new band or any new band in metal for that matter. First, this band had two guitarists playing eight string guitars with no bassist present. While the idea is sound, since eight-stringed guitars are lower than other guitars, it's kind of unnecessary. Speaking of unnecessary, they also had two singers who did the same thing of alternating between growls and high pitched screaming. If you have one that can do both, why have two? Finally, just a thought, but maybe you should invest less in drum heads and full banners with your logo on it and more in, I don't know, writing music, you know, the thing that could pay for those things. Moving on...
Second to play was First Fragment, which I knew nothing about going into the show, but now after the show, I know everything about them. They were so impressive. They were musically solid tech-death, that blended together perfect, and man can that guitarist fucking shred. If you don't know about them, here's and early X-Mas gift for you. It is glorious and I cannot heap enough praise on this band. Keep a look out, because these fine gents are going places.
Rounding out the night was the fine sounds of the gentlemen in Derelict. Fun fact about Derelict: they actually did a session at the station which you can listen to in all its glory.
What is there to say about Derelict? They know what they're doing and it shows. I wouldn't say their tech-death legends, but they are seasoned vets and they know how to put on a damn fine performance. They played a good deal of things off their new album Perpetuation, which if you don't have I don't want to call you a bad person per se, but you're definitely not a good person.
So, my suggestion to you is to go, purchase some of Derelict's fine material, get a pair of headphones, set up a nice warm fire, and sit in your house hibernating until winter is over... unless Derelict and First Fragment play another show, in which case, venture out to remind yourself how little you want to be outside, and to see how awesome they are. Trust me it will be worth it.
Young Lungs performed at the CJLO/Safe In Sound showcase during M pour Montreal, so I was pretty familiar with the set that they would be playing. Their first song started off with a guitar sound that made me think of the Beach Boys if they had decided that hard rock was more their style. The sound in the venue was a little off mic-wise, and it took awhile to be able to hear the lead vocals properly. Their sound seemed to echo into the venue compared to the cosy show at l'Esco the previous Friday. However, they sounded tight and the new material that they tested out on the audience was my favourite tracks of theirs by far. The three of them make an odd trio—a nerdy indie front man, a bassist with a punk-power stance, and a drummer with impressive mullet—but the chemistry they have as a band is very apparent, and by the end of the set the venue had filled and the crowd was bobbing along with the band. You could tell that they were really enjoying themselves. The lead vocalist had to take off his glasses by the end because they kept falling down his nose from rocking out so hard. In all, a solid set, but I preferred them in the smaller venue.
When Absolutely Free started playing, the first thing that was whispered into my ear was "this is some Enya level shit" ...and it was. It was as if Death Cab For Cutie showed up and decided to take us on a space mission. Destination: Meh. They had massive amounts of equipment: a variety of twirly knobs, two keyboards, a drum kit, and a drum pad. The versatility of the band's members was impressive, and you could tell that some of them thought so too. Their music had elements in it that made me want to shout YES, LET'S EJECT FROM THIS SHUTTLE AND FLOAT AWAY. There were moments of Twin Peaks-eqsue melodies mixed in with the music accompanying you on Space Mountain at Disneyland. But just when you would get excited about them starting to play a really cool sample, they would stop using it and the audience was taken back into the spaceship for some more laconic singing and drumming. But the singer was a babe. You got it, man.
I saw Metz perform at Cameo Gallery in Brooklyn back in October, and the show was very impressive. Definitely one of the better ones I've seen all year so it was a no-brainer that I would be attending this show. Plus, they all have luxurious hair—a fact I like to remind everyone I'm with whenever they're mentioned. Metz did not disappoint. Their songs are quick, fast, loud, and tight. With floodlights on the floor adding an extra punch in the visual department, they got the audience excited and moving around and one dude attempted to crowd surf every other minute. It was great to see the band keep their cool when they were just using TOO MUCH POWER, causing their lights to go out. Two members would keep on playing while narrating the attempt to turn the lights and amp back on. Crowd surfer dude kept yelling at the band "BETTER BE LOUD" and the audience got a laugh out of their responses along the lines of: "...well... it's going to be similar" and the amusing intro to "Headache" (which you can check out a video of them performing in the CJLO studio): "This is our slow jam". If you ever see that this band is coming to a venue near you, you have to go. They're awesome.
Once upon a time, there was a girl that loved Sloan so much, that she named her first and only cat after them (he turned 15 this summer!).
Once upon a time, there was a girl that loved Sloan so much, that every time she got drunk, she would belt out "Deeper Than Beauty" and "Snow Suit Sound".
Once upon a time, there was a girl that loved Sloan so much, that she broke up with her fiancée when he didn't "get" them. (For reals.)
Once upon a time, Twice Removed, removed this girl from teenage-dom and catapulted her into adulthood.
So when this girl heard that Sloan would be playing all of Twice Removed at Le National on November 23rd, she got a little excited (the band never played Sault Ste Marie in ‘94, or I so would've been there). She also felt a little old. Like when her parents would go into the city for dinner and a concert: Bob Dylan sings his greatest hits. She wondered what kind of set would it be. Forty minutes then goodbye? Would it be done in chronological order? Would there be epic Patrick Pentland guitar solos or Andrew Scott drum solos to draw the set out? Curious and curiouser this girl headed into Le National and was confronted by a sea of boys in plaid and girls in stripes.
Now this girl has to be honest with you, she hasn't bought a Sloan album since Navy Blues. She grew up, moved on, found something new. More honesty? She kinda felt they were stuck on that Can-Rock Guess Who sound. But she's always loved those early albums. The sludgy pop of Smeared, the soothing harmolodic sounds of Twice Removed, the jangle balladry of One Chord to Another, and the block rocking riffs of Navy Blues. As well, she really valued the way that all members wrote and sang to create a wide variety in songs and sounds. But most of all she appreciated their clever word play, as evidenced in autobiography...
I'm writing "sharp and adult"
With my finger on the steam
On the mirror in my bathroom
While I'm applying shaving cream
Which would suggest that I'm the foamer
But how can I be the lather
And something tells me
It's the opposite I'd rather
Sloan got on stage, no intro, just ripping right into "Penpals". Comic nerd fun fact: the lyrics to Penpals can be found in Bryan Lee O'Malley's (of Scott Pilgrim fame) first graphic novel, Lost at Sea. Then onto "I Hate My Generation", "People of the Sky", and so on.
The show was in chronological order and there was very little patter in between. Just lots of "Thank you!" and "Thanks for sticking with us all these years." This was their final show after doing 42 across the continent and it showed; they seemed a little tired and ready for it all to be over. This girl was surprised by how little they had changed. Chris Murphy had the same hair style; Jay Ferguson, the same jaunty cap, Patrick the same stoic pose, though somehow Andrew Scott seemed dreamier.
The song that laid a whammy on your girl, was when Patrick sang "Loosens". Never a stand-out track before, it carried a weight and poignancy that your girl failed to notice the billion times she listened to it before. Another thing that surprised was that usually when she went to shows and knew all the words to songs, she'd mouth them but never sing. At this show, your girl sang her heart out and didn't care who heard her off key warbles at all (and since were being totally honest, I also sang along to the guitar parts, played air drums and air guitar too).
After "Loosens", Chris charmingly pointed out that they were at the halfway point in the album, and that it was time to turn the tape over to side two. Then it was onto "Worried Now", "Shame Shame"... When it came time to play "Deeper Than Beauty", most of the band left the stage to Chris on guitar and Andrew on drums. It was an interesting break because one thing your girl noticed was that the majority of songs were played with a heavier guitar and a louder sound than usual (which I totally loved!!!).
Let see, other cool things that occurred at the show? The extended jam on "Before I Do", the constant switching of players: Andrew out from behind the drums on guitar and singing, "People of the Sky" with Chris on drums. Jay and Chris shared bass duties. Saw a dad grooving along with his 14 year old son next to him and he wasn't the only one. At the front of the stage was a father with his three kids, two boys, one girl, all between the ages of 9-13. Then Patrick whipped out the acoustic guitar to sing "I Can Feel It", he encouraged a sing-along and it was over. Chris announced, "We'll be back, talk amongst yourselves, remember University?" and this girl was ecstatic that there was to be more.
They came back and started with "Everything You've Done Wrong", then into "Who Taught You to Live Like That?", "Keep on Thinkin'", "Unkind", "Beverly Terrace", "Shadow of Love", "She's Slowing Down Again", "Something's Wrong"," Traces", "Never Hear the End of It", "Fading into Obscurity", "Witches Wand", a super-fast version of "Good in Everyone", "The Other Man", "Take Good Care of the Poor Boy", and ended the show with a mega-rousing rendition of "Money City Maniacs".
