Concert Reviews: June 1993
Faith & Disease
The Colour Theory
April 20, at the Ritz
Billed as a Gothic show, most of you were probably too blood scared to show your faces at the Ritz, although there was a decent sized crowd. Certainly, there was an abundance of black-clad persons, complete with white face and dark make up androgynous in nature and attitude, but even some normal underground types put in an appearance for a great show.
Leading off were fairly recent newcomers to the scene Midnight Dreary. A cross between Alien Sex Fiend and Christian Death as far as attitude and stage presence. Their music had a feel more of early The Cure, with melodic bass and drum rhythms pumping underneath guitar noise and keyboard atmospherics, overlayed by nerve-wrenching vocal acrobatics. These boys are the first band to break out of the ever-growing baby bay subculture in Salt Lake. Theatrics seem to be the strength of Midnight Dreary, hiding behind vast amounts of thick fog, candles, skulls and assorted cliche death-rock accoutrements. Definitely something to experience. And as they get more performances under their respective belts, perhaps they will focus more on songs than set dressing.
The Colour Theory played in incredibly powerful set consisting of standards from their Steel Glass Shadows CD—”Circles”, “Steel Glass Shadows,” “Dorian”, etc—plus four or five new songs, including their forthcoming single, “Orange” a second off to Anthony Burgess A Clockwork Orange. I’ve seen The Colour Theory many time in the past few years and their shows of late have shown an increased energy and performance level that demand attention. The band has definitely matured, an best of all, they rock hard! Power chords rip out over throbbing bass and heavy drums. Over the top come Paul Dury’s smooth, deeply charismatic vocals. The newer songs see them breaking out of traditional steady rhythms and into more diverse patterns. The early Damned records come to mind when listening to them. You can tell from watching them that they are enjoying what they are doing on stage. If you’ve missed them so far, now is the time to check out The Colour Theory.
Seattle’s Faith & Disease seem to suffer from an identity crisis. They appear to have all the trappings of a Gothic rock band except the musical aspect. They played through a variety of beautiful, yet brooding songs, focused on vocalist Dara Rosenwasser‘s sweet strains. But their music seems to contain qualities more akin to folk-rock; Joni Mitchell‘s Blue album comes to mind, or “10,000 Maniacs In My Tribe”. Their songs draw on these but take them to their more haunting extremes. Maybe this is their Gothic sensibility. In any case, the band played a well-received show, especially for their first in Salt Lake and outside Seattle. They may be limiting their audience by pigeonholing themselves in a genre; especially one that is as claustrophobic as the Gothic scene. The band definitely has a wide appeal to all sorts of alternative types. Grab a copy of either of their two singles if you missed the show Voltaire’s Valerie or “Jardeu Blue,” available through Aida House Records- and formulate your own opinion.
April 28 at ABG’s in Provo
My heavens! A bar in Provo? And one that hosts the evils of punk rock? Who would have thought? And who could have guessed that this little hole-in-the-wall bar, ABG’s, could be so much fun? A real mix up of cowboys, hessians, skaters and regular joes, ABG’s is the perfect venue for local bands. The juke-box blared out Madonna’s Vogue and then slipped into some Garth Brooks nonsense or other. What a great way to start any gig!
Anger Overload took the stage much to the chagrin of the pool-playing regulars, but Brad Barker‘s stand-up comedy in between songs, as well as his unrivaled stage persona (what other lead singer could lift his guitar player, let alone carry him around the stage over his shoulder?) soon won the hearts of everyone in the bar. His claims that they were any band from ABBA to Black Sabbath were met with heartfelt cheers and rousing applause. Anger Overload has gotten even better since I saw them open for KMFDM. They are heavy! The music shifts between frantic punk speeds to grungy, metal reposes but retains its depth and edge no matter what. Anger Overload is more melodious than most of the local bands and any discordance only adds to the overall appeal. Even under the disco lights they laid down a storm of music.
Lovebucket is certainly something to behold, with a stand up drummer who has a Sparkletts bottle as part of his kit (among other unidentifiable drum things ) and a lead singer who is a cross between Pee-Wee Herman and the American Bobsled Team. Lovebucket is reminiscent of the seminal new wave early 80s punk bands that sprang up in garages everywhere across America; where any rich brat with a guitar found himself able at a moments notice to play three chords and write silly lyrics and be just plain punk. Case in point is the Lovebucket song Dogbite, one of the few with intelligible lyrics. “Dogbite/ Dogbite/ Dogbite/ On my left (I hope I got that right).” Definitely something to stimulate your mind for even enhance your life. Maybe the spew words of wisdom to the mentally challenged but anyone else will probably find Lovebuck a little too zany. O.K., so they’re not Toy Dolls, but if you should for some reason crave mindless, wacky, punk-rock fun, then Lovebucket is the band for you.
