had never heard anything by the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
before this show, so based solely on reputation, I purchased
a ticket. I didn't really know what to expect, but being
a relatively well-known national act, I decided I might
as well see what the Blues Explosion had to offer. Besides,
what else is there to do on a Wednesday night.
opening band, Big Lazy, was quite a surprise. They were
an instrumental surf/experimental outfit, and they were
actually very good. Sounded kind of like the Pixies,
but added some cool percussion stuff thanks to an excellent
drummer. A few songs had a kind of cool tropical groove,
while others just rocked. I wouldn't have minded if
they stayed on a little longer, but being the opening
band, they only had about half an hour to do their thing.
On the off chance that they come to your town, I'd recommend
back to the JSBX. Since I didn't know anything about
the band, I was unaware that there was no bassist. So
the three members took the stage - Jon Spencer, a burly
drummer, and the lead guitarist. Earlier that day I
had walked in during soundcheck and got a look at the
drummer and lead guitarist, which was pretty cool. But
anyway, the band took the stage and started rocking.
I quickly took note that Spencer's guitar was the answer
to the lack of bassist; it was incredibly low end, thick
and beefy. The drummer, sporting a minimal kit, had
some pretty good grooves going on during different parts
of the show and was good on the whole. The lead guitarist
didn't really have any solos or anything, but you could
tell he was doing his share of the work.
funny thing about this band is the name. The JSBX has
almost nothing to do with conventional blues music.
I had heard about that before so knew not to expect
Muddy Waters or something. The sound is actually somewhat
hard to describe. I'd just have to say rock n' roll,
plain and simple. Some guy next to me said something
about the Rolling Stones and the Sex Pistols. I'd have
to agree to a certain extent on both. The downside to
the more simplistic rock approach was that is started
to sound the same after a while.
band played about 45 minutes to an hour, took a break,
then played maybe a 20 minute encore. It seemed a little
on the short side, but maybe it was for the best. Much
longer and it would've been overkill. All in all a good
rock band with a pretty good live show. I'd listen to
some of their stuff before going to a show though, because
they aren't for everyone.