Graveyard BBQ @ Ace Of Clubs (7/25/2008)

I caught the guys in Graveyard BBQ not too long ago when they hit town for a show at Arlene’s Grocery. Tonight they would be a part of a mega show down at Ace Of Clubs (which is below a restaurant I always find time to visit for brews and great Cajun food). Readers who want to see more can scroll past the logo.

Logo - Graveyard BBQ

Artist: Graveyard BBQ
Venue: Ace Of Clubs (New York, NY)
Opener: n/a
Date: 7/25/2008
Label: Dirtcore Records

The Graveyard BBQ returned to NYC in the middle of the summer heat wave that was hitting us and based on my previous experience with the group I knew that the already warm evening was going to get a whole lot hotter. Having caught the band very recently and written up some comments when they last rolled into town from way down South (Waltham Massachusetts), I knew what to expect from them and was looking forward to seeing them in a different venue setting. The last time was at Arlene’s Grocery, a place I rather like, but tonight would be The Ace Of Clubs which is a downstairs club from one of my favorite Cajun restaurants “Acme”. I hit the upstairs bar for a cold pint of the house brew and then went down into the basement club to get ready to Rock and was happy to report that the BBQ Nation was in full force once again. The guys don’t just get onstage and jam and instead choose to decorate the stage with headstones and banners that leave you remembering who you just saw. For me this is a welcome change to say the least and brings a better visual for the performance. When we last heard from The BBQ, they had come to NYC to do some showcasing for labels and management folks and according to those in the know they had done well in their eyes and were getting additional glances on this second go round. They were the second of five bands and when I arrived I had found out that this was actually the CD release gig for the headlining band Hung, but more on them later. The BBQ came out on fire and this is one thing that appeals to me most about their dedication. They are out to give you a good time and they also seem to be having a good time themselves.

Brownbag Johnson was ripping up the strings on his axe while Bud Black (bass) and Billy Z Bub (drums) maintained a crushing rhythm section. There was a lot of crowd dialogue from singer “Howlin’” Jack Boone and between what he and Brownbag do in terms of keeping the audience engaged during the set they were winning over a lot of new people tonight. They played a couple of the numbers that I found to be my favorites off of their CD “Greatest Hits Vol. 2” and even managed to toss in a couple of covers for good measure. Tonight’s treats in that area would be the bands rendition of the ACDC classic “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” and ZZ Top’s “Beer Drinkers And Hell Raisers”. I found that the Top tune is a perfect fit for this band and hope that they keep this one in the set list for awhile so others can enjoy it as well. The guys are all about their fans and friends and during “Ride The Stache” we would find one of the lovely BBQ Girls coming up to accompany Jack during the chorus. She also has a powerful voice so kudos to you Jodi BBQ. The downside was that this being an opening slot would mean a shorter set and they would close the gig out in typical Graveyard BBQ fashion by doing the song “BBQ Nation”. During this track we find as many members of the audience that can fit getting up on the stage to dance and sing with them. Knowing that the bands merchandise girl was one of the Nation, I offered to watch the bands schwag so she could get up there and rock with her friends. It was another good time and I am sure that they shall return to these parts soon to entertain us all. Make sure you get there and see what it’s all about. Now as I mentioned, tonight was actually a long series of coolness, so please read on to see what else was brewing.

The Really Cool Other Stuff That Was Happening This Evening:

Resolution 15: These guys had come up third for the night as I had missed the very first band that preceded the BBQ Nation Brothers but since I still had some reserve energy left in me and it was still early I was happy to be able to stick around and see what else was brewing. The band Resolution 15 reminded me of Progressive Metal and Experimental act when it came down to it. They are a conventional Rock outfit with the standard instrumentation but they also have a powerhouse violinist as a part of their lineup in Earl Maneein. He is extraordinary as a player and handles that violin like an electric guitar. Clearly he is not some classical musician who learned to appreciate Metal, but instead a devoted Metal head who learned to use a classical instrument to take his expressions to the next level. Their stuff was fantastic and I snared one of their demo CD’s which I hope to review as time allows. If you are a fan of Progressive Heavy Metal, then this is a band that is right up your alley. After the show Earl mentioned to me that the band was entertaining thoughts of adding a second violinist to the lineup and while I have not seen if this had become the case yet, it is bound to be interesting if it does happen. The band has an independently released self-titled CD available and they kindly gave us a copy which we hope to offer up some commentary on soon for the site. Keep watch for that as new stuff posts.

The Saints of Pain: The Saints Of Pain came out with a different approach altogether and instantly showed me why tonight was so proving to be so interesting. Each band was solid at what they did but each was doing a different kind of stuff and that kept the crowd’s attention. As a band TSoP were more of an Industrial Metal with a twist of Gothic tossed in and while I could be wrong this is what it first struck me as. They are led by singer Lazarus who himself was an imposing individual on the stage based on his size and Metal attitude and the group also features Sixx on guitar, Priest on bass and Uriel on drums. They were quite intense and had the crowd moving but what made their appearance even more interesting was the presence of three go-go girls who strutted and shook their stuff to the music from the moment that the band went onstage. Perhaps it might have been better to offer this seductive visual for the first couple of songs and then the closing tunes as opposed to their entire set, but once the folks in the audience set their gaze on girls like Pariah it was clear that no one seemed to mind the additional activity in front of the band. The band also had a CD available for purchase and it’s entitled “Killing Jar”. The guys passed one on to me for future reference and it is also on the to do pile for the Metal legions to absorb more when I can address it.

Hung: This part saddened me most as I was now extremely exhausted and the hour was late so it was clear that I was not going to be able to stick around for the nights headlining celebrant. I would leave shortly after The Saints of Pain had performed but it was not before I got to talk to and interact with members of Hung to find out more about them and what they did. The band is fronted by Violinist Lyris Hung and the CD they were officially releasing this evening is entitled “Progeny”. She described it as a cross between Death Metal and Progressive Metal and that appealed to me so much that I was sad to be missing them even though I know they shall return soon. I rushed to review the CD and was glad that I did since I found it to be excellent. The downside was that the quality of the music that I had enjoyed made me feel worse for missing them command the stage that evening. I can safely recommend that readers grab their CD and mark dates down on their calendar should the band be hitting their area any time.

All in all tonight’s gig was great and a testimony to why one should not only get to a venue for the band they know or were intent on seeing. My goal was to check out The BBQ guys but by remaining I was treated to a number of other quality bands that I know I shall support in the future. This is how we all best support the scene for the music we enjoy my friends and try to be aware that there are so many talented acts out there that all deserve our attention when we can offer it. Open your minds because the direction that Metal is taking is an ever shifting thing that constantly seems to be surprising its fans. Change is good, especially in these circumstances.

Set List:
1. Graveyard BBQ
2. The Road That Lies Ahead
3. Dirt Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
4. Teaser
5. The Clothes That Make The Man
6. By The Grace Of The Grill
7. Ride The Stache
8. Creamskull Boogie
9. Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers
10. BBQ Nation

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