Wolfman Band/ The Go/ Redd Kross @ PJ's Lager House on Friday, April 12, 2013 in Detroit, MI
PJ's Lager House is a fascinating place. The building itself is over 100 years old and it has that awesome ceiling work from the 1930s found in many buildings in Detroit. Tonight was sold out, and the body heat makes things heat up pretty quick in there. Those with a fear of rubbing elbows with strangers would do well to stay away. Those of us who like stiff drinks and Rock and Roll quickly feel right at home.
I'm going to let you in on a little secret: I adore werewolves. Sure, I likes my vampires, but only the old school ones, not those Twilight ones. Werewolves are untainted by poseurs and soccer moms. One of my dreams is to see the '70s Horror comic book Werewolf By Night made into a movie. Until then, I have the Wolfman Band. Not one werewolf, but an entire band of werewolves. This made perfect sense to me for some reason. I mean, who wouldn't enjoy watching werewolves play instruments and sing songs? I recognized snippets of songs played, such as Is It My Body? by Alice Cooper. If the band had offered shirts with werewolves on them for sale they probably would have gotten a drunken T-shirt purchase out of me by the time they were done.
It's been years since The Go played a show for the general populace of Detroit. While many in the building were here to see headliners Redd Kross, my wife and I came for The Go. My kids are early risers and so I have become accustomed to going to bed early. Luckily I was off today and managed to get a good nap in so I could go the long haul. They came on around 11 and played for roughly 30 minutes, with everything played tonight coming off of the new album Fiesta. The songs were all played at 78 speed with little or no breaks between them. Voices Rant On seamlessly shifted gears into Beyond the Beyond, ditto Live Inside A Hole and So Let's Pinch. It Always Happens To You was a lot of fun live. I'm A Dot In Place seemed to lose it's snarl when sped up but was still very cool. I love the lyric Girl I'll never live without it, try it now you'll dream about it.
The Go is once again a five piece, and I noticed that they also had a new drummer. I'm thinking that the new guitarist and bass player were from Magic Jake and the Power Crystals but I am not certain.
For Me Alone and Can't Rely On It were both great at 78 speed. The latter lost some of it's bubblegum sound at that tempo but still worked. Tease My Ears is one of my favorites off of the new album. Ya Gimme That Feelin' was my favorite of the night, hitting that magical hypnotic space in the brain that makes you involuntarily move to it. I've even watched my 3 year old daughter do it. In The Go's home dimension on Parallel Earth, the band appeared on an episode of the '60s Batman TV series. They use the song's hypnotic groove to entrance people, making them dance uncontrollably and commit crimes while they are helpless. They played pied piper villains that crash some society ball, with all of the fat cats dropping their watches and jewelry into sacks as the band plays the song while wearing bandit eye masks and black and white striped shirts. Hilarity ensues as Batman and Robin crash the scene and are forced to do the Batusi while The Go steal the Batmobile.
During Dirty Room I noticed that the horn parts were played as twin harmonies on guitar. They sounded like the original Alice Cooper band's harmonies when played that way. After Last To Know Bobby Harlow shouted “Fiesta!” (as heard on the opening of the LP) and that was it. I wanted more more more but them's the breaks. It's better to be left begging for more than screaming for mercy at a show's length.
I hung out for a while, catching the first few songs by Redd Kross. They were fast and punchy and the kids seemed to love them. By kids I mean folks my age and older. There were many an old school Punk in the room, crawling out of the woodwork and out from under rocks to catch the band's first Detroit gig since 1997. One guy was even carrying around his personalized license plate that read RDKRSS or something similar.
My wife was tired because she worked, and so we ended up leaving during them. The room was so packed that we couldn't see it very well anyways. I did feel bad leaving during them, because I know how many folks were unable to get tickets to this show. It sold out pretty quick.