Sunday, August 28, 2016

A mind-bending evening with Drive Like Jehu in Seattle

Drive Like Jehu's John Reis. (All Cat Rose photos)

Andy: text; Cat Rose: photos

Wait for it -- the crush will come.

You will bleed sweat and you will enjoy it.

As each member of Drive Like Jehu stepped onto the stage on Saturday night at the Showbox in Seattle, the crowd's elation level rose. A yell here and a clap there would soon turn into a barrage of bodies swinging to and fro, arms flailing and mouths spewing lyrics.

The two guitar and bass guys up front -- Rick Froberg, John Reis and Mike Kennedy -- soaked it up, leaning closer to the crowd with each note, each bead of perspiration. Band and crowd became one. The steady, power-packed man in the back Mark Trombino peeked over his drums and had a stellar view of the rowdy and invigorating scene.

Drive Like Jehu unleashed its caustic 14-song package of jagged, mind-bending rock with "Super Unison" and rolled from there. The most crowd-jolting experience came on "Do You Compute," a calm-before-the-storm stunner that left everyone drained by the end.

During a rare break from the unhinged guitaristry of vocalist Froberg and Reis -- who punches things home in a blur of hopping, kicking and smiling -- and rumbling bass from Kennedy, someone from the crowd delivered the line: "This is great!" The band members glanced at each other, chuckled, stared at the crowd for a bit... and then launched into another song. The deliverance continued: YES, THIS IS FUCKING GREAT!

In the end, Froberg's voice was tattered and Reis attacked his rig with his guitar, stepped back and flung the axe side stage to a roadie. Now that's a proper way to finish things off. Good night.