Thursday, 8 July 2010

446 QUICK FIX, AMERICAN HI-FI, Weed Inc. Bills Bar, Boston MA USA, Thursday 25 May 2000

A trip to Q today! EdV takes the morning off his new job to show a couple of Brits around the new premises of his old job! Very much "work in progress", but it's seriously spacious compared to the old place. A bit of suitcase moving for Rachel and myself, then a trip to Harvard Square for a seriously good meal at The Border Cafe, rounded off by our first trip to Fenway Park to take in some baseball! The Red Sox lose 11-6 to Toronto, but at least we're in the right neighbourhood for the gig, which backs onto the ballpark!

Get into the venue just as Weed Inc. took the stage at 10. They played some turgid and nondescript stadium pop at times, but were enlivened by some occasionally racier stuff. They didn't totally win me over - I was too busy investigating the free jellybeans, courtesy of tonight's sponsors - but they did have one sparkling pop tune in "Million Dollar Babies". EdV then turns up with Sterlings vocalist Patrick Emswiler in tow, along with his girlfriend. EdV's own girlfriend Carrie and friend Kate also arrive, and look after our coats in our booth while we make our way through the half-full venue (Rumble Finals tonight, you see) to take our positions down the front, stage right, for a bit of a treat!

American Hi-Fi, the band featuring EdV's roommate Jamie Arentzen, former Tracy Bonham bassist Drew Parsons (who I'm glad to say remembered me from the 1996 UK shows!) and former Letters To Cleo drummer turned pretty boy vocalist/ guitarist Stacy Jones (who didn't), were up next - and they were no less than brilliant. Bursting onstage, they played easily the most soaring, exciting and goddamn ROCK set since The Pit. Bright and dynamic, with huge power chords and breathless speeding choruses, they recalled Foo Fighters (a bit of an obvious comparison), The Wannadies, and even the band Gigolo Aunts could/would have been if they'd hit the "rock" button, rather than "mellower pop", post-"Flippin' Out". Stacy thought they were a little "off colour" in conversation afterwards, but it really didn't show. We rocked out and had the sweat to show for an excellent set.

Chats with the boys after their set, plus a few words with the visiting Tom Polce, before we take the same stage front position for Quick Fix. Featuring former Tracy Bonham drummer, the voluminously-maned Shayne Phillips, da Fix had a superb stage presence from all 3 members; Shayne, leaping bass player Paul Natale, and vocalist Jake Zavracky, a very very tall man indeed. Musically, they tended towards the stadium Goth of The Cult a little too often for my tastes, and Jake's posturing and, "hands up if you like to fuck!" proclamations were a little out of kilter with the rest of this Boston rock scene. However, at their best (which was still very very often) they recalled the sexy sleazy and sinister glam punk of Placebo, particularly during "Flo Jo" and the albeit-overlong "Soul Sister". I'll grant them one thing; they're absolutely superb performers, you couldn't take your eyes off them!

More quick chats with the Hi-Fi guys, plus Toirm, EdV's old roommate from my last trip (who was a little surprised to see me, to say the least) and Charles from Ross Phasor, before heading off at 1 am, Rachel successfully hailing a cab first time while I faffed around trying to pick up a dime off the floor!

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