Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Heiz, Franks & Deans and the Psyatics at the Double Down, Friday Nov 25, 2016

I couldn't make it out for every night of the Double Down Anniversary Weekend, but had to make it out for this amazing line up!

I have been thwarted by the fates from seeing one of my fave local bands, the Psyatics, for some reason and tonight was almost no exception. While they were scheduled to play third, I still came down early to see all of the bands but due to the lack of parking (the club was packed this evening) and a surprise set time change, I showed up several songs into their set. Still, they sounded better than ever with "new" drummer Mark Bartschi kicking things into high gear with his excellent, snappy rolls'n'fills while guitarist Jack provided plenty of noise'n'intricate licks (while playing up to the audience at every chance) and Rob completed the mix with rolling bass lines and his sharpy sardonic lyrics. They received an amazing reaction from the jammed crowd for their originals and their cover of Pink Floyd's "Pigs"! Excellent start to the evening.

Franks and Deans have been touring the West Coast with the Heiz and were tighter than ever with their set of punk rock versions of standard tunes - as if Jello Biafra and Joey Ramone had been part of the Rat Pack! Lots of Ska influences, as well, along with plain, old fashioned rock'n'roll, as when they got up punk rock stalwart Hanson to play harp on "Mess Around". Of course, the lovely Nickole Muse added her unique visual interpretations to the tunes, as well.

All the way from Japan, Double Down favorites, the Heiz, returned for the anniversary weekend. This three piece - Shaku on guitar, Watanabe on bass and Kimura on drums - play a mix of Ramones-styled punk rock and 50's and 60's rock'n'roll. Playing the opening instrumental with their backs to the audience for some reason, they then blasted into a high-energy set with all members flailing about while still playing great and singin'n'shoutin' their hearts out. All members sang lead at times - though Shaku is the mainman - including Kimura doing a Ramones-y medley of "Do You Wanna Dance" and "Let's Dance" as well separate songs about starving (appropriately titled, "I'm Starving", from what I could gather) and pizza. Other highlights included "Heartbreak Hotel", Sean Cassidy's "That's Rock'n'Roll", a surfy/Link Wray medley and I believe the final was "Back in Vegas".

Super stylish - certainly among the best dressed bands to ever play the DD - and super players, they totally understand what rock'n'roll is all about - songs and presentation - and come to entertain. I've been meaning to see this combo for years and am glad I finally did. Don't miss the chance if they come to your town - they are a big barrel of rock'n'roll fun!