Wednesday night’s show at the Jackpot was not for the faint at heart. Four very loud bands took the stage, each progressive and aggressive.
I love dirty garage rock, and Ponyboy is about as dirty as it gets. The local duo features a drummer and a screamy little bass player. I love bands that do more with less, which is why I love garage rockers who usually play with little more than a fuzzy bass guitar.
The songs were overflowing with self-loathing, and had titles such as “God Hates Your Feelings.” Don’t expect this band to clean up their act anytime soon. They told me they’re currently scoring the music for a Buck Angel porno.
This Is My ConditionI feel like This Is My Condition gained some new fans tonight. Instead of playing onstage, Craig Comstock set up shop in the front window, his guitar perched on top of his drum set. As he clanged away on both instruments with his drumsticks, the one-man music madhouse impressed. A tight, cheering crowd gathered around to watch, and some folks were even stepping outside to yell at their friends who were on a smoke break, yanking them back in to see one hell of a show.
MansionBack on the other side of the room, Mansion took the stage in all their mind-blowing glory. The band almost always dims the lights, and those with long locks of hair use it to cover their faces. That way, you’re left with just the sheer and stupefying rock music.
Despite not being able to see the band very well, Mansion is really something you have to experience. It’s one 20-minute song after another, and it launches you into another dimension. I’ve always said that watching Mansion feels like watching your buddies rock out with each other, having the time of their lives. In fact, if I were to play in a band, I’d want to play with Mansion. It’s music that’s fun to listen to AND fun to play. Their songs are simple, but addictive, and if I don’t get my Mansion fix every few weeks, it could get ugly. They are by far my favorite rockers in Lawrence.
Harvey MilkWhen heavy rockers Harvey Milk started playing, the venue was rich with body odor and headbanging. The powerful growling vocals over steady and demanding beats commanded the headbanging army, throwing them into a sweaty daze. It was a real treat to watch the legendary band, and I thoroughly enjoyed the awe-inspiring guitar solos.
Those long, growling lyrics almost felt like a foreshadow of intimidating and wicked things to come. Each song they played grew more frightful and stunning than the one before. This was spine-tingling rock in it’s pure, true and stripped-down form.