Live Review: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr./Generationals @ Iota, 5/17/2011

Detroit. New Orleans. On the surface, there might not be a lot in common betwixt the industrial Motor City and the naughtily genteel Big Easy. However, Detroit likes to have a real cool time, while New Orleans opts to laissez les bon temps rouler. So perhaps these two have as much in common as need be. And throw together two bands like Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. and Generationals, and you bring together those two concepts into one handy package deal. It doesn't get much better, y'all.

I knew it was gonna be a pretty good night when, walking from my car to Iota, I heard the rather audible strains of a gentleman in the full lustful throes of what was, for him, a pretty good night. Turned out to be quite a night for yours truly, too. As I walked in, the gentlemen of
Generationals were smack dab in the middle of one of my favorite songs of theirs, a sublimely rad rendering of "Angry Charlie." It was as sharp and witty as struttin' as on Con Law, if not more so. "Exterior Street Date," another of my favorites, followed, the band partaking in a lively romp through the song's poppy sweetness and supplying it with just enough edge. The band pulled heavily from new record Actor-Caster, including new favorite "Goose & Gander" and its' inescapable bouncing frothiness and the sultry, humid swing of "You Say It Too." But throw in "When They Fight" and "Nobody Could Change Your Mind," friends, and it was one heck of a set. These New Orleans boys are proving themselves to be quite the formidable live act.

As for
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., well, their live reputation preceded them. I was expecting full-on NASCAR gear and full-on insanity. What I got was power suit/NASCAR jacket combos and almost full-on insanity. Which, my tarts, was good enough for me. This band has awesome in spades. Their shimmy shake noise was almost, dare I say, cute! at times, and their songs frequently dipped into major dance party levels. The Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. sound of candy hearts chased with bourbon was right up my alley. They threw in a sassy little snippet of "Like a Virgin," just because Josh "heard it on the radio today and I really wanted to sing it." And, in a totally risky yet ultimately rad move, the band covered "God Only Knows." It was a sweet cover, they really treated it well. Their set had it all: strobe lights, people blowing bubbles, audience participators in skeleton masks...all in all, way more fun than a barrel of monkeys.

What a show, what a show. I was expecting great things and I got...greater things. These bands wowed me so very much that I drove all the dang way down to Richmond and back the next night, just to see them do it again. And it was worth it, friends. Don't miss out on these here bands. Trust me on this one.

mp3: Vocal Chords (Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. from the Horsepower EP)

[photo courtesy the rad and a half Back Beat Seattle]


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