The Savage Animal destroys Columbus

Can’t remember the last time I saw Sebastian Bach whip a crowd into a frenzy (probably in ’92 or ’93 when Skid Row opened for Guns N’ Roses) but the Savage Animal completely owned Columbus last night when he (and band) opened for Poison and Dokken at The Schott.

After Dokken’s set, I chatted with Bach’s bassist Rob DeLuca (who totally hooked me up with great seats about 8 rows back on the side of the stage) and guitarist Metal Mike and asked why the hell Bach wasn’t in the middle slot on the bill. Both shrugged their shoulders and said they had been asked that by many a fan and the question was really up to Poison to answer.

It took 24 hours for me to figure it out but it’s painfully obvious now – there is no way Poison would want to follow Bach. It’s better to toss Dokken in the middle slot and let them bring the energy down a bit so that the kids … um … middle-aged crowd of blue-collar rockers and probable “adult entertainers” (seriously, there couldn’t have been a strip club within 50 miles that had enough dancers to cover their shifts last night) explode when Poison hits the stage.

Since Mr.DeLuca provided me with the tickets, this review is going to be about Bach and Dokken because, truthfully, I’ve seen Poison a few times in the last 10 years and wound up leaving 3 songs into their set (I will admit that they did sound great and the crowd was insane when I left during “Ride the Wind”).

Live review: Stephen Pearcy / Jetboy / Antidivision

December 4, 2007 / Whiskey Dick’s (Columbus, Ohio)

The opening band (The Antidivision) was completely forgettable – a bad mix of rock/punk/goth/electro. They are on Stephen Pearcy’s label. Hope he’s not planning on retiring from the money he won’t make from them. They played to about 30 people, none of whom stood in the pit area up front. At one point they finished a song and nobody in the whole place clapped. The singer was like, “What, you can’t even clap? We drove 12 hours through a blizzard to play for you.” They did 2 David Bowie/Ziggy Stardust covers (“Spiders from Mars” and “Suffragette City”) but even those sounded uninspired.

Jetboy, on the other hand, was great – a nice tight setlist with mostly tracks from ‘Damned Nation‘. They truly seemed to be enjoying themselves, particularly guitarist Fernie Rod. Last time I saw them (at the Hollywood Rocks boxset release in L.A.), they didn’t play “Heavy Chevy” which was disappointing to me but they played it this night along with “Groove Tube” and about 10 others. There were definitely some die-hards in the audience and in my recollection, this might have been the first ever Jetboy show in Columbus.

Setlist (to the best of my memory)
Make Some Noise
Bad Disease
Heavy Chevy
Groove Tube
Bullfrog Pond
Stomp It (Down To The Bricks)
Don’t Mess with My Hair
Folsom Prison Blues
Feel the Shake

I wasn’t expecting much from Pearcy, even told my friend that if he played more than 3 or 4 solo songs right at the beginning, that I was going to leave. Fortunately, he played mostly Ratt classics which made it worth the $15 cover charge. I’m not really sure why he tossed Judas Priest’s “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming” into the mix, but it didn’t sound too bad and the rest of the Ratt stuff sounded nearly as good as it did back in the day. And it was cool to see ex-Sea Hags guitarist Frank Wilsey playing in Pearcy’s band (he also played in Pearcy’s side project, Arcade, many years ago).

20 years ago, when I was sitting in shitty nosebleed seats at Richfield Coliseum (Poison opened), I never would have thought that some day I’d be standing 5 feet in front of Stephen Pearcy as he sang “Back for More”.  

Setlist (Not in order)
You’re In Love
You Think You’re Tough
Slip Of The Lip
Lack Of Communication
Lay It Down
Back For More
Walkin’ The Dog
Body Talk
Wanted Man
You Got Another Thing Comin’
Draw The Line
Way Cool Jr.
I’m Insane
You’re A Lot Like Me (New Pearcy song)
Round And Round

For the metal fan on your Christmas list: Kayser

Somehow I stumbled upon Spice and the RJ Band’s MySpace profile the other night and while digging the streaming stoner-metal tracks I clicked on the link to one of the band’s top friends, Kayser after reading the band bio which stated that singer Spice fronted both bands (he also sang on the first 3 Spiritual Beggars CDs).

While Spice’s stoner-metal stuff was really good, the Kayser stuff knocked it up a notch. There is no mystery why Kayser constantly gets compared to Slayer as evidenced by tracks like “Evolution,” “Lost in the Mind” and “Lost Cause”. I haven’t been this excited about a metal band since hearing In Flame’s ‘Come Clarity’ CD in early 2006.

While much of the band’s material on ‘Kaiserhof’ (2005) and ‘Frame the World … Put it on the Wall’ (2006) is HEAVY old school metal (ala Slayer, Pantera, Megadeth), there are some newer (melodic) elements to the sound. Check out “Good Citizen” on Kayser’s MySpace page (or download it below).

If you go through Amazon, you’ll have to pay import prices but Circuit City is selling both ‘Kaiserhof’ and ‘Frame the World … Put it on the Wall’ for $12.99. Unless you find a used copy somewhere, this is the best deal out there (and both are well worth it).

“Cheap Glue” performed live earlier this year in Austria.

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The “Good Citizen” video

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Download: “Evolution” (MP3)
Download: “Good Citizen” (MP3)

Adam Franklin/Swerverdriver

Caught Adam Franklin’s show in Columbus last week and felt very honored to do so as the ex(?) Swervedriver frontman played a set of consisting entirely of solo originals rather than dipping into the Swervedriver catalog and did so in the very comfy confines of a club (Andyman’s Treehouse) that, if there are 50 people in the room, feels very tight. Without the sonic propensity of Swervedriver behind him, Franklin still managed to recall his roots which lean towards the shoegazing, Pink Floyd-psychedelic side of things (the lengthy closing track, “Ramonesland” was really rather incredible).  A few days before the show it was announced that Franklin’s former band would be getting back together for a reunion tour in 2008 and Franklin spoke to Billboard about the plans for 2008.

I captured Franklin and band performing “Seize the Day” though the recording has two strikes against it as the club was dark and my camera doesn’t do so well with loud audio. But you can still enjoy the atmosphere and appreciate the size of the room he was playing.

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MP3: Adam Franklin – “Seize the Day” (CD version)

27 – Holding on for Brighter Days

A far cry from the Sonic Youth-inspired indie rock noise she was creating in the mid-90’s as a member of Boston’s The Dirt Merchants, Maria Christopher’s latest venture, 27, is breezy electronic pop with jazzy elements. The band’s sound hasn’t always been this fully orchestrated – early efforts left room for improvement but set the structural foundation for Christopher and ex-Spore guitarist Ayal Naor to build upon over the course of three full lengths. For those disappointed with Esthero’s 2005 glossy pop follow-up to her 1998 trip-hop classic ‘Breathe from Another’, check out 27’s “Louder Than Words,” “Closer to You,” and “Windows and Glass” where Christopher’s voice shines.

MP3: A Million Years
Buy: Holding on for Brighter Days

27 has some upcoming U.S. tour dates with Isis and some UK tour dates with Minus the Bear. Check out all the dates here.