Monday, July 23, 2018

Negative Approach stomps all over Seattle

John Brannon and Negative Approach tear shit up. (All Andy photos)

By Andy

Thirty-seven minutes of glass shattering in your brain and throat.

That's what it felt like during Negative Approach's blistering set on Saturday night at the Highline in Seattle. Was that a shard that you just pulled from your eyeball? Or was it one of John Brannon’s vehement shrieks that rifled your way?

One song after another, each one as crucial as its predecessor. Don't turn your head for a second or you'll miss something vital. But, please, flinch if need be if a raucous stage diver or stray fist barrels your way. Stay up front in the game if you  want to feel what it's like to be stuffed into a hardcore-to-the-hilt punk blender with born in 1981 stamped all over it.

Elephantine songs shot forth from the NA cannon representing each of its releases and then some. Growler Brannon is the general in charge and you fucking listen to what he screams. It's mesmerizing to watch both band and crowd explode as if an A-bomb was dropped on the place. When it was all over, people dusted themselves off, turned and stumbled into the night.

A job well done.

Speaking of slugging, I recently checked Brannon's Instagram and Twitter pages, and noticed two photos of him and the band visiting with Kirk Gibson, former Detroit Tigers intense batsman and vicious high-fiver who helped lead the Tigs to the 1984 World Series crown.

Being a longtime Tiger fan, I was stoked to see this connection with the Detroit band and player. No doubt Brannon channeled some of Gibson's ferocity into his job on stage. Yeah, I know Gibson cranked things up with the LA Dodgers as well, but he ruled for the Tigers first.

Here's my photos from the Seattle gig:

Sunday, July 8, 2018

The Damned unleash its 'Evil Spirits' on Seattle crowd (with openers Giuda) | Live review, photos

The Damned, top, and Giuda, below. (All Cat Rose photos)

By Andy 

Captain Sensible eyed the crowd, grinned and then unleashed his first snarky word barrage of the evening.

"We ain't no Clash or Sex Pistols rubbish!" he exclaimed before The Damned kicked things into gear on Saturday night at the Showbox in Seattle.

With Sensible's broken ribs healed and crooner Dave Vanian's left arm free of a sling after last year's on-stage accidents, the main Damned gents and their comrades were a blistering bolt of energy as they tore into the opener "Wait for the Blackout" and powered on from there during the stunning set.

What's great about The Damned is that they can take a new song like "Standing on the Edge of Tomorrow" from the "Evil Spirits" album and wedge it in just grand among "Plan 9 Channel 7," "Anti-Pope" and "Love Song" to get people moving from the get-go. It's like "Edge" is an old favorite that pairs nicely with the others.

Same goes for "Devil in Disguise," another new one that may or may not be about (SCROTUS) Trump. You be the judge, Vanian told the crowd.

Before launching into the killer "Ignite," Sensible jokingly said that it came to his attention that there weren't enough guitar solos during the set. In order to rectify the situation, he laughed and said that "Ignite" featured seven solos. Guitar aficionados, rejoice!

"Ignite" also featured a crowd sing-along, during which Sensible halted his soloing and led the vocalizing by sticking the microphone stand into the thrilled throng.

"Eloise" was a crowd-stopper, and then Vanian asked the crowd if any of them wake up in the morning and don't know who they are. There's two sides to everyone... and then, of course, it was time for "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde."

The crowd went nuts for "New Rose," which had keyboard guru Monty Oxymoron doing the crazy-man's dance while his skull-laden pajamas nearly fell off his body. That dude's all right.

As for the raucous "Neat Neat Neat," well, the crowd got the floor springing so much, that we nearly did "Break on Through (To the Other Side)," which the band wove into the middle of their song.

And here came Sensible for one of his final orations of the evening, giving a nod to the England soccer squad for advancing to the World Cup semifinals that day. He said they scraped by without cheating, naming Neymar of Brazil for diving, rolling and more.

A few laughs later, we were into "Jet Boy, Jet Girl" and the always raging "Smash it Up" to send us smiling into the night.

Openers Giuda from Italy stomped up a storm and had the crowd bobbing their heads and shouting along to songs like the soccer anthem "Number 10," "Roll the Balls" and others. Score.

Here's photos from Cat Rose:




Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Let the shredding commence: Primus, Mastodon and JJUUJJUU | Live review and photos

Mastodon, top, and Primus. (All Cat Rose photos)

By Andy

Let's deem it the triple-threat tour: Primus, Mastodon and JJUUJJUU.

Off-kilter, scratchy and shredding guitar from Larry LaLonde, thumping bass that had Les Claypool doing finger calisthenics and a cavalcade of drum beats via Tim Alexander never fail to enthrall a Primus crowd, and that’s exactly what went down June 22 at Marymoor Park near Redmond, WA.

As the crowd packed tight up front for Mastodon, a ringing bell filled the air — and then the band’s onslaught began. The band skillfully straddled the line between menacing and joyful with growling and melodious vocals galore and tunes that spanned copious genres — from super fast to heavy to right in between on the band’s journey to hit all moods and cylinders.

JJUUJJUU's atmospheric tunes often built slowly, softly into heaviness. As Phil Pirrone’s auburn hair waved in the breeze, his vocals soared and the second guitarist twitched during solos and lifted his instrument during key spots.

Here's Cat Rose's pics from the evening:




For the full review, visit: