Got to cross one off the list when The Damned came through Poughkeepsie for a stop at the Chance on Saturday night.
Love them, but somehow never saw them before - almost did back on December 30 when this gig was originally scheduled, but the tour was cancelled at the time. Luckily, they decided to include the rescheduled Poughkeepsie gig in this very short seven city, eight day tour of the Northeast US.
Boasting original members Captain Sensible (eclectically dressed in red beret and zipper pants on guitar) and Dave Vanian (impeccably dressed in tailored suit and perfectly styled hair on most vocals), the band is filled out with Monty Oxymoron on Keyboards (plus great afro-esque hair and crazed dancing), Stu West on bass and Pinch on drums - they are a tight knit rock machine!
Opening at full speed with the fan fave "Love Song", it was a full blast greatest hit set with some new tunes thrown in. Soon followed by "Neat Neat Neat" (my all time fave which featured a killer solo by the Captain including a little taste of Jimi Hendrix's "Voodoo Chile") and a cover of the MC5's "Lookin at You", we also got other bounce off the wall pogo ragers like "Disco Man" and of course their first single ever "New Rose." (and the first UK punk single ever to boot!).
Here and there they slowed things down with the likes of their great cover of the Alvin Lee and Love song "Alone Again Or" and my personal faves off their new album "So, Who's Paranoid", the epic tale of "Dr. Woofenstein".
Encore wise we got their pop punk perfect excellent rendition of Elton Motello's "Jet Boy Jet Girl" with it's can't get it out of your head "ooooo-ooo-ooo-oo" chorus and that is NOT a bad thing. (If you've seen National Lampoon's European Vacation, you've heard Plastic Bertrand's "Ça plane pour moi" which is the same music but different lyrics and in French, but the "ooooo-ooo-ooo-00" 's remain). The night ended with "Smash It Up" which did nothing short of destroy!
Fantastic show and if you have the chance to catch them this week on one of the few remaining dates in the US (in DC, Philly, NYC and Asbury Park), DO SO - one of the best pure rocking good time shows I've ever seen! I hope Poughkeepsie becomes a regular tour stop in the future.
If you do decided to go, get their early to check out their openers - on all the other dates I believe it's Electric Frankenstein and The Bellrays. The Bellrays are one of those bands I totally dug years ago and lost track of some how and was happy to see they were still together - problem was Poughkeepsie was the one show on this tour that they didn't do, they had a headlining gig in NYC, bummer.
As a fill in we got two local bands, the first of which I missed, but the second was Kingston's White Knuckle Rodeo who did a great short set of hard edged rock/punk ala Social Distortion or The Supersuckers. Good stuff and a great showing for their first show on the stage of the Chance. I'll have to catch them next time they play Snapper Magee's in Kingston.
Electric Frankenstein did play this show and were great - again hard edged but catchy punk. This New Jersey band has quite a following and alot of fans showed up to show their support - great head banging, fist pounding, beer drinking rock. (well for me at least, you can drink soda if you prefer).
Triple threat of good rock is my kind of way to spend a saturday, I'll be seeing all of these bands every chance I get.