100 Shows of 2010 - #14: Gringo Star @ Black Cat, 4/8/10

I’d been wanting to see Gringo Star for just over a year by the time their Black Cat show rolled around, so it’s about damn time they rolled into town. The weather set a dramatic backdrop for their set at the Black Cat (guess you could say they’re a band that knows how to make an entrance), but not even the torrential downpours of the season’s first major storm could keep me away. And those Atlanta boys sure did make the risk worth the reward, let me tell you.

MINI RECAP: Gringo Star = Hot tamales! Overall score: A.

Sandwiched between locals Typefighter and Exit Clov, Gringo Star was definitely the cream of the evening’s crop, the feather in the night's cap. As soon as they broke out that pair of tambourines, I knew it was gonna be a good night. Forget those Black Lips comparisons you might have heard, I’m pretty sure those are around merely because both bands reside in Atlanta. Not only are they far more genteel, but the Gringos also definitely draw a hefty inspiration from the bands of the British Invasion. The Kinks’ influence is clear, but to me there was a definite dash of the irrepressible “She’s Not There”-era Zombies as well. Jaunty, jangly, and irresistible: that’s the Gringo Star modus operandi.

Their 45-ish minute set simply flew by, a whirl of simple, catchy as hell songs perfect for chasing the clouds away. Not only did the boys fuel my love for them by using not one but two tambourines, but they also utilize a rather unique vocal arrangement: three of them share the lead vocals. Over the course of the set, Nick, Peter, and Pete all got their sing on, and while their voices are all distinct, somehow this singing merry-go-round works perfectly and seamlessly for their sound. The band bobbed like Brits of yore up there on the small stage, and spread their Kinksian love all around the room. Like the bands that inspired them, the Gringo Star songs are short but very, very sweet.

It took a damn long time for me to finally see them, but Gringo Star did not disappoint. Their throwback sound warmed the cockles of my little heart, and believe me when I say this is definitely a band you’ll want to make sure to catch live. They’ll show you one heck of a good time. I hope it doesn’t take nearly as long to see them a second time.

mp3: Ask Me Why (Gringo Star from All Y’all)


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