d. biddle bass player Jonathan Till enjoys a moment in the limelight. Actually, I think those are those industrial-strength lights they sell at hardware stores for working at night. Either way, hes enjoying it.
Somehow Ive managed to miss seeing d. biddle before this night, despite the groups rep as a killer live act with strong material. And if I would have been just a little later, I might have missed them again. Luckily, that didnt happen, because the set I saw convinced me these guys deserve every accolade Ive heard about them, plus a few more: They cast big shadows, as seen here.
Guitarist Jeff Davenport might look like the mellowest member of d. biddle
But hes not afraid to put the pedal to the metal when needed. His guitar work is solid and he brings his share of the rock.
I met the worlds biggest Strawberry Alarm Clock fan at this show. He must have mentioned his love for the band at least six times. He really wanted me to see his tattoo. And it was his birthday, which explains the charmingly drunken behavior.
d. biddle frontman Duncan Barlow is just the kind of leader every band needs. Hes charismatic, intense and just a little crazy. Thats the holy trinity of rock.
Barlow ended the set on his knees, with his back to the audience. He was shaking his guitar and, as far as I could tell, playing it with his teeth. It was a fittingly energetic end to a dynamic, exciting set.
In between sets I narrowly missed being drenched in this errant beer. No one wanted to claim it, but the guy in Converse did ask me for this picture to use as his new MySpace profile photo.
Before long we were up close and personal with Astrophagus singer/guitarist Jason Cain. Starting off with a solo acoustic number before most of the crowd even realized things had started, he quickly commanded their attention with his rough, emotive voice and plaintive-sounding guitar.
The source of Astrophaguss power is revealed when drummer Dave Kurtz allows his infernal energy to leak from his eyes.
Bassist Chris White goes vertical while Carrie Breeder waits patiently until her virtuosic violin is called for again.
Once the full band got rolling, the energy level went through the roof. Playing a set comprised of the majority of the new album For Boating it was a CD release show after all Astrophagus, including guests Carrie Breeder on violin and Matt Fox on lap steel guitar, started strong and just got better as the night went on.
If you can read upside down, this should give you a pretty good idea of what we heard that night. If not, and you want to know, you really should have come down.
Jason Cain managed to nearly knock himself out and gash his head open at the end of his set. Ive heard of pouring your blood, sweat and tears into something, but I hadnt seen it literally enacted before this.
The blood has been cleaned up but Jasons still a little woozy. Still, hes laughing about it so its probably only a mild concussion
The roller derby girls must love Astrophagus because of the bands willingness to bleed for its art. Or maybe they just love the killer songs and moody atmosphere as much as I do. Hard to say, and I couldnt ask because, frankly, these girls scare the hell out of me.