So, how much did Monday night’s show at the Mercury Lounge rock? A ton. Instead of hitting up the Knitting Factory first, we decided to go straight to the LES and check out whomever was opening for The Comas. While waiting outside for Angela to return from Sal’s with her damn slice, Nadine and I overheard two guys try to find tickets to get in to see Danko Jones. A girl sold her ticket to him and he replied that they were “the best rock and roll band in the world.” I know it doesn’t sound like much, but that’s a tall order to live up to.
We finally went in, and while Ang was buying my drink (she lost a bet saying Death Cab would sell out in one day), Danko went on. Nadine and I looked at each other very disappointed. Surprisingly they did not
sound like the best rock band in the world. Eventually we found our way into the middle of the room and enjoyed the rest of the set there. And I do mean enjoyed.
I had a blast. Danko Jones, while maybe not “the best”, is a damn good rock band, but most of all, they were more entertaining to watch perform than 95% of the bands I see. Danko talks like he’s straight out of WWE Smackdown. He even slapped himself hard in the face, over and over. As he said himself, his music “makes lemonade out of lemons.” His album, out this week, is called Sweating Blood, or something like that. Ang quipped that it should be called Sweating Lemonade. When he took a swig of water, I yelled out “Lemonade”, to which he replied “I turn water into Lemonade.” “Like Jesus” I returned.
If I wasn’t already in the best mood of my life, then the very next thing did it: during the interlude before the Comas went on, Mercury Lounge played one of my favorite albuma: Fuckin A
by the Thermals. And they got through the whole album (it’s under 30 minutes long).
The Comas lived up to the promise of their quality of the songs. The drummer was especially wound up. If I knew how to write about music, I’d write a glowing description here. As it is, I really can’t describe how good it was.
I was so happy after their set, I didn’t care how well Mando Diao played. Their album “Bring Em In” is good, but doesn’t really stand out for me. If you told me the songs were actually covers of classic rock tracks, I’d totally believe you. Even last night there was a point where I didn’t know if I recognized a song because it is on their album, or because it sounded so familiar it could be a cover. Maybe that’s their strength: they write music that is already engrained in us.
Their live show is stunningly on par with the energy of The Thermals themselves. Unlike the Thermals, however, the 21 and over crowd did not mosh. Moshing is very 90s. But everyone danced, including the girl from the Comas right in front of me.
If Mando played with more energy, they’d combust. We all would have combusted. I’m glad I saw them in the small Mercury Lounge. Somehow it makes the music denser, forces it through your skin and to your bones.
I hope Bobby Bare Jr. can do that again next week when he comes back to town. Why do so many bands have trouble rocking out live? Turn up the volume and pump out the sweat!