with Noah’s Red Tattoo
The Covered Dish, Gainesville • 5.30.98
Just when all looks bleakest, and just when it seemed we were doomed to a long, hot, and rockless summer, four rowdy country boys in sharp suits came and saved us all. The V-Roys, in their fourth visit to Gainesville, came to the Covered Dish May 30th, and once again rocked the joint unmercifully. We were teased with the show’s tentative nature for at least a month, and when it was confirmed less than two weeks before, there was much rejoicing in the land. With good reason, too, as the V-Roys may just be the best full-on rock and roll band of the past few years.
Of course, Steve Earle’s fair-hared boys from Knoxville had a little help, this time in the form of local favorites Noah’s Red Tattoo. Jared Flamm and his band of merry pranksters are definitely one of the best and hardest rocking bands in Hogtowne, and they proved it as the opening act for the ‘Roys. After a short lay-off thanks to school ending, NRT was more than ready to raise the roof. The band highlighted some old favorites, like the opener “Teen Idol” (featuring guitarist Aaron Carr’s excellent roaring solo) and “New Jersey Highway Disaster,” but the band used this time to showcase some newer tunes (OK, boys, when’s that new album coming?). Bassist (and bloom mainman) Devin Moore shined during the extremely catchy “Girls Like That,” one of the best pop-rock songs by either bands. Flamm roared through some more nifty new tracks, the hard rocking “Put the Damn Gun Down,” “Anything,” and “If This Is the End of the World (I Wanna Spend It With You).” Flamm, Carr, Moore and drummer Jeff Lataille played an incredible set, solidifying their spot as one of the top Gainesville bands.
And then, the V-Roys took the stage and did their normal demolition set of twanged-up, boozy rock and roll. The Knoxville-based quartet is currently in a holding pattern waiting for the August release of their new album, tentatively titled All About Town, but that didn’t keep them from rocking Gainesville like nobody’s business. Opening and closing the show with rousing covers of Roger Miller’s “I Ain’t Coming Home Tonight,” the ‘Roys played quite possibly their best Gainesville show to date. Surprisingly, or maybe not so, when one thinks about it, the joint was crammed with fans ready to rock and roll like it should be done.
The band played nearly every tune off their E-Square debut Just Add Ice, which was featured extensively on the late, lamented 97X. Lead singers/guitarists Scott Miller and Mike Harrison sounded great on tunes like “What’s She Found,” “Wind Down,” and the hauntingly beautiful “Goodnight Loser.” Bassist Paxton Sellers and drummer Jeff Bills, as always, were a rock solid rhythm section, particularly on the Ramones-like “Cry.” As always, the boys in the band were electric on stage, strutting and bouncing through songs all the while downing more than one alcoholic beverage.
The band featured a couple new songs from the upcoming album, the best probably being the hard-rocking “Amy 88.” One a neat note, the ‘Roys played a slew of covers during their near two-hour set, the highlights being the Replacements’ “I.O.U.” and their E-Squared mentor Steve Earle’s “My Baby Worships Me.” The band even featured a couple nifty numbers from some Knoxville homeboys, particularly the excellent “Hit List.”
As one would figure, the one-two punch of Noah’s Red Tattoo and the V-Roys made for an excellent night of balls-out, hell-on-wheels rock and roll. The ‘Roys promised they’d be back in town after All About Town is released, sometime in early August. NRT is all Gainesville’s, of course, and have a show planned for July 17 with another excellent set of local rockers, Slack Season. Check it out, and be prepared to rock.