My buddy Vin and I arrived at the show just in time to see Whiskey Daredevils, a local band with a lot of buzz. They started off their set by saying “Thanks for coming out on Wednesday night, we know you could be at home watching Modern Family.” That’s true, it’s a good show, which stars Ohio native Ed O’Neill, but thankfully there’s always Hulu. Whiskey Daredevils often play around the area, but for some reason I have not seen them before. We both heard a lot of positive hype and were pretty excited to finally get to see them. I didn’t get a set list but I’m pretty sure the bulk of their songs came from Whiskey Daredevils Greatest Hits, although it could’ve been The Very Best of the Whiskey Daredevils. Either way, they did not disappoint in the least and were the perfect mood setter for the evening.
We didn’t really know what to expect from Heavy Trash. We knew it was Jon Spencer and Matt Verta-Ray’s band, we didn’t know Sam Baker (drums) and Simon Chardiet (double bass) would be the accompaniment. In all honesty, although aware of it, I wasn’t extremely familiar with Spencer’s work. Despite that, after receiving the new Heavy Trash album about a week before the show, I was instantly hooked. At this point I’d say I’m a big Heavy Trash fan. The album has been playing almost non-stop on my iPod. It’s a mix of several genres that I enjoy; blues, rock ‘n roll, punk and a bit of honky tonk. If you asked me to describe the album in two words, well that would be easy. Downright fun! If Elvis was around today, this might be what he would sound like. Jon Spencer does a great job updating and infusing one of the early voices of rock while keeping it fresh at the same time.
The show ended up being in the more intimate Beachland Tavern, as opposed to the Ballroom. I don’t think any of the people in attendance were complaining about that. The band we came to see went on a little before 11:00 and kicked things off with a bang. Heavy Trash got people moving, you don’t see that much in Cleveland on a weekday. They blazed through a few songs at a time, that definitely kept the energy at full blast. After about three or four songs they would pause for a quick chat break. Then fire things up again for the next fifteen minutes. They played everything I wanted to hear from the new album like “Good Man” (Those Darlins sing backup on the record), “Bumble Bee “(Jon Spencer definitely has a future in voice-overs if he finds the time), “(Sometimes You Got To Be) Gentle”, and “In My Heart”. Matt Verta-Ray was kicking out some serious jams on his guitar all night. When he was tearing it up, it truly amplified the upbeat style of Spencer. I especially enjoyed the Simon Chardiet song “Bug Bite Daddy”, which was sung by Simon (dude is a bit of a legend), the tune was bad-ass. I felt like I should’ve been swing dancing. The music translated really well live and I don’t think I saw any dialogue between the band and the sound guy (sometimes it can really jam the mood when the act has sound issues all night). They played about 15 songs and next thing you knew it was 12:30. I wondered where the time had gone, feeling like I had been abducted by aliens. I didn’t take any quality pics or get a solid video, but the one below is the super extended live version of “In My Heart” from Chicago a few days after the show we saw. They’re still on tour so go see them if you get a chance and check out their new LP Midnight Soul Serenade.