I caught Tornado Rider at Tropical Heatwave last year under the advise of many a friend. They’d tried to describe what the band was like but much like I am about to here, they fell woefully short. It’s not their fault. Trying to describe their live show is a lot like trying to describe a Legendary Shackshakers live show. You can put the spectacle in words, but the experience is beyond description. Visually, Tornado Rider is a three-piece featuring drums, bass and an electric cello being played by some fellows in fantasyish costumes. Sonically, they’re pure punk (think A.R.E. Weapons) music with pure fantasy lyrics that would be the perfect opener for The Protomen.
Heading to the show I wasn’t sure how many people would be at the show and I was less sure if Tornado Rider would be able to play with the same amount of energy I saw them play with at Tropical Heatwave. I was pleasantly surprise with the answer to both.
The bar was pretty full when I arrived and either the entire bar was there to see Tornado Rider or they immediately bought in to what the kids were selling cause nobody left when the music started and most wandered up towards the stage. The band not only managed to match the energy of Tropical Heatwave but it seemed like the up close and personal nature of a bar environment fueled them on even more. The band was more interactive than they’d been last time while the singer/electric cellist spent a good amount of time noodling electric cello solos on the floor in the middle of the crowd.
I can not recommend seeing these guys emphatically enough. They’re 100% pure fun who make me believe that the underground music scene is alive and well and even features a few re-purposed instruments.
To get an idea of what I am talking about, watch this video: