All three of these bands are near and dear to 9b’s collective heart, so to have them all on the same bill is a pretty damned fine thing. Autopsy is the one who first convinced me that I could not miss an LSS show, and after seeing my first a couple years back, I couldn’t do anything but agree with him. Have Gun Will Travel have an incredibly fun chemistry to their sound that not only translates seamlessly to digital media in a way not many other bands can match, but is even more dynamic when you see them in person. Then you add The Urbane Cowboys, who are not only a phenomenal local band that doesn’t play live near enough for my taste, but they do some of the coolest covers out there. This was a show not to be missed.
The Urbane Cowboys started the night and got things rolling with some of their original songs, as well as my favorite cover of theirs, a dreamy, twangy, perfect version of The Pixies’ “Wave of Mutilation”. Kamran said that it happened as an accident when he was playing with a chord progression and another band member picked up on it. It’s pretty amazing and if you happened to miss it, you can hear it on their album, Only Truth Tonight. I, however, suggest you try to hear it live.
Bradentucky boys Have Gun, Will Travel took to the stage next. We just saw them last week when they played Creative Loafing’s “Loafies” party to celebrate The Best of The Bay Awards. While there, they also picked up an award for Best Bay Area Breakout, which they richly deserve, and they proved that to us one again with their performance this night. Along with songs from the much lauded Postcards from the Friendly City, we also got to hear a new song, “The Living Dead Blues”, a tune about zombies.
Lastly, just as the place had finally started to fill in a bit and people were setting their drunk on cruise control, The Legendary Shack Shakers were up. Now I have to admit, I don’t own any of their stuff and this show made me wonder why. It also then immediately reminded me why- if I tried to drive while playing their stuff I would probably get a ticket for going 95 in a 45 and running a school bus full of orphans off a bridge. LSS do not fuck around. They put on one hell of an entertaining, high energy, hilarious show, and Frontman Col. J. D. Wilkes is one of the best performers I have ever seen live, gyrating, distorting his face, interacting with the audience. Basically, he’s more ringleader than band leader.
Another thing about an LSS show is the crowd. Most of them knew every word as clearly as they knew the risk they faced being in the pit, the risk of being hit with a snot rocket or a pube, courtesy of the Colonel. However, you also may get a microphone in front of your face so you can sing along, or a hand out to shake yours, so for many it’s worth the risk. The crowd pretty much got going right away, but during “Creek Cats” the thrashing went into full effect. In fact, there were so many bodies flying in and out of the pit as the show went on that the staff started removing tables from around the outside of the floor as beer bottles kept getting knocked down. I think this pretty much sums up the show, and if you didn’t make it out, you did a disservice to yourself that hopefully you will be lucky enough to rectify if they come around here again.
To see some of the madness, check out the pix at www.drunkcameraguy.com