The Bomb, The Mieces and River Bed Jed
April 29 at Bar & Grill
Man, I thought there was only gonna be two bands, so I showed up late. I completely missed Riverbed Jed, but several different people said they were really cool. Sorry about that guys.
The Mieces were up next, and I do mean up! This three-piece band from Frisco jumped, bounced sproinged, and pogoed their way through a fine set of punchy, kick ass Rock-N-Fuckin Roll. Yeah, they were hot. Due to technical difficulties with an unfamiliar sound system and loud stage volume, but that didn’t stop their frenzied, sweaty delivery. They played like it was their last rock show of all time, and the audience loved em for it. Fuck it, who needs vocals anyway.
The Bomb took the show and ran away with it. They started with their own “Mad Doctor”, reciting poetry about sexual deviance, and then the band whipped through a couple of comedy tunes before getting down to it. The sound-system bugs were ironed out, and The Bomb went off.
And they fuckin’ tore it up! Their diminutive bassist/vocalist belted out his classy, melodic vox like there were three of him, while he double-guitar attack screamed and wailed like lost souls in hell. The lead guitar had the major Star Trek—Warp 9 effects, and the drummer just went ape shit on his cymbals. They were so loud they melted the earwax in my ears, my fillings popped out and my goldfish died.
This long set of hookey rockers was saved from the tedium by the clever use of drop outs and stop-start reflects, the Star Wars lead guitar, and sheer, raw stagecraft. This band knows how to wring every last drop of energy out of a song—and audience. The dance floor was nearly packed with moving bodies the whole night, and I’ll bet there wasn’t a dry sweat-gland in the house after the hour and a half set.
A Good time for all—proof yet again that the only place to be on Thursday night is the Bar and Grill, next week bring your mom.
Helios Creed, Iceburn and Anger Overload
May 4 @ Club Starzz
How in the hell, can one make such mean sounds from a guitar? Anger Overload seems to creep like ants in your pants. I have also selected them as the sassiest band in Salt Lake, NOT Stone Pony. Terminal technical difficulties prevented them from finishing their set.
Iceburn is going off in an all different directions as far as I can tell, I say check em out again if you haven’t seen them lately.
This is a bad review for Helios Creed. They lagged.
Cows, Janitor Joe and Spore
May 13 @ Club Starrz
I don’t think the fact that Mike Dean (former C.O.C.) is in the band brought many people to see this band. I don’t even know which one he was, Mike could have been the drummer for all that I know. Spore is good and all, but they were a bit too complicated and hard to follow. Alas they played their hearts out to a few bobbing listeners.
Janitor Joe turned the volume up to 11. Loud as fuck and pissed as hell they moved like a steamroller through an incredibly cool set.
I have waited a long time, which seems to be an eternity, to behold the magnificent, fullon rude splendor, which would be the COWS. The COWS messed shit up live as I knew they would, complete with handlebar mustaches, crazy tattoos, and three breasts. Shannon (singer) also had a cigarette butts hanging from his braid.
The noise was outta sight: “Raw, rude and down right annoyingly powerful. No one can compare with the COWS. I’m sorry if you weren’t there. You just could never experience anything like this.
“Shitbeard,’ ‘Sexy ,Pee Story,’ and a cover of “Jesus Christ Superstar,” 39 lashes. The crowd was full of punks, drunks, gorillas (no fucking lie) and it all was killer. I couldn’t help but laugh, it was fucking amazing.
fIREHOSe and Run Westy Run
May 23 @ Bar & Grill
It had been almost six years. I had missed at least three of their last trips here, but I finally got to see flREHOSE again in Salt Lake City. Some things just get better with age. The group played songs from all their albums, with no two the same. The rhythm section is tighter than the proverbial duck’s ass. They are heavy in ways that most ‘grunge” groups couldn’t even comprehend. A highlight was “Down With the Bass,” in which they demonstrated that Mike Watt on that very instrument is the driving force of the group. Not to take anything away from the other members: George Hurley drummed like crazy, even taking a solo, and Ed Crawford provided vocals and cool guitar riffs. These guys lay down a groove that puts Red Hot Chili Peppers to shame.
For an encore they went from the old Minutemen song “Badges” into the Butthole Surfers‘ “Revolution,” then some more originals. For a second encore, they did “The Red and the Black,” by Blue Oyster Cult. The appreciative and near capacity The Bar & Grill crowd would’ve listened all night, but if they were like me, they were having a hard time hearing by then, due to the aural damage sustained, not to mention sundry bruises from the mosh pit. Run Westy Run, a labelmate from flREHOSE’s Record days, opened a show that started hot and just kept getting hotter. Hose me down!
Check out more from the SLUG Archives:
Concert Reviews: April 1993
Birdman: We Drink, We Skate, We Masturbate!
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