Ending February with a hazy bang
|The Dick Satan |
there's a fog machine, there's blinding lights (that I'm kind of glad weren't strobes!) there's drummer Warner Swopes who changes from a t-shirt to a faux fur vest and plastic oversized chain necklace, and there's guitarist/vocalist Chris Banta, who struts onto the stage in worn out white cowboy boots and an impossible mop of hair, neither of which draw anything away from his considerable swagger as he wails, growls and kicks out his Midwestern blues. Comparison to the White Stripes are inevitable, but these guys are heavier, ballsier and don't seem to give a darn if you think they're cool or not. They do seem to be concerned with whether or not you're entertained: at one point during the show Swopes stands up on top of his bass drum clutching his floor tom and eventually makes it to the audience floor (all the while never missing a beat). Not to be outdone, Banta sashayes into the audience and even makes his way walking across the bar itself before slipping back onstage and finishing off the set.
Musically, they're ass-kicking Blue Cheer-style rocking blues, which I could listen to as much as I could listen to surf all day: both are dangerously great. Here's a taste of a lower-key (if you could call anything about them low key), part of the set, appropriately called The Itch.
The night finished off with another band of "half of this other band that's good" called Moon Rats, which was comprised of what appeared to be 1/2 of Calliope, and they sounded like "What if Calliope was having a really rough week and decided to take it out on their instruments?" Which is to say, they were darker and thrashiER than Calliope, but still really good. They weren't thrashy per se, but every.single.song that I saw was delivered like it was the last song they'd ever play so they better beat the bejeezus out of it. Like the earlier bands that night, they took the stage with a vengeance and did not let up. I drove home in a daze.