with Slack Season and Dicast
Purple Porpoise, Gainesville, FL • June 22, 2000
Since I had not planned on reviewing this show (instead going primarily to schmooze and do advance work for my own show there the following week), unfortunately I did not arrive at the Purple Porpoise’s Blowhole room in time to catch all of the set by openers Dicast. They play a post-grunge-jam-groove which ordinarily wouldn’t be my cuppa joe, but they had great stage presence and a good sequencing of songs, culminating in a punky number for a closer that was a great send-off.
I had not seen Slack Season in far too long. The addition of Aaron Carr on lead guitar has really added a lot to the band, which was solid enough to begin with. They play a brand of straightforward power pop that rocks, with a bit of roots thrown in as well. Their performance was great, they worked the crowd, with a teasing intro to a song from their first CD (I have to apologize for guessing right and yelling out “El Camino!” in response), and included a great cover of the Vaseline’s “Molly’s Lips,” which most persons, myself included, are more familiar with as a cover by Nirvana.
Rev Seven closed, and were a big disappointment for such a talented band. All the instrumentalists were quite good, and the frontman has a long history of being able to go way over the top from his days in Spider Monkey. So what was wrong? For lack of a better word, vibe. Somehow, underlying the whole thing, I got the distinct impression that these guys were going through the motions, that this was their job. Making matters worse, the frontman veered from over the top to schtick, constantly introducing the many covers liberally sprinkled throughout their set with comments to the effect that “Here’s a song we wrote in 1985, and was stolen from us by (fill in blank with name of big rock band Rev Seven was about to cover),” which got old fast. The covers, on a night dedicated to local music by local bands, also pointed out a lack of engaging material written by the group. Sure, other local bands might do a cover here or there, but not a bunch of covers. If the singer does a little less schtick and the band comes up with some material they choose to play over covers, they’ll go over a lot better.