Wednesday, September 28, 2005

I Feel Good Today

The dB's @ Maxwells 9/19/05
This review is long overdue, so sorry about that. I don't know who the openers were, but we (me, my girlfriend, my friend Jeremy and 2 friends from The Czech Republic who came here to see all 4 dB's reunion shows including 2 earlier in Chicago; now that's dedication!) got there late, so we missed them anyway.

The dB's got off to a bit of a shaky start with the first 2 songs, "Big Brown Eyes" from 1981's wonderful Stands for Decibels and "Ask for Jill" from 1982's even better Repercussion. They looked similar to their 20-something selves back in the early '80s except for Peter Holsapple, who had a shaved head and a goatee and looked not unlike a goateed Mr. Clean or a tough biker dude instead of the bookish Holsapple of yore. Holsapple emerged once again as the clear leader of the group, though Chris Stamey shared the spotlight, singing slightly less than half of all of the songs performed. Gene Holder seemed content to not hog the spotlight and hang out in the back though Will Rigby was manic (and great) on drums.

Throughout the approximately hour and a half long set, the band alternated songs from their 1st 2 landmark albums (which made up the majority of the set) along with later gems like "Love is for Lovers" (one of the best performances of the evening along with an astonishing version of "Neverland") alongside new material like "World to Cry" (set to be released on a new album next year), which you can download here. This was the 1st time in 22 years that the original lineup (including Chris Stamey, who departed the band after their 2nd album back in 1983) had played together and it was only their 3rd show since the reunion happened earlier this year, so I wasn't expecting them to be super-tight. The only real misstep of the evening was the performance of "I'm in Love". Stamey just can't hit the high notes in the chorus anymore, though he was fine on the verses, so they just should've chosen to perform another song in its place. Otherwise, his vocals were fine, sounding even more like his hero Alex Chilton than ever (as Jeremy pointed out).

Regardless, I'm sure that if they end up touring to promote their new album that they'll be a bit tighter, but to be totally honest, it was all about the vibe in the room on this evening. It seemed like I knew about a good quarter of the people there from when I lived in Hoboken (including my former roommate Jim, who got me into them; he showed up right when the dB's took the stage) and members of Yo La Tengo, Antietam, The Schramms and other bands that (like North Carolina transplants the dB's) cut their teeth at Maxwells as far back as the early '80s and were thus giddy with excitement and anticipation at the thought of this reunion. Thus, it was just awesome to see them not only in such a small place and in such a great club (still one of the best in the entire area), but also in their old stomping grounds.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi I posted on bv's site about the supergrass recording...It's not the entire show because 1, I didnt make up my mind until the 4th song or something, 2. because I accidentally turned it off when they came back for encore.

I also have a picture of setlist + tons of pictures which I will edit and post on my website soon.

the recording itself is very good in certain parts and in others the bass and the drums are way too loud so if you know how to adjust those, let me know as well..

I'm trying to post via but it's taking forever so email me: and I'll see what I can do...

10:14 PM


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