Hacienda - Taking the stage is a drummer, bass player/vocalist, guitarist and keyboardist. They launch into a rootsy blues-rock sound. It's loud and electric with a nice bite. They are from San Antonio and there is a harder-edged Doug Sahm sound in their somewhere, from what I recall of Sir Douglas Quintet. The keyboards came to life in the second song with that lovely farfisa sound. I was liking it well enough, but like a lot of blues based material, it wasn't truly lifting me to any great heights. I did like the southwestern style they employed. Yet, as the set went on, they mixed in some pretty fierce sounding songs and varied it around a bit. Slowly, I was pulled into their world and really enjoying what they were doing. I was not alone as the good crowd tonight was slowly increasing the volume of their ovations. By set's end, the 100 plus in the crowd gave this band a great ovation. We all had proof that good bands hitting the road can really grow their audience when they have the goods to deliver. Hacienda has certainly got the goods to come back as a headliner next time.
The Greenhornes - I was interested in this show, but had some doubts when I asked myself the simple question of Why? I knew nothing of this band, other than the rhythm section went to work with Brendon Benson and Jack White in the highly celebrated Raconteurs for a couple of albums. I saw that act and enjoyed it. And while the rhythm section was good, they were simply a rhythm section. But with Jack White drumming and Benson doing some solo work, the Greenhornes got back together. The critics were kind to their recent record, so I decided to make the trip to the NE side of H Street. First surprise was that they had a fourth musician on guitar/organ. It was apparent early on that the rhythm section was good. The lead vocalist/guitarist was decent enough, although his stage movements were less than Roky Erickson, maybe closer to that of Kraftwerk. The songs were simple bluesy rock/indie rock styled I would say and frankly were not exactly pulling me in. They hit more of a garage-based rock sound as the set went on and I was enjoying it a bit more. The crowd was respectful, but there was not quite the growth of excitement that was felt during the Hacienda set. I was thinking that it was if this southern Ohio band was working with rejected songs by another southern Ohio band, Guided By Voices. But then I quickly remembered, that Pollard releases every good, bad and indifferent song he writes under GBV or various other guises. But there was a similar sound and inconsistency to GBV, although it was a lower-key approach. At least there were a few high points, but overall, I would like to hear better songs or have something a bit more exciting to grab onto.
Quote of the Night: From Steven Adler's book "My Appetite for Destruction".... Howard Stern asking him the following "How the hell do you get kicked out of Guns'n'Roses for doing drugs?" I think the answer lies in these pages, as even with a co-writer, Adler appears to me to be about the dumbest person I have ever read about. At least he appears to be honest, although I always remind myself of the new adage... Never trust a junkie.