Review and Photo's By: Michael Rys
Over the years I've had many nights where I've had the pleasure of seeing every single band on a given nights bill just totally rip! I mean every band killin it! Sadly more than half of those awesome performances were witnessed by to 20 others and myself. These days that seems to occur more and more often than I would like to admit.Saturday ( 9/25/10) was one of those nights where every single band performed superbly! And, to beat all there was healthy sized crowd to take it all in too!Makes it so much more fun for everyone one involved when everything is right,it relaxes a musician and therefore the music is just that much better.
It all started out with a Toledo Ohio bunch call The Grubs. These kids are all pretty young & full of piss and vinegar. MC on vocals blends this punk-ska, street rock scat to his vocals that even given limited range lends itself perfectly to the band. The nails in the house is the bassist Will Doremus ( Aka Will the Trill) This kids listened to alot of Flea and alot of good old American funk circa mid 70"s it shows and gives The Grubs not only an edge but some added quirkiness. The bands new drummer Martino keeps up with the bass very well also forming the very backbone of this band. Guitarist Joe Scherer you would think has his work cut out for him, unlike most guitarists who would turn the battle between bass and guitar into a Spinal Tap style pissing match but gladly he does not go there at all. Content its seems to round out the songs and add the melodies,refreshing and different. The Grubs played a stellar set spurred on by plenty of supporters through a set that touches modern punk,pays homage to old school punk and pop but delves heavily into funk and yep even disco. Yeah I said it the "D" word but you know, it worked. I don't think many acts would have been able to pull this off. Definitely an awesome live band, and hopefully more people will get into em as time goes on.
Next up was The Dougouts. Now this band like many of my favorites of all time is hard to pin down with a label. They certainly do play rock, and even have some what pop melodies but the band just has way too much attitude, bratty and balls to just leave it at that. Punk with a heavy dose of NY Dolls style swagger and blues melodies. Live this trio is just as wired to the crowd as can be. Pulling there live set from their CD "Come On Lets Go", a couple of choice covers and plenty of new never heard before new material The Dougouts in my mind have to be at the top of the heap when it comes to bands in Toledo. Doug the groups guitarist and singer is a solid singer who confidant,funny, and does not let vocal duties get in the way of peeling off some great leads and short solo bursts. The guitar playing is not whiplash style speed for the sake of speed, its the kind of playing I dig,emotional,melodic and whats needed for the sing. The rhythm section of Carl on bass-back up vocals( aka Snarl) and Kevin Tufts on drums are lights out themselves . My favorite songs on the night were "Life Comes Around" and a new one called "Strangle You".
The nights headliners Choking Susan is one of America's brightest stars on the punk scene. their Ramones like song structures,wicked musicianship and the spell binding live performances of the groups vocalist Colleen Caffeine has made them a hit where ever they play in the US and in Europe. It might have been a cold night on Woodchucks patio but Killer Keith's riffs and Paul Bearers bass lines quickly heated things up as Colleen was called to the stage. J-44 kept everyone in line not letting the chit chat between songs linger too much. Like I said Ramones esque. 1 2 3 4 Go!!! Choking Susan whipped through hits like "Your So Pretty", "Dolly Parton", "So Alone" and even included a new one I don't recall hearing before called "Blow Job Queen" which was hilarious when you get the visual Colleen provides during the song. Really a premiere set from a band who deserves far more recognition than they get. Collen engages the audience and not only performs but encourages audience participation and they got it too. Mosher's, dancers, heads bopping all was right in Toledo at least for few hours.
Check out the bands here:
Here is a link to a video produced at the show and the wedding
Choking Susan crashed across the street.