You could tell the band was more interested in playing the second half of the set. Patrick rocked the expletive out, Chris's onstage antics came to the forefront (rad drumstick spins!), Jay was so solid, and we got a bunch more songs sung by Andrew, yum.
Andrew started a steady beat to begin the encore, which filled out to a furious icky thump, while the rest of the band played "Losing California". Then it was Jay's sweetly symphonic voice on "The Lines You Amend" and finally, the coup de gras, "Underwhelmed". I'm sure it's been said before, to the point that it's cliché, but this girl was completely Overwhelmed (I was so happy I pogo'd all over the place) and the night couldn't have ended on a better note. (Actually it did. I made a new friend, we went and talked to Chris and Jay, and Chris explained that one of the lines in Underwhelmed was, "She rolled her R's, her beautiful Arse." I never knew...)
It was an evening of surprise, revelation, affirmation, and excitement from a band I had written off almost 12 years ago. I was wrong. Sloan. Blew. Me. Away. They're 20 years into it with no signs of slowing down and I'm having a lot of fun catching up.
No gimmicks were necessary for Montreal indie-rock band Plants and Animals, who wooed their sold out hometown crowd at Corona Theatre on November 16th. Standing in the top corner balcony, the show opened with the spotlight on Nicolas Basque, guitar and bassist of the band, cheekily strumming along some melodic tune. He soon joined the band on the main stage and they kicked off the show.
The band performed with seamless song transitions, keeping it interesting alternating between upbeat songs, slow songs, new, and old songs. Guitarists Nick Basque and Warren Spicer played off each other and even dueled at times in true rock fashion. There weren't many stage gimmicks beyond this, nor was there a need for it to entice the crowd. The band had obvious stage chemistry that translated into a highly charismatic performance without the need for gaudy decorations or further theatrics.
"Happy Birthday Woody!" (directed to the drummer Matthew Woodley) and "Love you Nick" (to the guitarist) were exclaimed over the buzz of crowd whose enthusiasm only a truly local crowd could bring. And that was probably what was most refreshing about this show—it brought a positive vibe, which I can only suspect was attributed to such a friendly and local crowd. I have not seen that much relentless and unprovoked fist pumping and head bobbing in some time. As I walked through the crowd to get a better view, my ears were bombarded with the mutterings of people talking to their friends on how much they were enjoying the show.
Of course it wasn't entirely flawless. There were some obvious technical difficulties with the guitars at times, and the light show could have been more subdued for those who may not be entirely fond of flashing strobe lights directed right at your eyes. These glitches were far from distracting in light of the solid performance.
Overall, Plants and Animals offered a highly feel-good show, easily palatable for fans and concertgoers alike. And though I've only been a casual listener of their music so far, after this show I am confident to say I am certainly looking forward to their next one in Montreal.
It's sad to say that, because of the very timely beginning (right at 8pm, when does that happen?!), I missed out on half of Mykki Blanco's set (it's OK, though, because she performed again at the after party!). Mykki was all lit up on stage like a big, sassy, strong, gender-bending god(dess) fronting the LGBT community by spitting fire, pulling down the stage, rocking the dance floor, and shouting hook after hook chorused back by screaming fans who were nothing short of an eclectic group. She recently dropped her mix tape Cosmic Angel: The Illuminati Prince/ss, and it is currently picking up speed and featuring tracks produced by such up and coming trap/juke/footwork artists such as Flosstradamus and Brenmar. You can get it off of her website for free, or you can show your support and buy it! She finished her set with "Riot" off of the new tape, showing her tough and gnarly side that challenged MC Ride's position of most intense front man/woman ever.
Now for Death Grips...
Remember that time you decided to enter the mosh pit when you were 15, and after being dropped on your head, kicked in the genitals, and bitten by a large bald man you promised yourself you were going to take it easy at shows from now on? If so, Death Grips might not be for you because when you look up at the half man/half beast/half demon MC Ride and hear those war drums and Noisey/Glitchy/Bassey killer break-your-speakers beats, you really have no choice but to go into full angst mode.
"What happens to you when you reach full angst mode John Jacob?" - Personified Black Coffee
You get straight nutty.
