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Review: Punk Rock Night (Jan. 22)

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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.)

The

four-piece Elky Summers led the way with an organ-flavored rock blend that

hailed from Fort Wayne.

"But

please don't hold that against us," said lead singer Kay.

The

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."