Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
The Cobbs, Dead Combo
Orlando, Fl June 10, 2007
by Jen Cray
As I waited in the Florida summer sunset heat, dodging desperate fans begging for tickets and vast waves of smoke from cheap cigarettes, the numbing rumble of growling Harleys invaded my ears. Turning my attention to the street I was just in time to catch a six-pack of cool looking black dudes on Harleys. The girl in front of me voiced what I'm sure we all were thinking, "It's the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club." Coincidence, or a well-thought out and well-timed publicity ploy to further entice the already eager sold-out audience for the evening's BRMC concert?
Wasting no time in getting the evening turned on, NYC trio Dead Combo opened the night wide open with 30 minutes of garage metal hypnotism. Looking like a skinny, mole-less Motorhead Lemmy, singer/guitarist Harri Kupianinen may have led the band in terms of the licks and the voice, but the center of this churning beast of a band was drummer Leah. Sitting beneath the lone flashing spotlight, while Kupianinen and bassist Nuuti Kataja hid in the shadows, her movements were dancelike as she brought a sexy element to the already pelvic-enticing guitar rock. Even sexier was Kupianinen's endorsement of illegal downloading and burning, "If you find a copy of our album, burn it and give it to your friends. Or write to me and I'll send you the music- I don't give a shit- just don't get it from itunes, 'cause we've yet to get a check from them! Fuck itunes!"
Philly's The Cobbs don't really need three guitarists to make the psychedelic garage rock they play. It's unnecessary, but it seemed as though their keyboardist just wanted to be doing something on the songs that didn't require his services and so, another guitar part was slipped in. Unless you're Iron Maiden, you don't really need more than two guitars on a song, but whatever. They sounded good, so I can't really complain.
And, once again, it was the drummer whose presence was most beneficial to the performance- his family was there watching, so his smile was big enough to help reflect the lights for me. Though their set got cut short because of too much time spent soundchecking beforehand, they managed to win over some fans and create a great collaborative moment when Peter Hayes (singer/guitarist) of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club came onstage to play harmonica.
The BRMC were quick to begin because they had a two-hour set ahead of them. Two hours, man! I like these guys, but two hours seemed a tad indulgent for a band so still in their prime. Too much so, that after half that time I was ready to call it a night.
Don't get me wrong, they sounded good, but no matter how good you sound when you're barely lit to the point that the crowd (completely sold-out crowd, by the way, even after a free instore performance at Park Ave. Cd's earlier in the day) is basically staring at shadows that sing, an audience is bound to get bored. There was little break between songs, just one bluesy distorted number after the next. It got tiresome.