Someone call the doctor: Steven McDonald has Spider Fever!
It's a good thing Redd Kross opted to grace Seattle with a free show as I had exactly $3.50 in my pocket when they played Chop Suey this past Friday. As soon as I heard they were coming, I RSVP'ed through the Sailor Jerry website, and I was good to go, though Thee Oh Sees gig at AllSaints in July was an even better deal, since two drink tickets were part of the package. Don't get me wrong, I'm not looking a gift horse in the mouth—au contraire!—it's just that when you're poor, every penny counts, so no drinks for me, which was just as well. I wasn't feeling all that great as I'd been up since 5:30am, worked till 7:30pm, and my eyes were bothering me. Fortunately, Redd Kross improved my mood considerably, so it's too bad some guy had to call me a "bitch" on the way home (he thought I looked like I could use some company; he was wrong). Oh well. Can't win 'em all!
More pics and blather below. Nice to see Travis Ritter, but I missed Kelly O...
Dante Vs. Zombies. I wouldn't say they sounded anything like Redd Kross, but they made for a sympathetic match. With their surf-garage sound, warbly front man Dante Adrian White, and groovy '60s look, they're the kind of band that Get Hip or Dionysus used to sign back in the day. Naturally, they're from Los Angeles.
A lot of short folks were circling the stage—and I'm not so tall myself—so I had a hard time getting pictures of anyone but Steven, but that's more of an observation than a complaint, since the guy's so much fun to watch (and I'd rather not ask people to move if I can help it). Given the chance to enter a time machine to catch the teenaged Redd Kross, I wouldn't hesitate. I doubt Steven's stage presence has changed much over the years. Unbridled enthusiasm.
Unless I missed it—I miss things when I'm tired—the band didn't play KISS's "Deuce," though at least one person requested it. Steven made up for it by pulling a lot of Gene Simmons faces, which was amusing, but I would've needed a faster trigger figure to catch some of those goggle-eyed expressions. Though they did play "Blow You a Kiss in the Wind," someone continued to call out for it. I guess he needed to hear it again, assuming he was around for the first go-round.
I could've swore Jeff's pants were red, so I'm not sure why my camera rendered them yellow. In any case, the first thing he said when he got on stage was, "Man, it's hot." Not the kind of thing So-Cal natives tend to say about Seattle, but it was pretty warm, and I'm sure the stage lights exacerbated the situation.
Nonetheless, he kept that argyle sweater vest on the whole time. Hardly a practical move, but I admired his tenacity—once a punker, always a punker; "punk" just takes on a different meaning with time. As he's gotten older, Jeff has started to look like Ray Davies, so I found it hard not to flash on the Kinks' "Dedicated Follower of Fashion" (plus, they have that whole brother thing in common). I also noticed—not for the first time—that Jeff sometimes sounds like Paul Lynde, which is funny, considering his obsession with '70s pop culture (a friend thinks he looks more like Al "Grandpa Munster" Lewis, and he isn't completely off-base).
Unlike Ray and Dave Davies, Jeff and Steven seem to share a tighter bond, although I may be selling the former short (I couldn't say whether their famously fractious relationship was ever as bad as the press made it out to be). I just sensed a lot of chemistry between these two, decades after they first emerged from the garage with punk moves, pop sounds, and an everything's-groovy attitude. Aside from a healthy dose of Neurotica and Researching the Blues treats—"We love the new stuff!" someone yelled— it was touching to see Jeff and Steven sharing mics to nail down those Beatlesesque harmonies they do so well.