Sunday, August 20, 2006

gig review: X/Rollins Band/Riverboat Gamblers @ Starland Ballroom, 17 August 06

Was able to catch the X/Rollins Band/Riverboat Gamblers show Thursday night at Starland Ballroom in Sayreville...For the zillions of shows I've seen in my time, I've never been able to catch either X or Rollins on their way through town.

Rollins was every bit as intense and crushing as I'd been lead to believe. As a fan of his books & diaries, I've read thousands of his words describing his touring regimen, his pre-show workouts, and his occasional fist-to-noggin interaction with knuckleheads at the lip of the stage. To say that he's focused and zoned during his set is an understatement, and the scary look in his eyes between songs, as he nervously paced until his crack band kicked into the next song's intro, hinted at temporary psychosis. Loud and awesome.

Remarkably, about a third of the crowd left after Rollins' set, and X launched into their set to a half-empty hall. Suffering monitor problems for the first couple songs, the band looked a bit out of synch for a bit but recovered quickly to play a smoldering set of classics. Sure, they looked like old guys in a legion hall rockabilly band, but if you closed your eyes, you could easily imagine you were at City Gardens in Trenton in 1981.

The surprise bonus of the night for me was the supercharged set from The Riverboat Gamblers...Denton, Texas' finest rock combo just absolutely tore-up the place with their brand of Southern punk. Singer Mike Wiebe literally traversed every corner of the stage AND the floor in front of the stage, hitting every spot in the building his Joe "King" Carrasco-length mic cord would let him reach. He was nearly impossible to catch a photo of, since he was in constant motion for the entire set:

Check out the leap Wiebe took off the top of a cabinet toward the end of the set:

I know Rollins prides himself on smoking any other band on a bill that his band is on, but he sure got a run for his money from the Gamblers at that show.

Here are the rest of the dates of the tour:
Tue 08/22/06 Norfolk, VA The NorVa
Wed 08/23/06 Charlotte, NC Tremont Music Hall
Thu 08/24/06 Atlanta, GA Tabernacle
Fri 08/25/06 Saint Petersburg, FL Jannus Landing
Sat 08/26/06 Orlando, FL Hard Rock Live
Mon 08/28/06 Houston, TX Meridian
Tue 08/29/06 Dallas, TX Gypsy Tea Room / Ballroom
Wed 08/30/06 Austin, TX Stubb's Barbeque

Riverboat Gamblers - "Pretty Dress" mp3 buy

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