Wednesday, April 9, 2008
The Woggles and the Swinging Neckbreakers, Arlene's Grocery, 4/4/08
The Woggles show was short, fast and fun. Fun because they're always fun, but short and fast because Arlene's has this typical Manhattan-venue attitude about which The Professor was expounding before the show started ("The guy in charge says, 'I don't care when you start as long as you're off by 10:40.' We only get that in the city, we don't get that anywhere else. And then afterwards we get, 'If I had known you were gonna be this good, I woulda said, play longer.' What can you do.").
So the boys went on about 10:05 and kicked their usual ass. I don't know how they do it. And I speak as someone who gets the phrase "I don't know how you do it" thrown at me at least twice a week by friends and acquaintances whenever I go out or talk about my calendar for the week. Honestly -- I don't know how they do it. But damn, do they ever. Even tonight, when they played like half to two-thirds of their normal set list, and didn't go out into the audience as much as they usually do, they kicked ass. (They did climb up on the bar, though. Haven't seen them do that in a while.)
On a sad note, the two pictures below are of the Flesh Hammer, who usually tosses his guitar in the air and catches it at the close of the show. Tonight? He missed it, and it fell on the floor, breaking off the neck. My friend Mark was horrified. "That's a 1956 Silvertone!" he said in the same tone of voice I used to use on my brothers whenever they bent back the covers of my comic books.
I stuck around for the Swinging Neckbreakers show, and like every other time I've seen them, the lead vocals took second place to the lead guitar. Which is great, if you're into lead guitar, but the contrast to The Woggles' up-front vocals makes for a totally different energy with the audience.
When the Neckbreakers play, if you don't know the words, you're screwed, because you're never going to hear them when they perform live. When the Woggles play, that door is always open because the vocals are always audible over the guitars and drums.
Seeing the Woggles? You can sing along. Seeing the Neckbreakers? You can play air guitar. That's the difference.