Friday, June 1
Last month, Erin Mullen saw the light when a show she produced with IndyMetal.com at Zanies Too, featuring Devil to Pay and Louisville’s Glasspack, was a tremendous success. Hooking up with local marketing/booking hotshot Brooke Klejnot, the two found a perfect venue for regional and national metal.
So they brought in Blue Cheer, and what a statement they made. The house was packed beginning to end on Friday, June 1, as local openers Necropharmacon, Redhorse and Whiskeytits took the crowd on a hard joyride before Blue Cheer rocked the house. Redhorse, an abusively aggressive outfit, rightly stands alongside Devil to Pay as Indiana’s best bong metal outfit. The band turned in a blistering set as fast and tight as it was dark and sludgy.
Making a definitive statement on using a Rickenbacker as a metal guitar, Whiskeytits’ twin guitar attack was thrilling to behold, as was Bob Peele’s thick and dirty bass work. But the real wonder in Whiskeytits was Nate Olp, who, freed of the bass guitar that he is saddled with in his day job with Demiricous, proved himself a stunner. Providing just the right mix of Jagger swagger and Iggy slither, he had girls down front dancing — no mean feat for a Southern rock band these days.
Headliners Blue Cheer performed next, and literally blew everyone away. Playing so loud it was physically assaulting to be within 10 feet of the stage, the old codgers took their brand of psychedelic blues and showed us young’uns how they came up with the formula for heavy metal. Paul Whaley’s power drumming and Dickie Peterson’s lysergic, drenched bass lines served as jump off points for Andrew “Duck” MacDonald’s extended guitar romps.
Case in point: During “Second Time Around,” Whaley suddenly broke into a tribal beat, joined by an atonal, yet funky bass line from Peterson, which served as a launch pad for a face-melting solo by MacDonald. It was a breathtaking ride as Blue Cheer stuck with material mostly from their first two albums and displayed every cliché that heavy metal has to offer — from taking 20 minutes to end every song to a bona fide drum solo. But since they invented it, it’s OK.