Technically Electrified


7. Jul. 2008, 11:31

Big Business, Red Fang, The Bugs

I've decided to write some minor first-person perspective concert reviews in pseudo-support of my site Sounds of Sagittarius over at its myspace. This is a direct quote of what I wrote there about this show.

I heard of Big Business for the first time in 2006. I may have heard their name once or twice beforehand, but it was upon hearing that they were opening for Tool in 2007 that my interest was peaked. I gave a few of their songs a listen and was instantly hooked.

I'd missed the Melvins a few times (and by the same account, Big Business), the latest time resulting it mass annoyance, so I made it a plan not to miss either of them again. Isis announced they were going to do some 10-year anniversary shows in late 2007, and had Big Business as an opener on some of their west coast dates, but not locally, causing further angst.

Naturally, when I heard they were doing a bit of headline touring before going off with the Melvins again, I was quite excited. Finding out that Red Fang was their main opener was even better. There was no way I was going to miss them this time.

So, I arrived early and merely existed for an hour. I hadn't done research on The Bugs besides finding out that they had a stripped down sound, and therefore I had fresh ears. I was expecting to be mentally wandering through their set. Instead, their style was just perfect for an opening band. Nothing too interesting or exciting, no ground-breaking, just silly rock and roll. Quick songs, quick set. They reminded me of a cross between The White Stripes and Liam Lynch. I was particularly amused when they said something about how we'd all come to witness two of the greatest in rock, and referred to each other (instead of RF and BB).

I decided I actually wanted to see what was going on this time, so I made my way to the front for the duration of both Red Fang and Big Business. How I love this venue so, that this was possible despite the place being packed. Though less obnoxious than other venues, this still resulted in stereotypical crowd annoyance. One of my neighbors was high on foreign drug and drinking, and he apparently thought everyone around him needed to be covered in his beer. I'm used to getting elbowed and knocked around and smacked in the face with someone else's hair and my view being invaded by camera-happy people, but that was a first. Although I do remember a guy from Ministry throwing water in my and others' faces to get the attention of people around me. That jerk.

Anyhow. Red Fang came out, and their set was marvelous (Malverdelous?). It was very similar to previous times I'd seen them, starting with "Night Destroyer", moving through mostly familiar tracks. There were a few songs I didn't recognize that may have just been songs I haven't gotten into or were, perhaps, new. Either way, I enjoyed their set, and was surprised at how well-received they were by the crowd. The show I'd seen them at before was very, very different than this one. Even the first time I saw them, they didn't have as great of a crowd. It was nice to see that, in some way, people agree with me about them. I'm looking forward to seeing them again.

The difference in sound between the openers and Big Business' set was immediately clear. Instantly, I lost ten years worth of decent hearing. Their first song was new, starting with a single electric drum opening into more instruments. I don't know what the hell the song was called - the setlist was sitting too far from me to really read it - but I do know that I liked this song. I can't wait for their album.

Next song down the list was "Hands Up", and I was pleased to see hands raised elsewhere in the venue. Thankfully I'd learned the venue well enough by this point that I knew where to stand so I was not crushed in the subsequent "Stam-pede!"

The rest of their set was a mix of brand new and Here Come the Waterworks songs. Our local singer had a lot to say about beating children (opening the new song "Beat Kids") and later enjoyed some sarcastic humor at an obnoxious audience member's expense. Their new guitarist's presence went unmentioned. They closed with a new track, something dramatic about "freaks", and left without an encore. While momentarily disappointed, I'll be seeing them again in the near future, so I've no need to complain.

Overall, it was a great, absolutely worthwhile show. Afterwards, I bought a shirt from RF's drummer, overhearing something about how they may have some music on vinyl next month (unless I'm crazy), and wandered away happy to have finally seen (gasp!) Big Business.

If you like Big Business, check out Black Cobra. They have shows coming up with the band Weedeater soon.


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