February 20, 2009

Murder City Devils @ The Great American Music Hall

Note: This review is a joint venture of DoctorDiggs & NightraiN

Looks can be deceiving... Maybe its Spencer Moody's argyle sweater, shaggy red beard, and spectacles. Or, perhaps its the casual manner in which Moody's band-mates take and leave the stage and approach each song. Regardless, the Murder City Devils' appearance is fairly nonchalant and unassuming in contrast to their primarily intensely uproarious music, aggressive lyrics, and rowdy, beer-chucking fans. On this night, the Murder City Devils absolutely kicked ass, despite Moody's "decision" not to sing some of his lyrics (most noticeably on "Somebody Else's Baby"); however the crowd did a pretty solid job of filling in with a veritable Music Hall sing-along. Drummer Coady Willis simply killed it (no pun intended), hammering away each lead-in and fill with gusto and perfection. As expected, the rain-soaked crowd was full of energy and booze, heaving plastic cups of whatever into the air with approval, and reacting as one with each moan of the organ and punctual howl. Overall, the group had great stage presence, except Lelsie Hardy, as she seemed to take every opportunity to grab her purse and duck backstage, for whatever reason (although she is quite hot, in that rocker-chick kinda way). The set list seemed to have nearly every notable track, but Diggs wished they'd played "Lemuria Rising," and I felt that the stand-out crescendo of the performance was the sing-along track off of Empty Bottles, Broken Hearts, "I Want A Lot Now (So Come On)."

The openers were decent musically, but both quite entertaining in their own way. Silverghost, a sort of a pop-new wave duo out of Detroit, opened and had some catchy bits, but nothing spectacular. Diggs adds, "Silverghost wasn't too bad, and the 3 song cassette tape I bought after the show for $3 (that's 1 cent more per song than iTunes would charge for digital versions) sounds pretty good, although they said it was "meaningless" when I asked them to sign it... maybe because the only writing utensil available was a pencil. Oh well." The second band, Triclops, out of the San Francisco area, was mediocre live at best, although their recorded music sounds much better. Honestly, the lead-singer was just fucking strange in person, with an array of vocal effects ("March of the Half Babies" [yeah, seriously] sounds like it was sung with lungs full of helium), endless crowd surfing, arm swinging with LEDs up the sleeves, speaker dancing & sitting, guitar smacking, and "I just shat my pants" facial expressions.

Ultimatley, an excellent, fun, nostalgic show, that came with a pretty solid meal to boot... not to mention, perhaps the last show of its kind in San Francisco. Only time can tell.


Brasilliant said...

Jesse tell me about his experience at the MCD show in Portland and how he felt a little too old (and afraid of a black eye) to go too close to the stage. Definitely glad I stayed home!!

Nightrain said...

Too old? I don't think he would have felt THAT way at the SF show; however, I can understand the tentativeness in charging the floor unless you REALLY like being pushed from all sides while your hair drips beer... Diggs and I had balcony seats looking down on the mêlée, which I imagine would have been perfectly fine for you.


Anonymous said...

I saw Triclops at The Blue Lagoon and thought they were actually pretty good. You're right, that half-babies song is not so good though.. I actually met the dude (Johnny) after the show, picked up the 7" from him .. the artwork alone was almost worth it, one of those with the art on the vinyl.. and he was surprisingly pretty normal, down-to-earth (.... of course, he wasn't swinging his arms around with lights on them.... ) And.. I actually saw him the next night I think at The Crepe Place as one-half of Street Eaters (much different) and that was pretty cool too.. in a much different way. The guy's actually in a Third band (!) called Fleshies.. what a busy dude!

Nightrain said...

Maybe I'm just not that into the electronic prog metal / art metal sound. Triclops live just seemed like a lot of NOISE and feedback, while their recorded stuff sounds much cleaner and decipherable... when it comes to metal, I'll stick with my beloved In Flames.

Despite my criticism, I still found their performance to be very entertaining, and ultimately when it comes to live shows, that's all that really matters.

awmercy said...

Here's my review the Portland show.