Cobra Skulls - Well, I am glad the Black Cat had the advance ticket price discount as it prompted me to buy early. And since there was nary a ticket left for anyone to pay full price, it was essential tonight. Up first is a power trio playing a gutsy power-pop punk set of songs, not unlike the upcoming Zeros. Something tells me they don't call the Reno scene Skeeno anymore, but it is nice to see they are still putting out accessible punk bands like this. A bit on the ska side at times with vocals that remind me of Gogol Bordello. Nice fun set.
Teenage Bottlerocket - This is probably the first band I have heard from Laramie, Wyoming and so far, Laramie is one for one. This 2-guitar four-piece really kicked up a storm of fast-paced pop-punk that reminded me of the Dickies, Ramones and Street Dogs. They had a bit of humor without being too nutty and pretty much kept the music coming fast and furious. Aside from the annoying flash photographer running around on-stage, this was a rock-solid entertaining set. It goes to show that once again, doing something simple can be extremely effective. The rapidly filling club seemed to agree.
Me First and the Gimme Gimmes - The Swingin' Utters singer fronts this all-star line-up with members of NOFX, Foo Fighters, and Lagwagon. They have a simple business plan, they only play cover songs in their pop-punk style. There albums all follow a theme (country, show tunes, etc.) but the show tonight featured samples of many genres. They kind of remind me of when I was young and a guitarist friend and I tried to determine which rock songs punked out best (Neil Young's "Heart of Gold" was our top pick). This is of course a fun approach when done well, which they did. Ironically after commenting on Harburg-Arlen recently, I get a cover of "Somewhere over the Rainbow" tonight. The band is good as expected and they were happy not to make too many mistakes on their songs, and thus turn into one of those awful Replacements shows in the 80s. Unlike the Replacements, they reminded people they don't take requests, but they play cover songs (improve them as they say and often are correct). Their stage patter was funny about half the time but got a bit tiring, but that's a minor complaint that they would likely agree with. They started changing their set list around a lot at the end, so much so that the soundman took his copy, folded it into a paper airplane, and sailed it into the happy crowd. And with that, I sail away as well...
Set List: Danny's Song/Somewhere Over the Rainbow/Riders in the Sky/Who put the Bomp/Sloopy?/Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard/Jolene/All My Lovin/Summertime/Tomorrow/Science Fiction/End of the World/Blowin' in the Wind/Seasons in the Sun/Desperado/Nobody Does it Better/Country Road/Mandy/Don't Let the Sun go Down on Me/Stairway to Heaven/I Believe I can Fly
Quote of the Night: From Me First... "We are no one's favorite band. But how can you not like us?"