"Now, who the heck are Death Grips?" - PBC
Well, in writing the line-up is Stefan "MC Ride" Burnett, Zach Hill, and Andy "Flatlander" Morin. Though according to reports Morin is "missing"... so the show was whittled down to MC Ride and Hill , who were anarcho-punk-partying like huge man monsters. Their sound was making the crowd jump so high, and the bass bump so low, that there was a serious threat to the structural integrity of Corona Theatre that night. The audience was massively eclectic as their killer noise rap sub genre hits home with a huge variety of fans, though only the kind who enjoy feeling like a demon cowboy when walking down the street or riding on the metro.
On a side note, thanks Death Grips, for the awkward glances of fellow bus occupants caused by the big old man-bits that show up every time I throw NO LOVE DEEP WEB onto my smart(ish) phone. Pure class!
Now if I've been ambiguous I want to clear up that this show ruled hard. Mykki and Death Grips threw on a hell of a bash and the place was packed. The sound was good and despite the groups being small and the stage being large, both Mykki and MC Ride had enough presence to fill the entire space. Definitely receiving my stamp of approval.
Your Best Friend,
Reeling on the heels of an incredible M for Montreal festival, I wondered how I could ever manage to make it to the Dropkick Murphys show on Sunday night, but immediately upon hearing a Celtic flute, accordion, and a fiddle, the Scottish girl that I am broke into a smile and got her jig on.
The band to blame was the first on the roster, The Mahones. Being the least punk of the three bands last night, playing songs that are more traditional Celtic sounding, ended their set with "Drunken Lazy Bastard" and the ever-charming Finny McConnell tipping his hat, taking a bow and thanking Montreal as they left the stage.
Teenage Bottlerocket were next to hit the stage. This run of the mill punk rock band spun the show in nothing less than a tacky direction by banging their heads and rocking their guitars out in unison. They also unoriginally had a skull-masked guy who came out frequently with big signs that had words on them like "Freak Out!" (Didn't the Ramones do that?)
The sold-out crowd at Metropolis began to get antsy waiting for the band they were there to see, chanting "Let's go Murphys," when all of sudden the lights went out and the haunting Celtic tune, "Foggy Dew" began to play.
As the band drifted on to stage, the fans went wild. These are no ordinary fans, as the love they feel for their Dropkick Murphys is wildly passionate, giving you a feeling as if you were in an Irish pub with a bunch of drunkards. One wrong word and a brawl could break out.
Thankfully this would not be the case, except for a small few that were escorted out by security.
On this, their return to Montreal, the Dropkick Murphys' appropriately kicked off the show with one of their new songs "The Boys Are Back" off of their yet to be released album Signed And Sealed With Blood. A song definitely worthy of all the jumping and fist pumping.
Nothing got the crowd moshing and surfing more than the traditional tunes "Johnny, I Hardly I Knew Ya" and "The Irish Rover".
They slowed it down with the lovely little ballad, as ballads go for the Dropkick Murphys, "Rose Tattoo". Giving an awesome opportunity for the crowd to really get a taste of the raunchy, but amazing voice of bassist Ken Casey.
And if the show could not get any better, they went out with a bang ending the three-song encore with a phenomenal AC/DC cover of "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap".
A couple of CJLO peeps and I trekked all the way to Brooklyn with our CMJ Music Marathon badges in tow to catch METZ at the Cameo Gallery, only to discover that the venue had reached its CMJ badge quota. Having come all that way, we resentfully paid the ten bucks and went inside.
METZ played their set, and though very short, their performance was awesome. But this is not a review of the METZ show because after the band emptied their gear from the stage, and the venue virtually cleared out except for a few hangers on, I discovered a different and shiny new gem.
His name is Morgan Z, and he is the mad scientist/musician behind Chrome Canyon.
The first thing that piqued my interest that night was the Theremin. That crazy electronic instrument, with its upright and loop antennas that control this freaky B-movie volume and pitch, has always fascinated me. Before the performance even started we began raving, "ooOoo! A Theremin!" "This is going to be good because there's a Theremin!"
As Chrome Canyon began their set, Morgan Z took the stage wearing a silver lamé shirt and shiny black leggings. How odd! Two musicians (playing drums, bass, and guitar) accompanied him for the performance. I didn't know what to expect, but my first impression after seeing that outfit was, "oh no, not good!"
I was so wrong.
What happens when musicians mix the following components?
I would describe that mixture as "a prom from outer space," but my friend Kayleigh hit the nail on the head when she proclaimed that the music was like something you'd hear at "Molly Ringwald's wedding." She meant that in the best way possible, and I'm repeating it here because the music was just so freaking wild! There was so much talent on stage, it was as if Molly gave birth to a love child she conceived with one of the members of Rush and named that baby Morgan Z.
