UPDATE - Dwarves just let me know "Thanks! And yeah, we don't give a fuck about spitting. The set was over"
This will make sense when you read the full review below. Rock on!
The Dwarves Invented Rock n Roll. That's what their newest album, released in 2014, is titled and when you see them live, hell, it can be hard to argue - they certainly have perfected it.
They don't quite follow the credo of sex, drugs and rock n roll...more accurately it's sex, drugs, more sex, more drugs, then more drugs, throw in some more sex and rock n roll. That's what their songs are about and the band delivers the message in a set of tight controlled mayhem led by Blag Dahlia, one of the most entertaining front men out there.
This show at Bowery Electric last night was no different.
Before the Dwarves were two openers. First a band called Threats. We only caught about the last ten minutes of their set as we ordered and drank a beer at the bar, but it sounded like good surf tinged music. Wish the train down from Poughkeepsie was earlier and we could have caught more.
Next up were The Atom Age. Had never heard or heard of them before this night and we wondered what the sound would be like as we saw them take the stage with a pair of lead singer/guitarists up front, bassist, drummer, keyboardist and saxophonist.
Well hot damn...they were killer! They're from California and out for this tour with the Dwarves. My buddy Kev, who came to this show with me, always enjoys picking out members of the band or audience who look like (often vaguely) celebrities of one sort or another and dammit somehow I got drawn into doing it for these guys when I felt the keyboardist looked like what I would imagine Stephen Merchant's son would. On sax I felt it was Seth Rogen Jr., the singer/guitarist on right had a kind of young Jim Carroll thing going on and the bassist is what we would expect the seed of Dolph Lundgren to grow into he if took up music instead of movies.
I'll be damned but we couldn't come up with good picks for the other two. I apologize for leaving you out if you actually end up reading this.
Oh yeah, but back to it...they reminded me quite a bit of the more rockin end of Rocket From the Crypt's catalog (and that is never a bad thing). They threw in an excellent version of Devo's "Uncontrollable Urge" as well. It's rare I hope an opener I've never heard of plays longer, but I wouldn't have minder more than the 30 minute set they got. They definitely won the crowd over by the end of it. If it wasn't the fact that the Dwarves were up next, they probably would have been cheered out for an encore. I Just went and followed these guys on Facebook and will be catching them whenever they come through the area next.
A short break between sets and the lights go down and the Dwarves come out at 10pm on the dot.
I wouldn't have been able to keep up with writing/typing a list of the songs played, so just going to say they played a great mix of classic through new stuff.
Instead of digging out the old thesaurus, just watch this video I shot of "I Will Deny" / "Everybody's Girl" to get an idea of the goodness of last night.
The whole show was that good. The band played just about 45 minutes and perhaps would have played longer were it not for a spitting incident towards the end, but I have my doubts that actually caused the show to end early.
Basically someone in the crowd hawked one right on to Blag's head/face. He finished the song and called out the fact that he had been hit, but honestly didn't seem pissed and in typical Blag form said he understood because in 1991 he had had his way with the spitter's girlfriend or mom so this was their revenge and they launched into the last song during which, after the vocals were done, Blag jumped the two feet off the stage to the floor and walked through the crowd up the stairs. (Bowery Electric has a bar on the main level, then you walk straight down a flight to the basement where they have the shows and another smaller bar.)
I've seen the Dwarves before including back in early 90's (oh Coney Island High how I miss you) when the shows would never last 20 minutes and the mayhem was hardcore. These days the shows are still intense and usually last between 45 minutes to an hour, so this seemed like the full show and I've never seen them do an encore. They play until they end...none of that encore bullshit.
But the audience was told to chant "Dwarves! Dwarves!" then "More Dwarves! More Dwarves!" to get them to come back out for a few more, but it became apparent after about 2 minutes that wasn't going to happen so then the mystery voice on the mic said whoever spit at Blag was the reason our show was cut short.
It was an odd way to end the show and hell, I don't think Blag likes getting spit on, but I didn't feel he cut the show short for all of us because of it and this seemed to be the case even more so as we walked out.
So we all headed back up the stairs and it was moving slow as shit...because there was Blag at the foyer at the top of the flight smiling, chatting and taking photos with everyone. Hell I even learned his name is Paul when my buddy taking our shot together said "Let me get one with you and Paully" and Blag commented on my awesome name which he shares and how he's a good Italian boy named Paully. (I'm a good Irish boy, but it's a name which can cross such cultural differences with ease.)
So as always, The Dwarves, inventors of rock an roll, brought the goods and the good opening bands.
They pretty much come around once a year and we'll be back next time. Maybe you never went before and read this or watched the video and you'll join us. If you're a single gal there's a good chance we'll even buy you a drink. Dwarves fans are good like that.
So as always, go here to the Most People Are Blank Facebook main page and click like. The more followers, the more shows and more contests we can do. Also feel free to leave comments there. Click any of the photos to super size them. Thanks for reading - Rock on and Enjoy - Paul