The Cotton Club, Atlanta, GA • April 1, 2000
Oh my God, doubleDrive has arrived, and they’re armed with a brutal, heartstopping, gutfelt vengeance. The Cotton Club was packed to the walls with sweat, testosterone, bones ready to be rattled, and the mandatory amount of hot chicks in tight shiny clothes. They started dynamite strong with an ass-kicking song called “Sacrifice” that got the adrenaline pumping in all the right places.
Lead singer Donnie Hamby has more vocal surge volume than one man deserves, and such a natural onstage presence you have to wonder if it didn’t spawn him. His voice is so astonishingly dynamic and melodically unwavering, it’s only comparable to the amazing and faultless Chris Cornell in his early days with Soundgarden. Donnie’s extreme range rapes, smacks, bites, and bangs the power of reason till you’re numb and wanting more of the same. He took part in the lost art of conversation with audience, giving back the same amount of respect they gave him. It’s such a rare thing these days, and they seemed to love him all the more for it.
Drummer Mike Froedge’s talent is incomprehensible, playing with red hot scorching power that burns bridges and could cause cities to fall. By the third song, the crowd had built a stone wall against the stage, looking awestruck at lead singer Donnie like they’d just found Jesus. Maybe they had, doubleDrive was blazing so brightly, walking on water wouldn’t have seemed in the least bit supernatural. Stage right to lead super-guitarist Troy McLawhorn, who engages in this art of noise with bold and apparent rightness. And none of it would have been possible without the trick candle you can’t blow out on the rock and roll cake, bassist Josh Sattler.
At the end of the set, Stereo Mud members Erik Sebren and Corey Lowery joined them for an explosive rendition of “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming.” All in all, doubleDrive left the crowd the way you’re supposed to leave a woman, wanting more. This band made me believe in justice again – they’re actually signed on MCA. Go figure, great band and signed? Who would’ve thought? ◼