100 Shows of 2010 - #61: Hot Hot Heat/22-20s @ Rock'n'Roll Hotel, 9/3/10

Nothing says Friday night quite like a good rock and roll show. Well, unless perhaps you live in the state of Texas and are obsessed with high school football, that is. For the rest of us, there's good old fashioned rock. And that's exactly what I got when I witnessed the combined forces of the 22-20s and Hot Hot Heat. And while history will remember that we Yanks invented rock and roll, those Brits and Canadians can still give us quite a run for the ole money. Thanks to two seriously swaggering, thoroughly raging sets, this was one heck of a way to start off a long holiday weekend.

MINI RECAP: Hot Hot Heat = Hotly Hot! 22-20s = Humidly Hot! Overall Score: B+

The absolutely adorable 22-20s were up first. Cute as can be and accented to boot (yes, yes, my Anglophilia is a well-established point), I immediately loved the band. They got me so very excited within a minute of their first song that I went and dropped my pen. A little old school in their sound, the 22-20s layed it on thick with the rough, filthy riffs and the blues overtones. I dug virtually everything about them, from their smoky, backroom vocals to the come-home-with-me slyness in the guitar. There was definite naughtiness in that scuzzy noise they were making. While not quite as blatant as the "Spit or Swallow" tee I caught a glimpse of in the crowd, the 22-20s are nearly as obviously rock. The band is currently promoting new record shake/shiver/moan, which I suspect I will soon get my hands on, and which perhaps might elicit all three of those titular sensations. Thumbs up for damn sure.

After a brief intermission, it was time for some Hot Hot Heat. It's been quite a few years since I last saw these neighbors from the north on a stage, and I was oh so happy to see them once again. "Hello, we are Hot Hot Heat," they began, before immediately launching into a set full of awesomeness. There are few bands I've seen with the energy level of HHH. Steve Bays, with that wonderfully big hair and his equally big, slightly nasal voice, proves quite the pied piper given an audience. I was pretty pleased with Hot Hot Heat's set, the newer stuff sounded just as vibrant and alive as did older material, just perhaps a bit more grown up. And it was one heck of a treat to hear "No, Not Now" live again, that's for sure. "I can already tell," Bays cooed, "this is a good fucking crowd!", a sentiment that caused a minor eruption amongst the happy persons down the front. The kids were going nuts for Hot Hot Heat and their feisty, kicky songs, and I have to say that I was, too. "Get In or Get Out" was another treat, reminding me of just how much I used to listen to the excellent record Make Up The Breakdown. When it comes to Hot Hot Heat, I'll quote those excellent Animals, and say that the boys can't help it, they were born to please.

What a night, what a night. Friends, make sure to add these two bands to your list of must-see bands. They took a regular ole Friday night and went and rock and rolled all over it. Hallelujah.

mp3: Bandages (Hot Hot Heat from Make Up The Breakdown)


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