Goddam Gallows, Gallows Bound, Raw Dogs, Time Crashers at the Dive Bar Sunday Oct 16,2016
Sunday nights are tough for any touring band, and especially so in Las Vegas, where we rarely get a touring band on a Friday or Saturday night. But this bill blew in a major crowd to the Dive Bar, despite the gale force winds blowing outside.
Opening the evening were local chronological continuance travelin' rockers, the Time Crashers. Led by Nikola Tesla, who created a machine to breach the space/time continuum in order to gather some of history's most potent musicians - Leonardo DaVinci on guitar, Carl Sagan on drums and a new, female member of the tribe, 17th century swordswoman and opera singer,Julie d'Aubigny on bass. All fine players, who flail, riff and rock behind Tesla's stories of the future and the past, of the Planet of the Apes (with a section of the Dickies' "You Drive Me Ape" within) and Bill'n'Ted's Excellent Adventure - even referencing "God Gave Rock'n'Roll To You". Always a fun time!
Touring band, the Raw Dogs, were up next - a mix of crusty punks and psychobilly - trashy clothes and goth makeup, along with face tattoos - who played a version of hardcore punk with stand up bass. The singer was highly animated in the extreme and the bassist was a bare-footed wildman, as well, even playing while standing on the bass. Oddly, their set included a drum solo and bass solo and ended with the 60's classic "Stand By Me", initially done pretty straight and then jetting into hard core gear. Not really my cup of tea musically but certainly entertaining.
From Winchester, Virginia came Gallows Bound, who are on a cross country tour with Goddam Gallows and fittingly so. This combo consists of drums, stand-up bass, 2 acoustic guitars, banjo and mandolin and create a potent brew of high energy bluegrass with excellent playing all around (I was especially impressed by the banjoist, Justin), great harmonies (male and female guitarists, Jordan and Jesse did lead vocals while mandolinist Forrest and bassist Aaron contributed) and a drivin' beat by drummer Rob. The songs are top-notch, as well, with a nice variety of sounds (Aaron would occasionally bow his stand up for added effect), and they had a fun, though not frivolous, stage show. My personal highlight of the night!
Headliners, the Michigan-based Goddam Gallows and a wild'n'wooly 5 piece, with a hard core drummer, a psychobilly stand-up bassist, an accordion/washboard player who looked like he escaped from GoGo Bordello (with "this machine kills careers" on his accordion and a bow tie on his washboard) and two tattoo'd, punk rock, multi instrumentalists. Again, these cats throw just about everything they can think of into their musical blender for a sound combining bluegrass (the banjo and mandolin was superlative), country, rockabilly, gypsy and hard core punk rock (principally when they let their drummer "Baby Genius" escape from behind his kit - with accordionist TV taking his place - to do some lead screamin'). After over 13 years on the road, these maniacs still have an excess of energy - particularly TV, who interacted with the audience throughout the entire set - along with a backlog of innumerable songs and a desire to entertain - themselves as well as the crowd! They kept the Dive Bar packed and moshin' well into the wee hours of the morning!
Once again, thank you to the fantastic crew at the Dive Bar, especially Nate'n'Angie, along with unsung hero of the club, soundman John Kirby, who can always regale you with tales of his past or of groovy bands/records/shows that you need to know about!