Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Redd Kross / Maple Stave at the Pinhook - 5/1/2017

Redd Kross
With Maple Stave
The Pinhook

Much to my delight, the Pinhook moved the start time of this show back one hour at some point between my leaving the house and it actually starting...I guess the upside is I got to catch up on all of those news articles I had saved on my phone as I stood around waiting for that hour.  The downside is...I had to stand around for that hour.  It's not watching paint dry that is the true measure of time moving slowly, it's waiting for a show to start. 

The lone opener was Maple Stave, a local band that's been around for a while, but that I had somehow never seen before.  This trio was some good, old fashioned late-nineties-style math rock - angular rhythms, no bass, aluminum baritone guitars, some vocals but mostly instrumental, small tinges of Jawbox, larger tinges of Hurl and Dianogah...they sounded like an act My Pal God would have released if Maple Stave had existed in 1997 (the band is old, but not that old).  I would have literally shit my britches to have local talent like this twenty years ago, but these days this type of music just doesn't get my juices flowing like it used to.  By no means am I saying Maple Stave was bad - they were actually impressively strong musicians - it's more that my tastes have shifted, as they often do when you age from 20 to 40.  I wasn't mad about seeing them though, and I'm glad bands like this still exist out in the music world.  

Let's move on to what motivated a lazy asshole like myself to drive over to Durham and walk a few blocks in the rain to get to the Pinhook...Redd Kross.  The most noteworthy difference this time around - the Melvin's Dale Crover was the guest drummer on this tour.  The songs still sounded pretty much the same, but the drums definitely felt heavier, or at least were being hit much harder.  Most of the set was a mix of old and new, including a few songs from the (somewhat) recent and (very) excellent "Researching The Blues" - specifically, they played my favorite song "Downtown," and the gig goes down in the book as a success for that track alone.  Somewhere around the middle of their performance they played their 1984 record "Teen Babes From Monsanto" in full from start to finish, to commemorate their recent re-release of the title.  What can you really say about vets like Redd Kross that haven't been said so many times before?  They deliver an arena-worthy performance no matter the size of the room, and the packed crowd ate it up.  Standing at the front of the stage to take photos, I could see their set list was nearly Guided By Voices in length - I lasted about three quarters of the way through before that extra hour of standing around waiting spoke up and told me enough was enough. 

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