Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Overdue Recap: The Frantic Romantic CD Release, Ken Club, 1-26-08

I was certain for a while that I'd go to Gram Rabbit's CD release show at the Casbah on January 26. However, when the day came, I was feeling pretty unmotivated. It had been a late night with friends over, it was raining almost all day, and I knew there was going to be a great show in my own hood. I was glad that I opted for the Ken Club. Unfortunately, I missed Long Live Logos, and while watching The Fascination, I realized I'd forgotten my camera so I went home to grab it. By the time I got back and was well lubed with some cocktails and the Ken Club was packed.

I love these guys, and I've been enjoying their CD a lot, but I hadn't seen them live before and they brought it in a big way. Their show is very energetic, and Ryan's voice kinda reminded me of a band I used to love called Sonichrome.

The crowd was loving the set for sure, and there was a whole bunch of dancing going on up front. When the band finished, they urged everyone to pick up a CD. They started to pack up when one of their friends jumped onstage and whispered in Ryan's ear. Ryan said they were done, but the dude started the crowd chanting. Apparently at one show once upon a time, the band played a Journey cover and they've been stuck playing it ever since. I was pretty happy about it, I have to say, but I can imagine how on a CD release show, a band might wanna avoid covers. Still, they gave the crowd what they wanted.

Since I did feel bad about missing Gram Rabbit, I asked Greg to write a review of the show. Below is an excerpt:

The show last night started off quite ominously when the laptop that the band uses for sound effects on some songs died, which forced the band to scrap about 4 songs from the set; mostly from their new record, Radioangel and The Robotbeat. That is one reason I'm not a big fan of having sounds computer generated on-stage during a show. Maybe it was the frustration of having their computer crash, the rain, their upcoming tour of the South and East Coast, or the fact that the Casbah is one of their favorite places to play, but the band regrouped and delivered their wildest, loosest, and most unpredictable show I have seen from them yet. Starting with the space rock of "Waiting In The Kountry" from their second album "Cultivation", the band played songs ranging from crowd favorites like the disco beats of "Cowboy Up", the country-folk sing-along "Dirty Horse"; the high desert rap tune "Cowboys And Aliens", and the rocker "Land Of Jail" from "Music To Start A Cult To"; to songs from their excellent new album "RadioAngel and The Robotbeat."

While they we're limited to some songs they could play from it because of the computer crash, they did play some stand-outs from it like "American Hookers", "The Rest Of Us Sleep", and "Something Fuzzy"; and the gorgeous "The Places We Go" sung by the balladeer of the group Todd Rutherford. The show included alot of band talk between songs; which was almost non-exsistent in the past shows I've seen; and alot of crowd interaction as well including Jesika crowd surfing a few times and actually throwing herself in my arms one time during the show. Thankfully she is a very petite lady, not to mention quite beautiful, so I was very honored. By the time the last song ended the stage looked like Godzilla had stomped a mud-hole in it. It has been a very long time since I have seen a band literally destroy their stage set-up like that; and defintiely the first time I had seen them do it. The snare drum almost landed in my arms. After a short break the band came back out amongst the post-apocalytic mess strewn about the stage and preformed the encore, which consisted of very loose, shambolic version of "Devils Playground" which was quite surreal with the instrument carcasses laying everywhere. It seemed to fit the moment beautifully. And finally, after cleaning up the mess a little and getting some semblace of a stage set-up organized again the band closed with one of their signature songs and defintie crowd favorite, "Bloddy Bunnies" which quite appropo as well and was the perfect end to the show.

Incidentally, what Greg called "loose" others told me was just a total mess. Another friend of mine who was at the show said the band seems more concerned with their pre-party and post-party than they are about delivering a good set and said the band's performances have gotten progressively worse every time he's seen them. With that opinion, I was glad I kept my ass in the 'hood.

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