Chrome Canyon combined several musical elements like the synth-pop resembling new wave band Visage, disco beats similar to Blondie's "Heart of Glass", and a bit of the electro-funk sampling Herbie Hancock experimented with in the early 1980s. All those influences were combined in such a subtle and original way that it almost felt like Chrome Canyon could see and experience the past and the future simultaneously. Perhaps we have the Theremin to thank for that.
The ambient-synth sound of the song "Body Music" was totally awesome and poppy, and the drums had such a fun beat that even the most unlikely Brooklynites were inspired to dance and party. Morgan Z's music is so freaky, so sci-fi, and at times super mellow. I recorded some video of the show, and playing it back now fills my heart with joy that I can't stop smiling. Please, sit back and enjoy some Chrome Canyon music right now:
I would have been willing to spend a lot more than 10$ if I had known what awaited me that night. Chrome Canyon was so much fun to watch.
Few things excite me as much as the CMJ Music Marathon. Every year, members of community and college stations across North America congregate in New York City to meet up with promoters, talk about how to improve their radio stations, and of course see tons of live music.
This year, when looking through the schedule of bands, few things stood out to me as much as getting the chance to see grindcore mainstay Pig Destroyer. This was something I looked forward to even more after listening to the new album Book Burner, which if you haven't heard, I suggest you do so post haste, and just because I'm a nice guy, I'll wait for you to do so.
Okay, good now? So, now you see why I was so excited to catch them, and with Chicago metal-heads Encrust also on the bill, I really had no choice but to check it out. So I got the venue and staked out a spot against the wall, which was where I stood the entire night.
Encrust actually started the show, and was pretty damn impressive. Their blend of metal ranging from doom to thrash to death, and all points in between, was nothing short of amazing. If From Birth to Soil isn't on your listening list, you should change that.
Early Graves was up next with some thrash-influenced metal that was really solid. This was followed by the most shocking performance of the night by Canada's own KEN Mode. I listened to KEN Mode before, but I thought their albums weren't really that special. After their set though, it was clear that I should probably give their back catalogue another listen, because their performance was intense.
Of course all of this was a prelude to the formidable sounds of Pig Destroyer. The show was completely packed and everyone hung on every excessively loud note. They played about of hour of songs ranging from the new album all the way back to the first demo they ever recorded. After the show, I walked out, bleary, tired, and felt like I had been physically assaulted, so I think it's safe to say that Pig Destroyer did their job and then some.
Admittedly, I was unfamiliar with much of Cat Power's music beyond the singles released off the older records, but her latest album caught my attention when a friend and long-time Cat Power fan raved about yet another smooth genre transition/exploration of Chan Marshall. Beyond this, all I had heard about Cat Power was her notoriously sporadic and unprofessional performances, allegedly known for their substance-filled volatility. Nevertheless, I approached the show with optimism, hearing that the precarious nature of her performances have been slightly more subdued over this tour.
Strolling on stage with her band, each member came equipped and dressed in ultra-hip attire. The incredibly packed venue greeted her with a roar of exhilarated relief due to the long wait after the opening band. With a steady drumbeat and a recognizable guitar riff, Marshall started her set with the mellow pop single "Cherokee", a song off her new 2012 album, Sun.
Chic background changes from clouds, to a slideshow of what looked like tourist photos from Africa, to a final giant florescent neon triangle, the images tied the otherwise plain stage together.
What initially struck me was the huge range of ages in the audience. It was certainly an eclectic crowd in many respects. I can only speculate that this could be contributed to Marshall’s own genre fluidity and the longevity of her career. Regardless, it was refreshing to be among such a diverse crowd.
However, despite my optimism for Marshall to overcome her expected quality performance in Montreal, her reputation of sporadic shows held up. Despite her more dance/pop music, the crowd remained idle for most of the concert, and even those in close range of the stage seemed to have limited movement for lack of enthusiasm.
Marshall seemed to be unable to fully engage the audience. Though she briefly showcased some dance moves, she did not take up much space on the stage, nor did she seem to make much effort to interact with the crowd. Her band seemed equally disengaged and Marshall's discomfort on stage showed.
