JEFF the Brotherhood, Male Bondage, The Brothers Gross
The Hoosier Dome
Tuesday, November 20
It seemed like JEFF the Brotherhood's show Tuesday at the Hoosier Dome was going to be a good, but standard, club gig.
But when drummer Jamin Orrall set off a fog machine just before he and his guitarist/singer brother Jake launched into one of their many Motorhead-meets-The Cars sprints, you just knew you were going to get your money's worth.
The Nashville, Tenn.-based siblings have been touring heavily in support of their Warner Bros. debut, this year's Hypnotic Nights. It's clear why the mammoth label gave JEFF the Brotherhood creative control over their music. Despite being young twentysomethings, the brothers Orrall have been writing, performing and producing their own music since being in high school (they also were part of the buzz band Be Your Own Pet).
If they aren't inciting pogoing with speedily and loose ferocity, they're damaging senses with a mildly-danceable hirsuteness, like if Weezer had never left the parents' basement they may have practiced in. JEFF closed their hour-long set with a reverb-drenched psychedelic jam that made the fog machine even more of an appropriate accoutrement.
But even that wouldn't totally lift a performance of this type beyond the pabulum level if not for an energetic, all-ages crowd. This performance had one of the best of those I've seen in this city in a while. Sure, it essentially was the attendees skewing well below the audience's median age who fish danced and slammed into each other. But they provided as much visual entertainment as the performer for older viewers who are either too body-busted to engage in such antics or don't have the health insurance to even consider it.
At one point attendees requested Nirvana's "Something in the Way" for some reason. JEFF the Brotherhood said they didn't really know how to play the song, but tried a slower, careful version anyway. The concert-goer who led the charge for the cover took the stage and sang a verse and chorus that managed to convey multiple levels of emotion. Then he belly-flopped into the crowd.
"Thank you sir, that was interesting," Jake said into his microphone afterward.