Tuesday, September 30, 2008

9/28/08 - The Fratelli's, The Airborne Toxic Event, Electric Touch

headed to the HOB for the first time on sunday to catch airborne toxic event and the fratelli's.
knuckles and the piledriver came with - woo hoo! look out, ladies!

no pics this time - apparently no one takes the "absolutely no cameras" rule seriously, as i was about the only joker in the place to not have one. bouncers didn't care at all, at least until the fratelli's played. weird.

'twas really an awesome night, probably one of the best shows i've ever been to. not that all 3 bands were exactly my taste, but you gotta love a show in a "real" venue, with an actual stage, incredible sound system, and cool light show. but i really think the difference was the crowd - there's just somethin great that happens when the whole crowd gets into it, and they're not afraid to actually move around a bit, or throw their hands up in the air and clap with the band. yea, i know this is old news to you folks that have been to a lot of "big" shows, but it was a revelation to me. i dono, i thot it was just a great vibe that night. maybe it was cuz i was plastered, but i don't think so. (i was getting peppered with some rather salty text messages the whole night, which definitely added to the excitement).

first up was Electric Touch, from austin. absolutely loved these guys. very beatles-esque, i think. bunch of young punks, super-cocky, incredible stage presence, snarly, strutting, doin the whole "usin your guitar as a phallic symbol" thing, all to great effect. wasn't expecting to like these guys, but goddam i did. great set full of fun-time rock-n-roll. about the lead singer's british accent, knuckles says "man, i gotta get me one of them".

next up was the highlight of the night for me - The Airborne Toxic Event, from CA. totally in my wheelhouse - moody, anthemic, beautiful, haunting. i was in heaven. definitely have a weakness for a band with strings. didn't want it to end, couldn't get enough.

headlining was The Fratelli's. i was not necessarily a huge fan of theirs goin in (that's the piledriver), but i absolutely loved their set. very polished, very talented. played an hour and a half, changin guitars every damn song ('sup with that?). no matter - they were great, and the crowd really seemed to know their stuff, which made for a really fun set.

i was prepared to hate the HOB - i'd heard about the security checkpoints, expensive parking, expensive drinks, ticketbastard charges, sterile environment, etc., but i have to say, i loved it there. about the only complaint was the ticket "convenience charges" (what a racket). everything else was no problem - i found a meter right in front, i did my drinkin before i got there, security was no big deal, and it was smoke-free. i'm not givin up my trips to deep ellum or denton any time soon, but i won't hesitate to go back to the HOB either.

9/27/08 - Dead Confederate, Wax Fang, Zest of Yore

ended my (purely metaphorical) boycott of the effing cavern and headed there to catch a couple of post-ACL bands. my buddy josephus was able to stop crying in his beer about the florida loss long enough to show up, too.

and wouldn't you know it, my new buddies in Zest of Yore were the openers. and they was aight. they'll never be a favorite of mine, but i enjoyed a song or two this time. yea, i'm sure it was exactly the same set as that night at hailey's, but for some reason i could tolerate it more - less alcohol, less tired, who knows. still not crazy about the super-high falsetto the lead does.

unfortunately for them, they were completely over-shadowed by the two bands that followed.

Wax Fang, from Kentucky, was un-fucking-believable. 3-man band, but with an enormous sound. sometimes experimental, sometimes bluesy, sometimes hard-rockin, sometimes almost classical. they list Philip Glass as an influence, and i could hear it (i'm a huge fan). song after song, i was in complete bliss, sitting there with a stupid-ass grin on my face. absolutely loved the lead's voice - reminded me of johnny rotten sometimes, but with a great low end. loved the psychedelic visuals, loved the droning kazoos (see the 2nd video), loved the slide guitar (man, that dude can play). awesome awesome stuff. easily the highlight of the evening for me. these guys will be huge someday, if there is any justice in the world. (please note - i realize these are horrible videos, but i just wanted to give you some idea of what they were doin...)

next up was Dead Confederate, from Athens. really liked these guys, too. 5-man band: 3 guitars, keys and drums. great combination of slow-burning southern psychedelia and gloomy roots rock. voice on lead not my favorite - just a bit reedy, but very strong, at times howling. keys were very pink-floyd-organ-like sometimes (and the player was nuts). have to say - after a while, the songs started to blend together a bit. they were very good, but there wasn't a whole lot of variety (one of the strengths of Wax Fang, I thought). super-hot drunken blonde down in front, gyrating up a storm, so they had that goin for 'em. josephus was right behind her, of course, hopin he'd catch some stray boobage, but no luck. anyways, really enjoyed the set.
all in all, the first time i've enjoyed a show at the cavern in a looong time.