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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Travis Morrison Hellfighters Were Really Good

posted by on March 18 at 11:12 AM

It’s a bummer that there weren’t more people at the Sunset last night to witness how good they were. I blame St. Patrick’s Day. And the fact that it was a Monday. But there were only a few dozen folks scattered throughout the bar, and most of them stood fairly still, keeping their distance from the stage, despite the fact the band was pouring out hip-shakeable beats song after song.

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Morrison sipped red wine during the set; he was friendly with the audience and they were friendly back. He talked about how some Fremont home-owner yuppies broke into their van earlier yesterday afternoon and stole their GPS. “Don’t they already have three?” he asked. “Or maybe it was some ho,” he wondered. He has Fremont pegged.

The band stuck to mostly new material, which sounded really great. I was a bit disappointed by Morrisonís first solo release, Travistan (okay, I was very disappointed), but the recent Barsuk album Hey Ya’ll is pretty awesome. It’s got the fun funk of the D-Plan (and of course his smooth sing/talk voice), with a harder rock punch in a lot of the songs. They also get a little more experimental with the percussion—cowbell, bongos, other little gadgets I don’t know the name of. The only complaint I have about the live show is that Morrison was the only personality on stage. Everyone else, focused on their instruments, weren’t engaging at all.

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Still, they played “As We Proceed,” “Henriette,” “You Make Me Feel Like a Freak,” all my favorites, and Morrison had a smile on his face the whole time, dancing with himself and his guitar. He makes some great faces while he plays. The bassist was my favorite, though. He wore his guitar high on his torso, like a classic funk player. He bobbed his head back and forth and sucked in his bottom lip, eyes closed a lot of the time. He was grooving in his own world.

I just wish it was a sweaty, sticky, dance-party mess. I vote he plays Club Pop next time. The Hellfighters music is meant to be danced to.

You can hear Hey Ya’ll, the Travis Morrison Hellfighters album, in it’s entirety at www.travismorrison.com.

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It's a scientific fact that it's impossible to get a party started while sipping red wine.

Maybe next time he needs to pound a few beers and people will take his party-starting abilities more seriously.

Posted by bunnypuncher | March 19, 2008 2:41 AM

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