Have I told you lately I like The Father Figures? You’re going to hear that again. And again. And again. Sooner or later you will get it if you do not already. If you went to see them this past Saturday at The Rogue in Scottsdale, it is a guarantee you left a fan. What a great show!
We shall begin by briefly talking about the two bands that preceded The Father Figures onstage, Belfry Bats and Robot Tank. Belfry Bats began the proceedings with an energetic set of psychobilly. I really enjoy that genre of music, and The Belfry Bats definitely deliver it well. Quality show from these guys, would really enjoy seeing them again. Robot Tank was next, delivering their brand of indie pop to the audience. Once again, a good show! It is always a pleasure to get to a show early, hear a local band for the first time and enjoy what they are playing. Good stuff guys!
The Father Figures went on next, but before I get to their set I have to talk about the last show of the night, the incredible Labor Party. Holy ____! Dirty, intense, garage rock with a serious punk rock edge to it, this band delivered an incendiary set of pure rock and roll. No BS, just pure mayhem that blew me away. What is it with trios delivering such high quality music? Some people reading this may feel this is a subjective opinion since I have known the guy since high school, but trust me, I have seen drummer Buck Ellis play in other bands before. He absolutely destroyed on the skins this evening. Kudos to this band!
Now, let us talk about the main reason I went to this show. Unbelievable as it may seem as much as I talk about these guys, this was only the second time I have seen The Father Figures play. The only other time was their début show in July of 2009.
A few months ago I had an opportunity to do an interview with The Father Figures, and one comment that really resonates with me as I write this piece now is that this band originally came into existence with the simple idea of “just friends playing together”. Guitarist Michael Cornelius made that comment, one that would make a casual fan believe this band was simply a hobby, a means of passing time. It is the opinion of this writer that this “project” has transformed into one heck of a great band!
There were songs played on this evening that I had originally heard in raw, instrumental form from the band’s earliest practices, such as Save it for Later. All four songs that you can now hear on the MySpace page for The Father Figures were played, with Theme and my personal favorite Typical Bible Beating Hypocrites two songs that really stood out for me during the set. The band even played a Frank Discussion and the Feederz classic, Avon Lady. Only three old school Arizona punks could have pulled off that one!
Here is the thing folks. This set was delivered with a precision and ferocity that was not there when I saw them six months ago. It was very obvious that the trio has put some serious work into the development of this band, and all three elements were in fine form on this evening. Tom Reardon plays an outstanding bass, pelting out the notes in a manner that reminds one of Mike Watt. His vocal style is a perfect fit for the post-punk delivery of The Father Figures. Michael Cornelius has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that he can play a mean guitar, with one song in the middle of the set (I believe the name was Falling Down) in particular making a huge impression on me in regards to his development on the axe. Folks, do not discredit him by continuing to think of him solely as JFA’s original bassist. Cornelius is the real deal on the guitar.
I know there are some of you out there that figure any band Bobby Lerma plays in I automatically like. Wrong, and what matters to me is he knows that. I have always been honest with him about the projects he has been in, going all the way back to the days of Kluged and The Joke. I tell Bobby I like The Father Figures because I like The Father Figures, plain and simple. I have not been this excited about a band he has played drums in since the days of 40 Watt Las Vegas, and I can remember him pulling a Bob Mould and telling me he was done playing aggressive music just a few years ago. This band is the right fit for his style of percussion.
The Father Figures smoked on this evening. I am really fortunate I was not out-of-town or sick for once since I had missed three straight shows of theirs. If you missed this concert, head on over to Joe’s Grotto on Saturday, February 27, for the next opportunity to see them play.
Check back on this blog post, I may have a video posted soon of TBBH! Until then, cheers!