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Volume 34
Issue 13
 
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Black Rebel Motorcycle Club revs up The Showbox with solid performance
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club revs up The Showbox with solid performance
by Lee Arthurs - SGN A&E Writer

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club w/ Elefant and The Morning After Girls

March 20 @ The Showbox

Hands down, the best show I've witnessed this year was last week's Black Rebel Motorcycle Club show at The Showbox. Hardly a band that needs to impress; it's all I could help but feel.

Instead of kicking into high gear early on, the band opted for a slow build approach, which judging from the crowd, only added to the drama and anticipation of what was to come. Starting off the set with all new material from Howl, guitarist Peter Hayes performed two songs solo, Bob Dylan-style, with guitar and harmonica. Basked in a glow of red light, he passionately strummed and sang "Devil's Waitin'", as though it was his life's swan song. It was next to impossible to give him your full attention.

Once bassist and co-vocalist Robert Turner and drummer Nick Jago (backed by an additional touring guitarist) hit the stage, the band was in full swing and the crowd was mesmerized. Though Hayes dominated the first half of the set, Turner took over on classics like "Spread Your Love" and "Red Eyes and Tears", as well as various tracks from Howl including "Ain't No Easy Way" and "Sympathetic Noose".

Known for borrowing My Bloody Valentine and Jesus and Mary Chain's multi-layered fuzz guitar sound, I was pleasantly surprised to see the band handle faves like "Stop" and "Six Barrel Shotgun" with ease, given the stripped-down feel of last week's show. However, it might have been the bright, constant, blinding and disorienting strobe light that distracted everyone.

Playing for nearly an hour and a half, BRMC kept the crowd of old and young alike entertained throughout. It's usually not uncommon to have some lulls at some point, but the band managed to keep the energy going and everyone was visibly engaged. The only word I muttered to myself all night long was "tight". This band knows how to play music, and play it well.

Kicking things off were Australia's The Morning After Girls, comprised of founding members Sacha Lucashenko (vocals/guitars) and Martin B. Sleeman (guitars/vocals) with Aimee Nash (vocals, guitar, tambourine), Scott Van Ryper (bass) and Anton Jakovljevic (percussion). With a sound somewhere between The Dandy Warhols and The Velvet Underground, I was a bit skeptical of this band from an originality aspect, but found their music highly addictive. Their recent release Prelude: Ep's 1&2 shows a lot of promise and it'll be interesting to see what the future holds for them.

Elefant, hailing from New York, was next up. I wasn't as familiar with their music, aside from the catchy "Lolita" from The Black Magic Show due in April. The band, vocalist Diego Garcia, drummer Kevin McAdams, guitarist Mod and Jeff Berrall on bass, are obviously heavily influenced by The Cure, The Smiths, Psychedelic Furs and Joy Division, though unfortunately as this show proved, they still haven't narrowed down their own sound yet.

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