I tried to grow out my beard a little in preparation for tonight. So I could blend in a bit. My goal was to meet some new folks, but instead I found myself content with just sneaking about and watching a couple bands. I showed up 45 minutes late, thinking the show would run on “house show time” but, alas, it was running on schedule. So I missed The Curious Mystery. They’ll have to stay a mystery.
If you haven’t been to The Greenhouse, I suggest that you go. I like the space. It sounds pretty decent and, except for the PA, you can pretty much hear everything. The folks are real nice and it is decorated very well. Shows are cheap and parking is pretty simple. All in all, it’s a pretty magical house show spot and I hope that the neighbors like it too.
Panther Attack started with the longest crescendo known to mankind. Let’s say it was about a hundred hours. Or maybe 2 minutes. A fistful of “hey we’re playing” in the form of some drums and bass under the doo dit do doo guitar lines welcomed everyone from upstairs as they made their way down the perilous stairs and through the bead door into the rock and roll. As I’ve said elsewhere, I like Panther Attack. I’m glad other people like them too. I’m very glad they’re playing the Cumulus Festival in January, which I will be stoked to attend. They have awesome tempo and rhythm changes that just appear out of nowhere. I’ve given up trying to count the time signatures. They hide them in constant motion, a shuffling of feet to go with your nodding head, guitar over guitar over bass over drum counter melody and counter rhythm. There are no long notes, only passing moments of tone that wander like a seabird searching for food among the pounding waves. Pausing only long enough to dip it’s head down and pick up some tasty bit of protein preserved by salt water. All these pretty melodies and rhythms and cool syncopated beats. Man somebody needs to do this type of stuff with some vocals. Email don at this website (without the www, obviously) to have me audition. Now. Anyways, now that I’ve buttered up Panther Attack let me be more realistic and mention what I would do differently if I had any talent. Panther Attack are great at the quiet to mid-level dynamics. If it were me, I’d throw in some super loud parts to offset the quiet parts. They had a couple moments that were what I was thinking about, but nothing that really blew my mind and made us all lose control of ourselves. Everything doesn’t have to be perfect and nice all the time guys. Change #2: get rid of the second drumset. It’s pointless and adds nothing. Sure, you can show off your multi-instrumentalism, but you don’t need to. Keep rocking the second guitar, it sounds awesome. The second drums are just unnecessary. Okay, enough complaining. Panther Attack rules and I’ll go see them again any time.
H is for Hellgate
It’s been about a year since I’ve seen H is for Hellgate and they’ve gone through some lineup changes in that time. Gone are the drummer and the second guitarist. There is a new drummer and they’ve moved to a power trio set up. H is for Hellgate is still having fun, at least. “We are the Jonas Brothers” is a pretty good hint at that. We were also treated to a couple off-color jokes from the bassist. Yes, the bassist that I talked smack about in an early blog post if you were here for that. I didn’t mind the HOORAY line tonight. I was in a very poor mood at that 31 Knots show. I almost shouted out HOORAY myself when he asked “Who feels alone tonight.” I thought it would have been funny. But tonight I was invisible and preoccupied with some tasks I have coming up. Speaking of things coming up, H is for Hellgate is playing the High Dive on the 5th and releasing their new CD at the same time. I’ll be going to a fancy party that evening and attempting to recover from my tattoo work, so I’ll probably miss that show. Let me know how it goes. Oh, I should probably talk about tonight’s set. The PA was a bit too quiet, but overall the sound was pretty decent. They reminded me of Rainer Maria, but something was gnawing on the edges of this comparison. The crowd was having fun and unperturbed by this chomp chomp chomp at the good times that I was feeling, so it must be just me. After a song or two, I figured it out: the drummer. He reminds me of a certain drummer I know: good enough but not awesome. He lacks the finesse of an amazing drummer and certain transitions were just sloppy. Before everyone jumps on me for talking smack about yet another member of H is for Hellgate I better say something nice. Jamie Hellgate and Ben Hooray were holding it together on guitar and bass respectively. I like Jamie’s guitar playing a lot and Ben was doing a fine job of thumping on the bass. I think that if H is for Hellgate could find a drummer that was more than just competent, they’d be doing pretty well for themselves. They seem like good friends and I hope they’re having fun together. If so, they should ignore me and keep on keeping on. Maybe the drummer was just sick or having a bad night. I’m curious how the CD turned out. Go to the High Dive on the 5th and find out!
The only appropriate thing to do after showing up late is to leave early. So I missed out on Wah Wah Exit Wound (who played out of sequence, if they played at all). Go see these two bands and go to The Greenhouse when you get a chance. See you out there.