with Econoline Crush and Synomatic
The Cotton Club, Atlanta, GA • June 30, 2001
Sunday shows in the summer that start at seven PM are a stretch of the imagination that I can only begin to comprehend. There’s no chance to nocturnally prepare for a night out, Monday’s work tasks are already on the brain, and it’s still blazing hot and bright outside. So I only caught the thank you and goodnight of the first band, Synomatic.
I wish I could say the same for Econoline Crush. I don’t know what they were trying to do, but the end result was a lead singer who seemed to be having his own show. They were loud, pointless, and completely forgettable. I kept waiting for the lead singer to dedicate a song to himself, because it seemed as though he was the only one that mattered. A grandstander in the most repulsive meanings of the word, his shtick comes complete with sticking his tongue out in KISS fashion, holding his arms out and open on every song to gain the almighty power of Isis or some other supernatural force only known to himself, and basically letting the audience in on his private jerk-off session. He was the most arrogant, pompous stage jester to ever hold court. I don’t remember much and spent the majority of their set trying not to look at him, seeing that perverted tongue gesture once was enough to hold me for life.
Finally the sun started to go down, and Buckcherry took the stage. I saw this band a few years back at The Cotton Club, headlining with opener Crazy Town. I didn’t care much for Crazy Town, but a lot of records sold later, goes to show how much I know. Back then, there was definitely a buzz about Buckcherry; the anticipation of success to come, perhaps. Well, it’s two years later, and that buzz has been reduced to not much more than an annoying hum.
If this band is trying to revive American rock in the spirit of pioneers Aerosmith, they’ve failed to meet the challenge. Their material is average, and is only saved by the grace of lead singer Josh Todd’s physical firecracker stage presence. He has enough torture and damage to go around, and could be a wrecking ball in the industry if he were put with the right band. Todd is a powerhouse frontman who doesn’t sing, he soars. He worked the crowd effortlessly, and they seemed to hang and scream on every gesture he so willingly and forcefully gave.
I can’t say as much for the rest of the band; popup dolls that are painted so LA marvelous it’s almost hard to see past the glare. Aesthetically, they look like a great band, but they forgot one fundamental detail – they play without an ounce of heart. They would be better off calling themselves The Tinman Band. Their onstage chemistry would suggest that they just met at soundcheck.
Buckcherry’s set was long and they gave the crowd what they came for, a good time. Unfortunately, that’s the best that could be said. Each song was pretty much the same formula fare and completely interchangeable with the one that came before it. They saved their near hit/miss “Lit Up” for the closer, and it was what it was. There was no encore, and the lights were turned up immediately.
Buckcherry is a mediocre band that could be good – possibly even great – if they could get past the blinding pursuit of feeding their egos. Hopefully, sometime in the near future, they’ll at the very least be officially introduced to each other.