Long live rock, I need it every night

Monday, December 31, 2007

Gist at Iota: December 27, 2007

Despite warnings to arrive early so I didn't miss Verbal, I arrived late and missed Verbal. Two things doomed me: they actually started right at 9:00 and they only played for 25 minutes. When most clubs post a start time of 9:00 it really begins at 9:30. Not Iota. Just something to remember for future shows.

Next up was Cobra Collective. Three-fourths of band used to belong to The Bonapartes. For whatever reason that band died and Cobra Collective was born. I don't know if the music is better but the name change is an upgrade. Just look at that poster.

Cobra Collective started off with two solid songs but technical difficulties with the mike distracted from the performace. Thankfully, they got the problem fixed and the band settle in. The band has a laid back demeanor and kept the banter to a bare minimum. Usually this is a plus but in such a small venue it might have helped build a rapport with the audience. Then again not everyone is a Ted Leo wiseacre so it's best to err on the side of less chit-chat. Each song had that "wait, wait, I know I've heard a song similar to this" feel. That's not to say the Cobra Collective is just aping other bands. They seem adept at taking the best of indie and punk and incorporating it into their own stuff. In all, an impressive showing for The Cobra Collective, especially considering this was their first show in their new incarnation. They're definitely better than most of the opening bands we come across.

I've listened to Gist's albums many times (thanks Rhapsody!) but the real appeal of Gist is their live show. Sometimes we hit a streak of shows that are mellow, psychedelic, dance, polka, whatever, and we need to get back to basics. We need a band that will put it in overdrive and crank. Gist is such a rock band. When I have my big "We're Moving to Austin" going away extravaganza, Gist will be on the list of bands I want to play.*

Gist operates best at full speed but they began with "Survival", a slower track with searing guitar. After that, the flood gates opened. They played "Fugue" and then "Hold On" off their upcoming release. The vocals were less emotive than on record and for some reason it works better for them. As the set progressed the people in the back shut their yappers and gravitated to the front of the stage. I wish more bands could take command of a crowd and get people to pay attention. Excessive chatter is my biggest pet peeve while out at shows.

The show would have benefited if the music changed gears more often but it's tough to complain when a band rips it out like Gist. They play ferociously energetic rock. I'm not talking about spazz rock or out of control crap like some of the bands we saw in American Hardcore. No, unlike bands that rely on gimmicks and non-stop distortion, Gist can actually play their intruments and play them well. It also doesn't hurt that they can write some nice hooks.

Highlights of the shows included "Eclipse" and the closer "Concrete Faults" on which the lead singer played the guitar with his tamborine. When the set was over the crowd yelled for one last song. Gist complied by playing a cover of If You Want Blood You Got It by AC/DC (we love a good cover). It included an over the top, ridiculous, and near-brillant guitar solo/finale. It was a little sloppy and chaotic which only enhanced the effect.

I should note this show gets the "Unofficial Rock Club Show" asterisk since I was the only Rock Club member to attend. My buddy Steve was nice enough to serve as a proxy but I'd endorse a full Rock Club outing to see Gist sometime in 2008.

That makes me think, why don't we have a Thorkelson Award for Local Band of the Year? I've seen four very good local bands over the past month. We should consider a new category.

* Seems like a fun idea but we're far too slack to actually organize such an event


Potsy said...

Sorry to have missed it. Sounds like a show I would have enjoyed. You should always heed your Verbal warnings.

Jumbo Slice said...

Verbal Warnings. Well done Potsy. How did I miss that pun? It was bad enough I couldn't come up with one for Gist. Nice time I get stuck, I'll calling for advice.