Saturday, January 9, 2010

Live Review Violent SoHo @ Studio @ Webster Hall

It was an interesting array of musical tastes and types last night at The Studio at Webster Hall. The tiny music venue on the bottom floor of the legendary venue caused a big stir when the three acts of the evening showcased their talents. Australian grunge rockers and now current New York residents, Violent SoHo headlined a one off show with surf-style rockers Right on Dynamite and rockabilly friends of the site,The Royal Chains. They were three acts that had no common musical ground, yet showed the idea that music is truly universal and each act meshed with one another.

Starting the night off was The Royal Chains, an act I have been keeping a close eye on since the summer and keep suggesting you do the same. The duo, which consists of guitarist Dan Lawley and drummer/singer Adam Roddick took to the stage and grabbed the attention of everyone in the room, including the eyes and ears of both bands they were playing with. The Royal Chains are a great live act, think The White Stripes meets the blues aspect of The Rolling Stones, its a fun style and just so simple and it works so damn well. The Chains lifted off right away and had the crowd really into in and managed to slip in the Duran Duran cover "Ordinary World," into their set. A nice touch and a great way to kick off the night. This was the band's first gig of the new year and as they have just been signed to Mike Dirt of The Bravery's new label, Merrifield Records, I am saying it now, watch out for these two in 2010, they will make your head spin in a good direction.

Next was Right on Dynamite, an act I was unfamiliar with but quickly got into. The three piece has a cleaver surf rock vibe to them, a cross between Weezer meets Pavement style of playing. Fun and energetic, the only band really to fit along well, musically that is, with The Royal Chains.

After two great openers came the main event. Australian grunge rockers Violent SoHo, an act that has been causing a stir in New York since they arrived this fall. I covered the band when they opened for Built to Spill at the main theater in Webster Hall, from there they have gone on to tour with Dinosaur Jr. and were personally asked by Jack White to open for Dead Weather in Brooklyn. As the band sticks around New York prepping their major label debut, out in March, Violent SoHo has been gigging relentlessly around the city. Their style and sound may seem hard and evil, but after speaking with them before and after the show, they are probably some of the nicest people I have ever met. Violent SoHo came on stage like a cracking whip and broke into a set that would have made Kurt Cobain proud. Songs like "Jesus Stole my Girlfriend," and "Bombs over Broadway," had the crowd begging for more. It is a sound and style each person in the room grew up on and that we have not embraced in a while, now with the reunion of Soundgarden and Pearl Jam still kicking out some of their best stuff since their incarnation, I am hoping the textbook style of grunge Violent SoHo displays gains them support slots with those bands. A fun and great night and regardless of the genre of rock and roll these bands may have displayed, all that matters is that the bands can work a room, and all three did, no matter what style of playing it maybe.

Violent SoHo

The Royal Chains