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Big Bear and Child Bite put out a split 7" (green vinyl with killer artwork and it's only 4 bucks, fucking buy it already) and this was the record release show. It was also the beginning of their tour together. Aaaand if you went to this show, you got a free copy of the 7". Fuck. YES. Nothing so sweet as the words "free Big Bear 7"."
Anyway, The Gondoliers kicked the show off. Normally I'm not a big fan of bands with gimmicks, unless those gimmicks are awesome (The Locust, Harry & The Potters). The Gondoliers have been added to that list of exceptions. They were two guys on drums and guitar (with a shit ton of pedals), wore all white clothes, pitch black shades with words written on them (one said "Never" the other said "Quit!"), and kingly crowns that lit up. Of course, all the lights were turned out in the place, forcing them to play by halo-light. They didn't utter a single word to the audience. Instead, in between every few songs they had a computer recite in a Speak-N-Spell type voice little speeches they wrote that said something about how the governing party of The Gondoliers were not up for re-election and how even though they were quitting, it wasn't actually like quitting because they were letting Big Bear and Child Bite get their thing done (aka Palin's dumbass shit). Well, their shtick really got to me and I thought they were great. Not to mention their ridiculously awesome music. It wasn't anything super original but they did the math rock/sludge/metal/pop thing really well. Kinda reminded me if Torche was a duo and really into Don Cab. So it was pretty fucking great.
I skipped out for a bit and didn't see Ketman. Not that I'm all that disappointed. They're not really my kinda thing anyway.
Child Bite was up next and although I'd heard plenty about them and their "next big thing" status, I hadn't actually heard anything of theirs before I went to this show. I really enjoyed them. They had tons of energy to match their mostly-danceable punk rock fun. The bassist looked like a metal mix of Cheech and Chong and had massive hair that could not be contained by his hat. For some reason, he kept putting his hat back on and no matter how many times he did, his repeated head banging knocked it right off again. Kind of hilarious to watch. Also hilarious? The guitar/joystick solo duel. The lead singer had an arcade style joystick hooked up so it made crazy electronic sounds whenever you moved it around and pressed buttons. Kinda cheesy, mostly awesome.
And to finish off the night, Big Bear slayed, as always. This was the first time I'd seen them live where I was standing in front of Joanna playing the keyboard so it was weird to actually hear her. For some reason I always end up in front of Joel and all I can ever hear is his crazy guitar. Not at this show. They played 3 new songs (new as in not on their brand new record, which is self released and now available at their shows and you should buy because it's fucking great and you've been waiting years for it to come out). Those 3 new ones kind of sound like Big Bear's take on pop music. Which is fucking weird as shit and makes me think that Big Bear isn't quite as big as they used to be. If they keep heading in this direction, they'll end up being Regular Sized Bear. Which is fine by me. I love bears of all sizes. And their new sound is still awesome stop-n-start loudness.
Like I said, they just started their tour together so if they're coming your way, you best get out and see them. I'm fortunate because I get to see Big Bear pretty much whenever I want. You might not be so lucky. So take the chance to see them. And buy their new album and 7". Great stuff all around, I assure you.