Honky, Karma To Burn, The Highgears, PB Army
@ Headliners Toledo Oh 4/3/11
By: Michael Rys
Sunday night shows....in Toledo...Oh boy. Its not the getting up for work the next morning, its not losing Sunday evening either cause its usually a wind down time anyway. Its the unavoidable fact that I rarely seen a Sunday night show in Toledo work out for the act, big or small attendance wise here. When acts are regularly skipping this town all together its not the impression you want to give off. The evening started off with bang though. Toledo's three piece outfit PB Army lead off the evening and this has been one of the very few local bands Ive wanted to catch and have not until now. Not disappointed at all either. The drummer Keith Bergman sings for the band, which for me is always admirable. The skill it takes to do that and do well is very cool to watch.These guys play loose style blend of hard rock mixed with mid 90's punk and came across well in the large venue. I can't say I know any of their song yet but I defiantly want to see and hear more of them. Another band which just never really does it for me proceeded The Highgears but only The Highgears are getting the mention. Now these fellas are truly right up my street. Blues based rock with swagger and some punk tude to boot.Swarthy chunky rhythms,nasty down in the gutter leads. Stones, Rose Tattoo, AC/DC, Heartbreakers LAMF era rock n roll. My only knock on The Highgears is they don't play enough,at least around the home town of Toledo.Talent,style, and fun completes this package.Very enjoyable set!
Next up was West Virginia's Karma To Burn. Now even though I was coming to this show to see Honky I was told the night before I was going to enjoy Karma To Burn's all rock instrumental attack. So I went it with an open mind because I enjoy a few mainly instrumental bands, although I don't believe very many can pull it off. Karma To Burn did impress the heck out of me though. The music is hard and at times abrasive but distinctive and tough too. Just a 3 piece making the wall of sound is a bit more impressive than what you would think may be four or even 5 members if you were not seeing it. What had me was the drummer and bassist especially. The drummer is a nonstop machine, and not only seems to be always throwing down Bonham style but his cymbals had to be 6 ft high. I have no clue how he plays like that, sitting in that position for 40-50 minuets. The bassist...crazy insane stuff he was playing. More like he was playing leads with his bass ... I've seen some very flashy and very good bassist's in my time but this guy is new to my wow list. I don't own any Karma To Burn CD's yet but I will. I wanna hear if what I saw live comes off on CD.
Honky all the way from Texas....I swear this what got me. All the way from Texas were they pack them in for shows... All road warrior vets too, bassist Jeff Pinkus is from the Butthole Surfers for cripes sake and these guys take the stage for about 10 people. Once again a crowd that was small even by Sunday standards went from OK to embarrassing... Not embarrassed for the band, heck I'm sure they are used to that kinda thing given the tough money times, the late hour etc... I was just embarrassed for Toledo. None the less Honky blasted through a hour and 10 min set of some of the best Texas boogie rick you have ever heard! Might of been ten of us there to see it but they played like it was 500 hundred. I give Jeff Pinkus, Bobby Ed, and Justin Collins total respect for not phoning in a 6 song 30 min set and gittin outta dodge, which I know alot of bands would have done.They mixed up the set well with stuff form the previous releases as well as stuff that will be coming out on the new CD soon,and yeah like many others I'm sure on this tour one of my favorite tunes of the night was Smoke Your Weed. The only thing I wanted to heard but didn't was "Walking On Moonshine", but I would have felt like an ass yelling for a song with only a few others there just wouldn't have seemed right. Closing this out if you see Honky rolling through town do yourself a favor a check em out especially is you appreciate your rock with a southern twist,Texas shake, and shot of Jim Beam.
Photo's and Video By Michael Rys