Last Thursday's main attraction in Atlanta was a great grouping of bands at an unusual venue. The Barreracudas, Crusaders of Love, Ex-Humans, Biters, and The Booze all played Eastside Lounge's tiny, five feet off the ground stage. Seriously, jumping off that thing would be a Randy Savage elbow drop instead of a stage dive. Once I got past how bizarre it was to hang with my friends and see their bands in a totally different kind of venue, I had a blast.
You know the bill is stacked when Adrian and company are curtain-jerking. They played another solid set of newish songs that'll probably be on an upcoming LP.
My new friend Alex (he's going to be on the radio show tomorrow) and the other French guys and girl from Crusaders of Love were fantastic, playing cuts from their Douchemaster LP. They were cool people and a great band to boot. The interview I did with Alex is labeled on my computer as being recorded at 5:30 a.m., and I believe it, as none of us actually slept that night. Hurry back, guys.
Ex-Humans from Brooklyn were next playing basic, three-piece, ass-scorching punk rock. As you can see, former Carbonas and Beat Beat Beat guitarist Josh Martin is their lead singer. The real treat in their set was a guest appearance by Stalkers frontman Andy Animal on a Troggs cover.
On a side note, I tried to interview Andy after the sho but drunkenly forgot to press record. Oops.
After that, the tiny upstairs area of the Eastside Lounge was packed, so I just listened to The Biters and The Booze from downstairs. I could hear them loud and clear.
The Biters continues to crank out great rock and roll that is a cross between early pop-inspired punk like The Boys and the arena-filling rock of Cheap Trick. This was my first time seeing them with Tuk's brother Travis on bass, and they did not miss a beat. Forget any silly hangups you might have about haircuts or these guys' past bands, because The Biters are the real shit.
The Booze closed the party with their tribute act that kind of sounds like The Strokes doing Rolling Stones covers. You're probably right and I'm the only one who hears The Strokes when I see The Booze live. This is definitely a talented group, though, and it never ceases to amaze me that Randy can keep finding guys in Georgia with the Mod look who also are good musicians.
What was it like seeing rock and roll in an environment like the Eastside Lounge? It was way more enjoyable than expected. All of us overgrown punk kids were pretty much the only ones there, and the staff liked us enough to play a Bad Brains DVD for the folks congregated at the bar. Will ESL start having the kind of kickass shows we see at 529? Probably not, but I wish them luck because the more venues catering to our bands, the better.