Got up a little while ago after a late night of Berries-related activity, and most of the world missed a really good show in Real City last night. For their benefit, the following…
Got my gear loaded up at six, and made it to the venue about seven. I carried my kit to the designated storage location, and relaxed until the show opened at 8:45 with our friends in Turbo Gatto. They rose above a broken guitar string and delivered an exciting, high-energy set of cat-themed rock that somehow crunches too hard to be twee — they sing about catnip the way Iggy sang about smack. And as a bonus, drummer Gina is another rocking prof, with a day gig at Flagship. It’s not every bar that can bring in two bands that have drummers with Ph.D.s. (Rhetoricians Rhepresent!) If you get a chance, join them for a “Kitty Pizza Party.”
Speaking of P, H, and D, next up were Pig Head Dog, making their Real City debut. It’s the new project from Bubbles and Festus of Skull Baby, and it takes the previous outfit’s “serial killer rock and roll” and streamlines it. They straddled the line between punk and metal, and covered Motorhead, the Ramones, and the Cure(!), conjuring a spontaneous mosh pit and pummeling the audience into a frenzy. Tighter and less shambolic than Skull Baby, Pig Head Dog’s speed and muscular string work, combined with Bubbles’s charismatic frontman persona, made for an explosive set. I remember thinking, “We have to follow this?” Pig Head Dog is the band your youth pastor warned you about, and you should get behind them before they get behind you.
Then it was our turn, and we made our way through a 16-song, 45-minute set, debuting a new original of mine (“Voice in the Wind”, a song I wrote as an answer to the question, “What would it sound like if Ennio Morricone had written ‘I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night)’?”), adding a cover of Katrina & the Waves-via-the Bangles “Going Down to Liverpool”, and resurrecting the Trashmen’s “Surfin’ Bird” as our closer. (It has to be the closer — by the time we’re finished, my voice is crispy.) Folks appeared to be having fun, and we got lots of nice comments, saw some long-time friends and made some new ones. I can’t ask for much more than that.
Real City’s Dr. Roundhouse closed the night with their second set of the day — they had played across town at Real City’s St. Patrick’s celebration earlier. I hadn’t seen them before, but now I see why they work so much. They’re eclectic, genre bending, and tighter than a Mafioso’s alibi. They brought out originals ranging from Americana to bluesy jam-rock. They play like pros, in the best sense of the term, and they deserve to keep building their audience.
With that, the evening was done, so I picked up our pay packet and headed back to Mondoville and the bed I so recently departed. Plans are underway for another show or two in the coming weeks, and I’m already excited about it. At this point in my life, that counts as a success.