Despite what many critics may tell you, a music review is inherently
a reflection of the author's state of mind. This is especially
true when you're talking about the concert experience: no matter
how objective you might feel, everything that's going on in
your head will influence how you perceive a show. The best you
can do is acknowledge what's going on and then move on from
With that in mind, let's just state up front that I was not
in a good place for this concert. First off, I was slightly
ill, having woken up that morning with no voice and a sore throat.
Second, I'd had a heavy meal, which left me tired and a little
out of it. Finally, I was mentally sorting through some things,
questioning my judgment in human interactions and feeling somewhat
vulnerable. In other words, I had no business being out in public.
But other Minions really wanted to see this show and as I had
no plans, I figured why not?
The only thing I knew about the opening band, Dixie Witch,
was that they hailed from Denton, TX -- home of my current favs,
Centro-Matic, as well as the
always interesting Slobberbone. So I suppose I was thinking
this band might be similar in sound to those others. But they
weren't. Instead of playing a twang with an emphasis on the
songwriting, Dixie Witch harkened back to the 70s with a sound
that recalls Black Sabbath or one of those classic hard rock
bands (back before hard rock became hair metal). It's a sound
without illusion -- there were no effects to cover up the pounding
drums and screaming guitar. There was no choirboy prettiness
to the singing. There was just the music, and the masses of
people in The Star Bar getting totally into it, thereby proving
that every man of a certain age doe indeed have an inner headbanger.
Me? I wasn't as totally into it, but I have to confess that
it was certainly fun, and the musicians themselves seemed to
be having the most fun overall.
Fun, I suppose, is also the best way to describe Catfight!
As I've stated before, I don't think Catfight! is the most original
of bands; you can clearly hear the classic punk and garage rock
influences behind their music. Several people I know can't stand
the band; they think the lyrics are a little too obvious, the
sexuality is too played up, and the musicianship isn't the best.
Whether or not any of that is true, it's also clear that Catfight!
is one of those bands that always seems to have a good time
when they play. And the audience always seems to get into their
Shangri Las via The Ramones take on romance and cars.
Still, after the energy and spectacle of Dixie Witch, I was
tired. If Catfight! had been overwhelming, I could have been
convinced to stay. But I had seen them in the
recent past and the set list was largely the same (as it
has been for years, pretty much). So despite the obvious good
time occurring on and around the stage, I decided to give into
my overall malaise, and about halfway through their quick set,
I headed home for the evening.