Jackrabbits, Jacksonville, FL • May 1, 2009
A band doesn’t need a lot of people to make a whole lot of noise. That seemed to be the theme of this sparsely-attended Mayday show in Jacksonville.
Opening band Tweak Bird fully demonstrated this adage with the simple setup of two brothers playing guitar and drums. With the drummer arranging his kit sideways, the crowd got a spectacular view of a drummer on fire, hitting every piece of the kit, looking like he was giving a drum seminar. This reporter’s only complaint was the relative lack of use of his big Doobie Brothers gong. I mean, you’re lugging that thing across the country, you oughta be hitting it every couple of minutes with a flaming drumstick or something.
While all this was going on, the other brother effortlessly tossed off riffs which referenced the best of ’70s rock, with occasional spacey psychedelic effects. The whole performance made me want to drive a muscle car.
Big Business, newly a trio, seemed tentative at first, as if adjusting to the sound of the club. While they didn’t really seem to warm up until about halfway through the set, once they did, drummer Coady Willis started giving the Tweak Bird drummer a run for his money. Big Business’ set consisted mostly of material off the newest album, but a couple older songs, such as “Hands Up” got the crowd… ok, so they didn’t exactly get the crowd moving. About the only movement from the crowd seemed to be frantic texting. Seriously, you’re in front of two powerful, sludgy rock bands beating the unholy living shit out of their drum kits and you’re looking down at your phone texting someone? What the hell are you saying? “Hey, I’m missing some awesome rock ‘n’ roll texting this 2 U. LOL?”
Still, both bands made the best of the situation and delivered some amazingly tight, powerful rock, with Big Business ending with a weird three-part vocal harmony thing that was pretty awesome. Now if the crowd could have just looked up at it for a couple of minutes…
Big Business: www.bigbigbusiness.com