Deer Tick @ Bottom Lounge on April 8, 2010

Posted: April 10, 2010 in Show Review

Elephant Gun

I got to this show around 9, hoping that I missed the opening band. I am getting too old for shows so I rarely watch the opening bands. Bottom Lounge likes to lie about the times that their shows start so I got there just in time to watch the opening band, Elephant Gun. I was actually glad that I got to see these guys. They put on a really good show. I had never heard of them before but I enjoyed their music. They kind of remind me of Gogol Bordello with a heavy Americana influence. Also, they have ten people in their band so I am sure they get compared to Arcade Fire. I don’t know if I’d listen to their stuff on record but I’d definitely catch them again if they are playing nearby.

Those Darlins

So I finally got to see Those Darlins, I missed them the last time they played Schubas and I didn’t have a chance to see them at SXSW. I don’t own anything by these ladies but I’ve listened to everything they have up on their MySpace and I like it all. They play really fun, country-tinged punk rock. It’s the kind of music that takes me back to the days when I listened to the Muffs and the Eyeliners but with a touch of Dixie Chicks. They definitely had infectious energy going, maybe a little a too much energy. That crowd got pretty crazy, at one point some drunk climbed onstage and just stood their until Jessi Darlin kicked him off, literally. It was pretty weird but she handled it well. Later on in the set, the guys from Deer Tick came on stage for a rendition of “Shakin’ All Over” I was definitely blown away by their whole performance. I came out for Deer Tick but Those Darlins were definitely the best performers that night. It was rowdy, it was drunken, and it was fun. I can see myself enjoying this band for quite some time to come.

Deer Tick

Deer Tick came out, playing “Easy.” That’s one of my favorite songs so I was pleased. I am not sure what exactly came after that. They also played a song from John’s new group MG&V called “Me Me Me Me.”  That song was very good, very upbeat, and reminded me of Dawes. “Dirty Dishes” was another highlight, that song is always great. It seemed that the set consisted of about 75% new songs, coming from their latest EP, the Black Dirt Sessions, and whatever album is planned after that. It was a shame that I’ve been listening to Deer Tick a lot since I saw them at Empty Bottle yet I still had that same feeling of bewilderment I had the first time I saw them. There is nothing wrong with new songs per se but I also didn’t like most of the new songs. It’s not that the songs are inherently bad, it’s just not what drew me to Deer Tick to begin with. It seems that John has gone from obsessing over Hank Williams to obsessing over Chuck Berry. The new song “Something To Brag About” sounds so much like Chuck Berry, they should be paying him royalties. They also played “Maybelline” by Chuck Berry for which they got a volunteer from the crowd to play harmonica. He was pretty good and for his work he received a swig of whiskey and a loud ovation from the audience. I can’t remember all the songs they played for the encore but they did a punk cover of “Cheap Sunglasses” that blew me away. I never would have guessed Deer Tick to be ZZ Top fans but their version was awesome. John came out in a pair of cheap sunglasses and the crowd ate it up.  Ultimately, I had mixed feelings about the show. There were definitely five or six great songs played but I was disinterested a majority of the time because of all the new songs. I don’t think I’ll see these guys live again unless the new album really blows me away but it was a good night and I am glad I went. Also, for the record, they did not play “The Dance of Love.”

(photos by me)


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