So let’s see if I can change that folks.
Did I seriously get home at 2am Sunday morning from this show? I NEVER stay out that late anymore, but that should be an indicator of how great of an evening this was folks. It had been a while since I had been to a show for way too many reasons. This was a great way to get back in the swing of things. Saturday July 16, Robot Tank, The Father Figures and Asses of Evil took the stage at the Icehouse Tavern. All were en fuego. Plus, the punk rock birthday cupcakes were delicious!
Two years ago The Father Figures played their first gig to celebrate the 50th birthday of guitarist Michael Cornelius. This show was another birthday party for Michael and to make the evening even better vocalist/guitarist Mark Anderson from Robot Tank was also celebrating his birthday. His band led off the festivities for the evening.
Did they ever! Robot Tank really knows how to deliver a melodic, yet incendiary style of rock and roll with a furious punk rock edge to it. I love it and become a bigger fan of this band every time I see them play. Mark delivers his songs with unbridled passion, Mike Durham hammers on the axe, Chela Rose is one of the smoother bass players in the Valley and combines with drummer Jeff Kritzstein to create a hell of a rhythm section. They played a fabulous set and got the evening off to a tremendous start. Robot Tank will be back at the Icehouse Tavern on August 6th to help the venue celebrate four years of music. Be sure to check that show out!
The Father Figures were up next. I have lost track of how many times I have seen these guys play, so people always think I am biased when I review one of their shows. Well, you people can shut it up.
Only five old songs were played, including a couple of personal faves in “Fe Fi Fo” and “Butterfly”. The band barely released an album January of this year, so for a set from The Father Figures just half a year later to be only about 1/3 older material shows this band has been very busy. A boatload of new material was played this night, including five songs played for the first time. The new songs sound tremendous with “Tin Soldiers” being an immediate favorite. That tune has some serious power and crunch.
That much new material will cause a few hiccups. However, I personally would rather see a band taking chances and playing works in progress live and fine tuning things on the fly. “Tin Soldiers” may be one of the tunes that had a couple of rough moments, but the damage potential on this song is pretty awesome. The second Father Figures album already appears to be shaping up my friends.
Here is the setlist of the show from The Father Figures. Songs in bold print were played for the first time on this evening, songs in italics are older songs that appear on the band’s debut release Lesson Number One, including “Caviar” that was played the night of their first show. They also played “Avon Lady” the classic Frank Discussion and the Feederz song the band has covered for some time:
- Fe Fi Fo
- Song for a Singer
- Start Loud
- Tin Soldiers
- Four (The name for now. I like the temporary naming style a la Sunny Day Real Estate.) 😉
- Fix You
The crowd cleared out a bit at this point. If you are reading this and happen to be someone who left early during the evening (including a local music celebrity that fronts one of the best bands in town that just returned home from a tour overseas), you BLEW IT by not sticking around to see Asses of Evil. Oh my …
There have been a few local bands over the years that had me awestruck the first time I saw them. Dead Hot Workshop. The Other 49. 40 Watt Las Vegas. The Pistoleros with Doug Hopkins in the band. Labor Party. Add Asses of Evil to that list!
I had listened to some of the band’s work online but that is nothing compared to the live experience. There were two things I knew about the band coming in to this show: drummer Bam Bam was the drummer for J.F.A. back in the day and is one of my all-time favorite thrash drummers; bassist Todd Joseph is a wily veteran of the local punk scene playing in bands such as Junior Achievement, The Voice and Sticky Thang.
Therefore, I was not expecting the flat-out balls to the wall rock and roll this band unleashed on the remaining Icehouse patrons. Yes, the punk edge is there, but this is simply punishing rock music that has one mission; the obliteration of the senses of the listener. I was sitting at the bar and was drawn to the front of the stage a few songs into the band’s set. They were so intense, so loud and so powerful I had to witness the destruction up close.
Lead singer and guitarist Christopher Youmans bellows into his microphone with passionate fury and guitarist Tony Karaba destroys on the guitar. It hit me the day after the show that Karaba played in Rabid Rabbit, a band I saw many times opening for shows at old punk venues in town such as The Metro. Unbelievable set, I am a huge fan today!
This was a great evening of rock and roll with a punk edge my friends, so glad I was a part of the festivities. Great to see a big crowd at the show, just stick around the whole time people. If this old man can do it, so can you.