As we soldier on through the “World Series of Boston Rock” (now in its 33rd year), the first round of victors of the Rock N’ Roll Rumble have been named, that jackass in the wolf mask with the glitter bombs showed up and TT’s ran out of pickle juice I’m guessing by the fourth night of the preliminaries. Below, our Rumble Rundown so far!
The Rumble kicked off on April Fool’s Night (4.1.12) but there was nothin’ funny about the game the bands brought to TT the Bear’s come show time, as demonstrated by Endless Wave, The Rationales and Cooling Towers. You read that correctly: only three bands performed on Night 1, because The Grownup Noise sadly had to bow out early in the game due to a slipped disc. There’s nothing not shitty about that–you can play through a cold or a cough, but your back getting all screwed up!? Ugh. What a reason to bench it. We’re sorry, guys. We’re not sorry for The Rationales, though, who we love to pieces and who
Night 2 kept the high standards and blow-the-roof-off energy going with Thick Shakes, Animal Talk, Garvy J and Grey Valley Ghost, and we got more than a winner for the round in Garvy J–Thick Shakes will be advancing on to the semifinal round as one of two wild cards, meaning that their collective score at the end of their night was the highest of all the runner-ups for the first three preliminary nights.
Night 3: I judged! And took pictures. Do excuse my amateur photog skillz. (I bet Mike and Jess are shaking their heads as we speak. I do not know what ISO means.)
This is where the strength of the Rumble lies, and why Anngelle knows what she’s doing in booking these bills: the bands of Night 3–The Susan Constant, Tin Thistles, Ghosts of Jupiter and Letterday–sounded absolutely nothing like each other. At all. We’re talking night and day, genre wise, as we had everything from psych-rock complete with a dancing fairy nymph entourage (Ghosts of Jupiter) to powerful pop/rock refrains (The Susan Constant; Letterday) to near-mosh inducing punk (Tin Thistles). Ghosts of Jupiter clinched it in the end, but it was seriously hard to gauge there who’d be moving on.
(Also, sidenote: as I mentioned last week on Facebook, there were members of a couple of these bands that were loading out during Anngelle’s mid-night welcome and thank you speech. INCREDIBLY BAD FORM, GUYS. For those of you who aren’t musicians and don’t get gig protocol, loading out in the middle of a show, in the middle of a set, and in the middle of the event organizer’s speech is rude and in terrible taste. Yeah, there could be awful circumstances at hand (injury, hospital, emergency etc.) that force an early departure, but that isn’t what happened here, from the looks of it. Bad, bands. Bad.)
Night 4: Otherwise known as “The Night I Re-Fell In Love With Magen Tracy,” aka the gorgeous keyboard player in Parlour Bells/general rock goddess about town. Night 4′s bands were out for blood, in the friendliest way possible–they all wanted it, bad, and they left everything on the stage well before midnight. Between Cask Mouse, Never Got Caught, the aforementioned Parlour Bells and The Fagettes (who got major brownie points with me for the most creative use of a cardboard box/best Rumble entrance EVER), there was no clear winner, once again, though everyone left the venue praising Cask Mouse for a rightful win.
Related: remember that time some under-ager got in the club manager’s face (in a rather hysterical manner) because they were being rightfully and politely asked to leave the venue? Ha. Dear Everyone Not 21: Throwing attitude will get you a front row seat to the sidewalk. Kids these days. Oof. I DIGRESS.
Night 5: Pray for Polanski, BrownBoot, Bow Thayer and the Perfect Trainwreck and The Bynars. Again, as all bands come from completely different musical fronts and backgrounds, it could’ve been anyone’s night–but it wound up going to Bow Thayer and the Perfect Trainwreck, who’ll advance to the semis as well.
Night 6 ends the preliminaries just as they began–with a hard-hitting winner (Motherboar) and the second what turned out to be the wildcard picks, Sherman Burns. The Grinds and Streight Angular were hardly small potatoes in this four-band battle, and hey, any evening that looks like a highlighter threw up all over it that also doles out heavy doses of heavy metal is a-okay by me.
And to the person in the wolf mask who keeps glitterbombing people: could you stop that? It’s not cool, original or funny and it’s a pain in the ass for the venue to clean up, not to mention glitter under a contact lens is fucking excrutiating. So stop. You don’t want a roomful of folks drunk on picklebacks lunging at you trying to rip the mask off your head.
THE ROCK N’ ROLL RUMBLE SEMIFINALS:
9:30pm — Thick Shakes
10:15 — Bow Thayer and Perfect Trainwreck
11 — Cask Mouse
11:45 — Motherboar
9:30pm — Sherman Burns
10:15 — Ghosts of Jupiter
11 — The Rationales
11:45 — Garvy J.
See y’all at the Rumble. And for the love of god, ration thine picklebacks. AND NO MORE GLITTERBOMBING.