Speakeasy, Tiger and AT05 at 1515

Speakeasy, Tiger and AT05 at 1515

Although I had pretty much changed my mind about 1515 by the end of Speakeasy, Tiger's too-short set, I had pretty much changed it back thanks to  headliner AT05. Following Speakeasy, Tiger's immaculate performance, AT05 was a reminder that tight, cultivated musicianship (though it certainly helps) does not an awesome band make. 

AT05 was obviously a band of capable musicians, especially the lead guitarist, whose soloing blew my hair back more than a couple of times. But the band's palm-mute heavy, Metallica knock-off sound -- the lead singer, from his vocal intonation to his haircut, obviously owes a debt to James Hetfield -- was repetitive and tedious, and the set was way too long. AT05 made me think of the band that's always playing in the background during the scene in the college movie when the cast is gathered at some rock club (where, improbably, you can hear the characters talking), and the camera cuts to the band's eyelinered frontman (yes, AT05's frontman was wearing eyeliner) long enough for him to pout some bland lyric just before a cut back to the male lead, who says something glib, and then the scene changes.

I wanted the scene to change.

Inadequate venue and unfortunate pairing aside, Speakeasy, Tiger proved to be a diamond in the turd, and it was worth digging through to find it. This, I hope, is a band destined for great things -- it certainly deserves it.

Critic's Notebook

Personal Bias: I'm a sucker for key-tars
Random Detail: During AT05's soundcheck, some drunk yelled, "Freebird!" and the guitarist actually began playing it
By the way: Speakeasy, Tiger plays Bands You Need to Know at the Marquis Theater on Thursday, February 19

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