Monday, August 25, 2014

The Time Crashers/The Phenomenauts - the Dive Bar, Saturday August 23, 2014

It's been difficult getting out lately but I've been meaning to see the Time Crashers for ages and had heard good things about the Phenomenauts for even longer, so took a nap and made it down to the Dive Bar.

Unfortunately, the nap meant that I missed Bloody Ale and 3D6 (who I found out includes a friend of mine - but I got their CD, so will review that when I have a moment) but got there just before the Time Crashers broke out from the space/time continuum back into our "present" to party with Las Vegas at the Dive Bar.

Singer Nikola Tesla introduces the band that he put together after inventing time travel and choosing fellow geniuses from the past - the twin guitars of Leonardo da Vinci and Francisco Pizarro, bassist Julius Caesar and drummer Carl Sagan - and off they go into a rampaging set of punk rock tunes about partying through the ages, pizza, Huns, Pompei and much more. Caesar is appropriately a megalomaniac, dancing around and hogging center stage to the extent that Leonardo has to call him out (see below). Great "shtick", great stage presence, fun songs, cool energy, and an all-around good time that had the audience bouncin' along right from the start. Definitely a band to see!

The Phenomenauts followed with an extraordinary stage set up with a bank of keyboards (including a Moog!), custom mic stands, lots of lights, a laser set-up and plenty of smoke! All very dramatic and fun to watch, but difficult to properly photograph and convey! Beyond the beyond visually - besides all of the above, they have matching outfits, a wacked-out bass that has been cut up with a pole added (to make it sorta like a stand-up bass (which apparently they used in the past), they dance around like maniacs and change instruments, and, at one point, they bring out a leaf blower/TP shooter to add to the mayhem!

Musically, they are a mix of poppy-punk and new wave and lots of other craziness. There's a 50's, doo-wop-styled ballad ("Only Chemical") that is backed by only keyboards, a "Great Big Kiss" steal, and a cool dance number, "Broken Robot Jerk", based on the guitarist in the helmet. The crowd loved them - one of the bigger turn-outs I have ever seen at the Dive Bar, even for major bands - and obeyed them when exhorted to crouch down, pogo, or what-have-you.

Great night at the Dive Bar, who continues to book a healthy variety of music (the night before was country/punk/rock/whatever) and this night even kept the number of bands to a reasonable amount, which meant a decent end time. Kudos all around!