It was not until Marshall performed a chain of ballads, starting with the song "Bully". Bringing the band to a minimum, Marshall took to the piano herself and finally began to prove the honing of her talent. Eventually, with a dramatic red spotlight burning down on Marshall, she belted a stunning cover of Roberta Flack's "Angelitos Negros". Marshall finally had the crowd captivated and at her fingertips. But this allure was only to be lost in the return to her more upbeat songs. It was clear, at least to me, that Cat Power’s performance strength remained in her more vulnerable song selections.
The show ended on a sincere note from Cat Power. Throwing flowers into the crowd, she exalted a most genuine thank you to the audience. A fan returned the generosity by tossing a bouquet of roses. The show finished with the audience booming. The performance overall was certainly not without glitches—from sound quality to audience engagement. But all in all I wouldn't be too quick to completely demerit the talents and efforts of Cat Power, because even through the performance glitches, they certainly proved strong.
--Hannah Besseau, CJLO News Director
So, I'm weird. I do this thing where I save the bands that I like, and explore them at a later date. This includes TV on the Radio, or Thinking Fellers Union Local 282, or the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. I am a fanatic for Boss Hog (Jon's band with his wife Cristina Martinez), and I do have three Blues Explosion albums (Extra Width, Experimental Remixes, and Xtra Acme USA). I've even checked out their latest, Meat and Bone; but ask me to name one Blues Explosion track and I flounder. I just wanted to warn you, this review will be pretty devoid of track listings. Can ya handle it? Well all right, it's time for the BLUES EXPLOSION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
My expectations walking into the Corona Theatre were pretty simple: I wanted Jon to yell "BLUES EXPLOSION!!!" at least once, and I wanted to dance like I'd never be allowed to dance again. Jon Spencer, Judah Bauer, and Russell Simins did not disappoint me at all.
When I arrived, Toronto band catl. were halfway through their set. I'm not a huge fan of opening bands but catl. got me bouncing by the third song. catl. is a three-piece featuring (ex-Deadly Snake) Andrew Moszynski on drums and harmonica, lead guitarist and lead vocalist catl, and organ/percussionist Sarah Kirkpatrick, who also does vocals. Kirkpatrick was wearing this white-fringe dress that shimmied and shook in time to catl.'s rockin' dirty blues. Heir apparent to B-52's Kate Pierson, Kirkpatrick's groovy organ playing completely complimented her flaming hot vocals. catl himself can pick with the best of them, creating a meaty wall of sound that really roots the band in the blues tradition. Lastly, it was Moszynski's fevered drum beat that drew me to the stage, and it was his wailing on harmonica that induced me to stay. This band is passionate about what they play and you can see it in every sound, beat, and move they make. Rollicking upbeat twang, I completely understand why they were chosen to open and they warmed us up good.
Now here's a great idea and something I've actually never seen before: they got local musician Bloodshot Bill to play up in the balcony during intermission. Just him, a kick drum, his guitar, and super distinctive voice. Hair Brylcreemed to the max, he turned the Corona into an impromptu hootenanny. I like Bill's style, to a certain extent. I've seen him play before, and I've always felt he might actually go big if he could tone down the non-stop histrionic Buddy Holly gimmicks. That's just my humble opinion. He played six or seven songs in total. Towards the end of the set he got the remarkably staid crowd to get involved in a sing along. He actually gave us a choice, put it to a vote and no one wanted a slow song. Interestingly enough, when I looked around, it was only the girls that were grooving to Bloodshot Bill. LLBB, the ladies love Bloodshot Bill.
After that, the wait was short and the Blues Explosion appeared. Supporting the re-release of their entire catalogue, it almost seemed that, like us, the band couldn't wait to rock that stage off its foundations. No introduction needed, no patter till the fourth song. Rock and roll hoochie koo man. Do they still got it? Hell yah, in spades. Jon in leather pants, leaping and squatting all over the stage, looked like some kinda alt-rock Marc Bolan. Judah was as chill as ice in a leather jacket, barely movin' to the beat, with Russell pounding away on his drums with an unmatched frenzy.
Things I loved about this show:
Things Jon said to us:
In conclusion, it was a sonic assault torn apart and into by three surf garage rock revival blues musicians that are geniuses at creating a crescendo of noise tempered with sped up fast and furious funk. For their final song of the encore they were pawed like rock gods, and in case it wasn't clear, Jon picked up the mike stand, and dropped it with a final flourish as if to say, "Our work here is done, were blowing this pop stand!" Blues Explosion indeed.