Long live rock, I need it every night

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The (big) Dig

The Dig w/ City Riots & The City Veins, Black Cat (Backstage) - Tuesday, July 15th ($8)

In actuality, The Dig were not the headliners of this show, and by all accounts, local band and openers The City Veins brought the largest audience to the Backstage. But for our purposes, we were at the Black Cat to see if The Dig could deliver the same high quality pop-rock that they showcase on their highly polished EP Good Luck and Games. Indeed, they could and did.

We lazily missed all but the tail end of the City Veins. And based on their excellent Nirvana cover to end their set, this was likely an error in judgment. Maybe it sounds contrived to cover Nirvana, but I've never really heard anyone do it at this level, and it worked for me. By the way, what's going on with ending a set with a cover these days? Elf Power did it the other night, the City Veins last night...

There was a solid crowd of about 50 folks for the City Veins, but when The Dig took stage the crowd was down in the 30s. The number grew during their set, but maxed out around 40. I guess folks were home watching the Allstar game. Their loss.

Like I said in my preview, I've had The Dig on my iPod shuffle for the past three months. I'm not even sure how I got those tracks on there. I'm guessing jumbo slice hooked me up. Anyhow, I was skeptical as to how this act would perform live, but they proved my skepticism to be misplaced. Unlike too many bands we see, their singing more than resembled their studio work (a good thing in this case). As the two* traded verses - back and forth - the vocals reminded me a bit of BRMC, each bringing a distinctive sound, but melding together harmoniously.

One of their first songs of the night was "Lovesick Woman," a song reminiscent of Supergrass, and the song that you either start with or end with. It's driving and straight forward r-o-c-k. I was somewhat disappointed that they didn't hold this one back til later on, but at the same time, it's a good one to bring folks into the room.

Other highlights included "Marianne" and "Any Day Now," which is the first (longer) clip of video posted. I think they sneaked in "The Last Thing" as well, which has a "Hey Jude"/ Elliott Smith vibe to its beginning, but like a number of their slower paced songs, it switches gears to provide rockus maximus by the end. I'm not as big a fan of their slower stuff, and kinda wished they just played all the more aggressive tunes throughout. The bass and keyboards are not back ground, but in your face, competing with smashing drums and classic rock guitar licks. I just thought they lost a bit of momentum when they down shifted to the slower songs.

They ended their set with a song that I was sure the Raconteurs played at 9:30 Club back in April. But maybe not. Was it yet another cover to end a set? I can't be sure. I have yet to verify the origins of this track. But I'm thinking there might be a movement. Not that I'm complaining, we at Rock Club love a good cover. But let's not over do it either. Don't spoil us. I mean, there are already too many bands that look alike (it's summer fellas, unless you're in a contest, time to lose the beards). We don't need everyone working from the same play book too. The song in question is the last one in the video clip, the one that goes something like: come on baby, let me see you one more time, I don't mean it like that, I just wanna talk to you... A bottle of nicely aged champagne to anyone who can solve this mystery.

So... The Dig - they're one to watch. Now, it would make my task a lot easier if they'd get their website working. *I can't even tell you their names because there's a dearth of info available about them online. So fellas, when you get your website back up and running, let the good folks know, would you please? It's like you're the house band for the witness protection program.

One more thing. The City Riots...they're from Australia, I think. They should stay in Australia, but my guess is that they have been forced to leave the country by its inhabitants. And we are made to suffer as a result. I have a theory that when small bands do an international tour, they're really just going on vacation. There's no other explanation for truly shitty bands doing a tour through Europe, other than they want to escape the fact that they aren't making it at home, so why not drink good wine and enjoy Amsterdam for a few days (I hear the Tulips are wonderful). Anyhow, I was turned off by City Riots' flock of seagulls guitarist, and the lead singer's arena rock stage presence was too big for the Backstage. I couldn't leave fast enough.


Jimbromski said...

I liked these guys. Can't believe they're unsigned.

I agree w you 100%, the longer songs need to be tightened up, they sort of loitered around at times before concluding.

One annoying thing was the band staffer going around with a clipboard during the show, while the band was playing, asking if we wanted to sign up for the mailing list. I know you gotta market yourselves but that's just annoying, like hippie environmentalists showing up at my door asking for money.

Jumbo Slice said...

Based on their MySpace songs I thought The City Riots were going to be the best band of the night. Just goes to show that posting one or two decent songs doesn't make you a good band. We learned that lesson early w/ Bang Bang Bang.

Jimbromski said...

Ah, we just weren't in the mood...they may have actually turned out to be good, who knows.