Light at the end of the tunnel

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15 jui. 2010, 18h53m

Fri 9 Jul – Coltrane Motion, Black Diamond Heavies, The Saps, Dex Romweber Duo, The Bama Lamas
Starting off I gotta say whoever administrates the Abbey website needs to coordinate with whoever actually runs the show. Not one single bit of info on the site was right; from the ticket price, the time the doors opened to who was actually playing (the site had only Dex Romweber Duo and Black Diamond Heavies listed). I was there to see the Heavies which I expected would go on at 8:30 or so. Turns out there were three bands between the doors opening (which turned out to be 9) and when the Heavies actually got to go on. This would have been fine had any of the 3 bands had been worth the 3 hours I had to sit through. I'm always down for being exposed to new music, but unfortunately none of the three bands offered anything I was looking for.
The Bama Lamas started up at 9 to an audience of me and my friend. I felt bad for the guys because they were basically playing to an empty house cause neither me nor my friend were digging what they were playing. They played 50's era rock 'n' roll, complete with slicked back hair and thick rimmed glasses. While they seemed to be fairly good at what they were doing, this kind of act seemed like it would have been better off playing someone's wedding, getting all the old folks out on the dance-floor for a good nostalgia dance. I'm all about old music, and bands that draw influence from vintage material, but they didn't add anything new to the sound or try to make it contemporary; they might as well have been a cover band.
Coltrane Motion on the other hand was a very fresh sound, accompanied by an energetic performance. Of course they played to a much more crowded house so the energy definitely reverberated well throughout the venue. I'm very conflicted with Coltrane Motion, because while I really enjoyed what they offered instrumentally, the vocals were so goddamn awful it ruined their whole set. While they offered up explosive electric riffs and heavy layered rhythms, the singer half-panted half-moaned over everything. That and his ever present lisp pierced through every song, completely throwing off the sound they were going for. Would love to hear them as an instrumental outfit, but until then no thanks.
The Saps... I know the general review of the event so far has been in a negative tone, but don't let that make what I say next hold any less weight: I hate the Saps. They seem like they were ripped straight from a late 90's teen comedy movie about boners and getting high while the parents are out of town. What's even more sad was that most of the members looked to be in their late 30's singing about things that 14 year olds could relate to. If this was a middle school dance I could see all the 8th graders giggling and thinking this was some sort of musical rebellion. What this group was doing in a 21 and over show with musicians that at least seem to see music as something other than a candy coating for jokes about getting caught masturbating is really beyond me.
At this point to say that this experience was totally worth it would seem pretty unbelievable. Most likely because at this point in the evening, the most enjoyable thing going on was the increasing level of alcohol in my bloodstream.
Finally the act I had come to see, the Black Diamond Heavies, was up. I never had seen the Heavies prior, but I will say that I will make a point of seeing them whenever they are in town. They played the kind of show that makes instant fans, my skeptical friend being one of them. They were on top of their game, a well oiled machine, firing on all cylinders etc etc. Every song just brought the house down with an unwavering fury that was echoed throughout the crowd with stamping feet and shaking hips.
Unfortunately since the show had gone on way later than I expected (it was around 2am when the Heavies finished up) I had to skip on Dex Romweber Duo, which I would have loved to see. Unfortunately sleep is the devil and I had been up since 5am and was due to be into work by 8 the next morning. Regardless the Heavies performed to an extent where I felt like my money had been well spent and my Friday evening/Saturday morning had not been wasted. Top stuff.

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