Starting at around 10:30 p.m. January 22, The
Melody Inn's weekly Punk Rock Night was the very definition of an intimate
setting for the sounds of Elky Summers, Neon Love Life and John Rambo and the
Vietnam War. See the Slideshow at the bottom of the post for photos from the night. (Beta Male was also scheduled to play, but cancelled
prior to curtain time.)
four-piece Elky Summers led the way with an organ-flavored rock blend that
hailed from Fort Wayne.
please don't hold that against us," said lead singer Kay.
all girl band got heads nodding right away. The sunshine from early sixties
garage rock shined throughout their performance. By the end of their set, which
incidentally was their best song, the crowd was warmed like an oven.
Neon Love Life took the stage for the first time at Punk
Rock Night and proved why they're among the best live acts you can hope to see
in Indianapolis. Neon Love Life opened for the Reverend Peyton's
Big Damn Band on the Vogue state last year and somehow managed to match the
onstage intensity of that show. The all-girl four-piece rolled
out one memorable, catchy rock 'n roll earworm after another. Days later and
snippets of their many sure-to-be future hit singles still run through my head.
By the final song, no one member was still playing the
same instrument with which they had started the performance. Former Peggy Sues
member Ashley Plummer switched from guitar to drums, while "magic hands"
drummer Tasha Blackman (who is also a massage therapist in Indianapolis) took
over vocal duties. Bassist/vocalist Sharon Rickson and guitarist/vocalist
Lindsey Manfreddi also switched their instruments.
John Rambo and the Vietnam War batted cleanup and proved
more than up to challenge. There was much exotic vocal modulation to go around.
Lead vocals were split between a telephone/loud speaker-like microphone and
another right next to it featuring a clear echo effort. For the second time
that night keyboards graced the stage and added an extra flavor to this otherwise
standard drum/guitar/bass set up.
The band played tight, short songs, which along with the
singing, recall early Talking Heads or Wall of Vodoo. As their name suggests,
they aren't adverse to shocking pop-culture nomenclature.
"Is there any Bobby Knight fans here?" asked the lead
singer. "If there's enough Bobby Knight fans in the house we're going to change
our names to the Bobby Knightmares."