Friday, January 27, 2012

Concert Review: Manitoba - The Bowery Electric, NYC January 26, 2012

     Handsome Dick Manitoba is back with a great new band made up of old friends and bandmates including Daniel Rey (guitar) and J.P. Patterson (drums) from Manitoba's Wild Kingdom along with Dean Rispler (bass). The band is rounded out by Ross The Boss also from MWK and the Dictators (not to mention Manowar - saw quite a few Manowar fans in attendance and numerous signs of the hammer being thrown in the air throughout the night.)

     This was my first time at The Bowery Electric, a multilevel club/bar a block away from where CBGB once was, which is co-owned by Jesse Malin whose birthday just happened to be this night. It must be nice to be able to throw a party like this to celebrate!

     My buddy and I took the train down from Poughkeepsie and cabbed it to the club getting there about 8:45 or so. We walked in and were directed down the stairs through the velvet curtains into a great tiny space to see a show! There's a small low stage with maybe 20' x 25' feet in front of it, then you can walk up about 5 steps to a long narrow bar space (with an additional small extra bar room with a mini bar at the back.)

     Not many folks there when we arrived - maybe 40 tops, but seeing how small it was we knew this joint was gonna be packed for the second gig ever by Manitoba! Two more friends arrived, we drank, chatted, watched the three openers and at 11:30 on the dot, the lights went down and the theme song from "Chariots of Fire" played as the band came on stage - very epic indeed!

     As expected the place was PACKED.  I saw a sign on the wall saying occupancy was limited to 108, but I think it had to be closer to 200. The show had sold out a few days prior, but I'm sure those in attendance did did not just include all the folks who scored a tic, but also those lucky enough to know someone who could get them on the guestlist.

     The "Chariots" theme ended and the band blasted into "The Party Starts Now!!" by Manitoba's Wild Kingdom. As stated above, this was the band's second show ever (the first being part of the "Light Of Day" Festival about two weeks earlier) but they sounded like they'd been playing together for years...and well, in essence they have been in various combinations.

     "Party..." was followed up by a Dictators triple shot with "The Next Big Thing", "Avenue A" and Baby, Let's Twist". Just about every song in the set with preceeded with an energetic and always humorous tale from HDM. The setlist that followed was:

Haricut and Attitude (Manitoba's Wild Kingdom)
Pussy and Money (The Dictators) - This is absolutely one of my faves and was glad they played it!
Who Will Save Rock n Roll (The Dictators)
Prototype (Manitoba's Wild Kingdom) - This was so friggin rockin! Awesome!
Slow Death - The Flamin' Groovies cover that was done by the Dictators
Faster and Louder (The Dictators)
New York New York (Manitoba's Wild Kingdom)
Stay With Me (The Dictators).

     "Stay With Me" was a great end to the main set which lasted about an hour.  We knew there had to be at least a little more to come when the band left the stage. Amongst cheers they came back about 5 minutes later starting off the encore set with the obvious choice of "Two Tub Man" which included an extended band introduction in the middle.

     "Tub" was followed by a great suprise for the crowd that wasn't even noted on the setlist (I nabbed Dean's setlist after the show as shown below). HDM introduced the club's proprietor and Birthday boy Jesse Malin who joined the band for the last two numbers.

     The first of these was a KILLER version of The Stooges "Loose!" Jesse basically took main vocals on this while HDM rocked out and did some back up. The night was ended with the punk tinged surf rock of another cover the Dictators did - "California Sun" which featured HDM and Jesse trading off verses. Then it was a done and I was off to catch the last train home to Poughkeepsie. Great show and hopefully we'll be seeing Manitoba playing out often.

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