with Logarithms, the Blue Joules, and Universal Baby

State Theater, St. Petersburg, FL • July 1, 2000

The State Theatre offered a variety of four different bands on July 1st to start off their Independence Day weekend live music fare. The Blue Joules and Universal Baby rounded out the four band line up, but considering the fact that I’ve already reviewed both of those bands (and LOVED them!) in the past two issues of Ink 19, I’ll concentrate on the two bands new to my viewing pleasure at this show. I’ll just say that the Blue Joules and Universal Baby didn’t disappoint me at all, and they were the saving grace for this event!

Cling, with lead vocalist, Chris Rackham commanding the front position, were musically tight, and obviously have their proverbial shit together as far as rehearsing and getting down their set to a science. They knew their material and pulled it off with flair and confidence. Rackham knows what it is to be in the spotlight, and carried the squealing crowd of little girlies in front of the stage to bouncing ecstasy. Although Cling are great musicians and know their instruments, the songwriting skills of this band do not justify their talents, as all their original tunes melded into one long, tedious sound. In other words, they all sounded the same. It wasn’t until they broke into a medley of cover tunes, including a souped up version of the Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun,” the Doors’ “Break On Through,” and the ever favorite, Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall,” that they really made me stop and listen. Just how many more bands are gonna cover that same damned Pink Floyd song? Cling shows live performance promise, they just need to branch out and get more creative in their writing of these live songs!

Logarithms left a lot to be desired. Opening up with a cover of the Ramones’ “I Wanna Be Sedated,” by the third song in the set, I was wishing I had been sedated (at least for this set!) and eventually got up and went into the lobby for a beer. They had energy and bounced around a lot, but how many more Green Days do we really need in the music industry? And that’s exactly what they reminded me of: a bleached out Green Day. Is anybody into making new and original music through a different approach these days? Logarithms are seriously lacking in imagination and creativity, and frankly, would have something if they could simply come up with something original and not a ditto of what’s already been offered with bands such as Blink 182 and Green Day. Both Cling and Logarithms had the talent and musicianship, they both just lacked originality and/or songwriting skills.

Kudos to Dave Hundley for the changes at the State Theatre. I hadn’t been to the State in ages, so it all seemed new and fresh to me. The addition of extra lighting and effects were awesome and the backdrop screen was phenomenal. The crowd was enthusiastic and ready for partying, which became quite apparent at the end of the Universal Baby’s set, as half the audience ended up on the stage with the band and more than a few mammaries were exposed in the midst of the dancing and reverie. Blue Joules drummer Rich Cliff poured Cabo Wabo tequila down the throat of bassist, Sean Colpoys as he played the final (and LOUDLY requested) encore, and shirts started coming off for a free peep show of the lovely ladies that stormed the stage in glee over their fine performance. Slaps on the wrists of the earlier bands that performed (yes, this means Logarithms and Cling members) that promptly left the venue before Universal Baby even had their set thrown. It’s only common courtesy to stay for the following band’s performance when the band’s playing last sat through their sets and listened. It was extremely rude and inconsiderate. Oh well, their loss, the party and the best music of the evening didn’t even start until midnight, and hey, they missed the hot mommas and their free striptease, now didn’t they?

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