Sunday, March 03, 2013

The Astaires/All Mod Cons - High Rollers Scooter Rally, The Plaza, Las Vegas

I have certainly never been a mod, though I appreciate their style, mainly because I could never follow all of the rules & regulations - I like a bit more edge &  insanity to my look, as well as my music. But, it is a good look, for those who can pull it off, and the music is generally pretty swinging. The Plaza hosted a High Rollers Weekender and Saturday was the music night, featuring DJ's playing hip 60's tunes and local self-proclaimed mods, the Astaires, as well as a long-running Jam cover band, All Mod Cons.

The Astaires is a trio of young (all right about 20 or younger) Vegas gents who have style galore and a sound that is actually more garage-punk mixed with post-punk than mod, but, as I have raved several times before, have real songs, cool presence and a hard-hitting attack. The mods in attendance showed more open-mindedness than I expected and gave the guys a warm welcome and they received numerous gig offers. Good job all around!

I loved the Jam's first two albums, but was already getting leery of their direction with All Mod Cons, though that is still a good album. I appreciate growth and all, but Weller got a bit more introspective than I care for generally, and I stopped listening. I did get to see them about the time of In The City in Indiana opening for, of all bands, Angel (!), where they were booed by a couple thousand people and applauded by me and 3 others, but they put on a stellar,  amazingly energetic show.

Boston-based All Mod Cons take most of their set from Setting Sons era tunes, (with some earlier stuff, of course) so the set list didn't really knock me out, though they received a good response. The cats are not youngsters (who is anymore, other than the Astaires?!) and with their east-coast look and stockiness, they came off a bit more like wise-guy lawyers than the sleek mods that Weller and Foxton were, and their drummer, who was pretty animated behind the kit, was simply wearing shorts (!), a white shirt and a Union Jack tie. The guitarist did sound like Weller vocally, and tonally everything was pretty much there, but the visual energy was lacking (the bassist would hop a little once in a while, but never lept, as an example).

There were quite a few stylish scooters parked in the back that we explored and it appeared to be a happening event for the mods. As with much r'n'r, it's tough growing old in the mod scene, but I'm glad that the young turks like the Astaires are getting attention, as well.