Tigers & Monkeys
The sky above was dark and gray and I didn’t know if the rain was gonna hold for the last day. There were some electrical problems and the show got off to a late start. But as soon as the music started volts of rock and roll were let loose. This was my favorite day.
Tigers and Monkeys were first. Backed by a stand up drummer like Bobby Gillespie in early Jesus and Mary Chain and lead by a young little lady in great boots the band wielded Stray Cat struts that wanted to get fucked. A little bit nice and a whole lot of naughty they played sexy rock and roll while the singer turned us on with her raspy voiced chants of “She’s not a whore just a tramp- not a tramp just a whore.” Some bands you just know would be good in bed and
Tigers and Monkeys deliver the romp- just don’t expect pillow talk in the morning- by the time the sun comes up they have already exited out the back fire escape.
Next were Sea Ray, a seven-piece so tight and intensity charged that when they really got rollin' they sounded like Motorhead playing Belle and Sebastian songs. I watched and listened as every musician on stage worked his or her instrument to the maximum as the sound all blended into pop perfection. It is so refreshing to see bands coming together like this to create beautiful music as a unit in an age of cheesy processed Kraft-Singles-like-solo-lame-shits appearing on American Idol.
The Natural History are a power pop trio who don’t have time for messing around. Their sweaty songs work it out in the best fashion of Elvis Costello or Joe Jackson in their prime. But instead of being backed by big bands these three guys explode all on their own. The young girls down the front of the stage were digging their intelligent tunes proving there is some hope for the future.
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists ended the day. By now everyone should know that Ted is the Lance Armstrong of indie rock; he never relents and always goes the distance. There was so much distinctive friction coming from his six strings that you wonder how he keeps his fingers from bleeding or makes it through the show for that matter. He is an ultimate performer with his own dynamic styling.
The audience was left exhausted- not an easy feat for a mid day show. Ted wished the bands and all of us well, and stated he hoped the ERMP continues next year. I whole heartily back this sentiment. I already can’t wait for next summer.