Monday, April 12, 2010

100 Shows of 2010 - #13: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club @ 9:30 Club, 4/5/10

Ah, the number 13. Unlucky for some, but for others, pretty dang fortunate. It seems appropriate, somehow, to have the divine Black Rebel Motorcycle Club as the 13th show in the 100. I've always had good luck seeing them live, never once have they let me down, and in fact they always leave me feeling even more satisfied than I had imagined. And so, when a last-minute invite came my way, I couldn't resist. After all, BRMC has been one of my favorite bands for many years now, and how on Earth could I pass up a chance to see them touring new record Beat The Devil's Tattoo? And so it was that I found myself, with plenty of other happy folks, soaking up the fuzz and the drone and the noise on a Monday night at the world-famous 9:30 Club. And it was magic.

MINI RECAP: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club = Scorchingly Sexy Rock! Overall Score: A.

I've been fortunate enough to see BRMC on many stops along their road, from the days touring their debut B.R.M.C. to the glorious, sultry Howl era to the breathtaking Baby 81. It's been a long, wonderful trip, and their newest incarnation (along with new full-time drummer Leah Shapiro) is just as fantastic as the others. And of course, not only do I find their music fucking awesome, I also harbor a major crush on Peter Hayes. Just another reason to love 'em, folks.

As per recent BRMC shows, they pulled fairly equally from their (non-instrumental) records, which as a fan of just about everything they're recorded sure did make me happy. Their blazing set was nearly 20 songs long, and they were on the 9:30 Club stage for just about 2 hours. In that span, I witnessed a band at the top of their form. Their sexy, pulsating rock veered as it does from fuzzy nouveaugaze to brilliant Bible Belt blues to driving, confident rock. I couldn't take my eyes off of the three of them, (alright, perhaps when a strobe light was burning my retinas) and they near about knocked me off my feet. Old favorite "Red Eyes and Tears" was given an extended treatment, and sounded even louder and fuzzier than the most excellent album version, while new favorite "Beat The Devil's Tattoo" was also a highlight, the husky smokiness of Shapiro's vocals blending well with those sultry pipes of Hayes and Robert Turner.

The set also included scathingly fierce versions of "Love Burns", "Berlin", "Weapon of Choice", "Ain't No Easy Way", "Spread Your Love", "American X", "Rifles", and a very noteworthy rendition of another favorite, "White Palms." Peter's guitar on that song absolutely kills me, it's so deliciously vicious as he defiantly dares "Jesus I dare you to come back." It's an intoxicating effect, and it never ceases to seduce.

The entire set was deafening, and might be the loudest I've ever heard them. It was a sultry night inside the club (thanks to the unseasonable warmth outside and subsequent half-hearted attempt at AC), and the humid feeling was the perfect backdrop for the show. There's a devil-may-care vibe at BRMC shows, a feeling that something shambolic is right beneath the surface of their nearly perfect play. Hot damn, I love this band.

mp3: Red Eyes and Tears (Black Rebel Motorcycle Club from B.R.M.C.)

mp3: Long Way Down (Black Rebel Motorcycle Club from Beat The Devil's Tattoo)

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