Friday, June 24, 2005

The best live rock show none of you punks would attend

Talk about ending a day on a high note. After spending the evening stewing about the biggest breakdown in political rhetoric since the likes of Preston Brooks and an infamous Wisconsin senator, I headed out to Mercury Lounge to see Nic Armstrong & The Thieves.

I've listened to their album "The Greatest White Liar" at least a dozen time. It accurately has been described as derivative of early work by The Kinks and The Beatles -- not in terms of originality so much as influence. Very good stuff, enough to deserve some enthusiasm but maybe not quite enough to make me giddy.

But live, they were tremendous. The early British Invasion analogies were misplaced -- they felt more in the tradition of Cream and The Animals, the stuff your parents rocked out to when you weren't even a gleam in their eyes, and the stuff that played on classic rock radio when you were in high school driving out to the keg party and the bonfire. There also was a little touch of The Ramones and The Clash, or maybe The Libertines, with enough guitar antics to prevent them from sounding like a late sixties cover band. The band came out and mingled with the crowd afterward; making smalltalk with Nic and John the drummer, I was a little dumbstruck, like William Miller in Almost Famous.

In any event, it's late for a schoolnight, I'm drunk, I'm tired, and not sufficiently articulate to do them or their performance justice. To those of you who got last minute e-mails from me about this show, I say, with much love, that you're very sorry you missed it, even if you don't realize it now. So, you know, just suck it up and get their album. You can thank me later.

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