Friday, May 14, 2010
On Wednesday night I shuffled over to the rock block to catch Boom Ticket at The End. This is the Exit In's little step-brother club that can surprise you with some pretty good shows, but is usually a starting point for local bands. Much like the last time I was here for Heavy Trash, I spent a couple of hours waiting through some pretty crappy crap to get to the good stuff. I was glad to pay the cover and help out some of those who didn't make it on the ark, and the company was good so I didn't mind listening through the wall to the opening bands.
The first band was a pretty songwriter boy who was a mix between Bruce Springsteen and and a sack of crap. His set was brought to us by the letters G, C, and D and his 5 different arrangements of these chords were just another example of a Nashville hipster donning a leather jacket, naming his band after himself, and rocking his acoustic guitar with the strings waving off of the end of the headstock, thinking he is the next big thing. I didn't catch his name but I wouldn't be surprised if it was Boss Jr. It was pretty bad.
The second band, again whose name I didn't catch because I didn't care, was a little bit System of a Down, a little bit Metallica, and a little bit "please someone drive wooden stakes into my ears because that would be better than this crappy crap" garage band. Thank God they limit theses people to 30 minute sets.
Boom Ticket hit the stage and started off with a couple of familiar tunes, but the sound was brand new. They have taken their lineup from a dinky trio mostly driven by drums and really loud bass lines to a five piece, adding Chris Mac on an extra guitar and Lucas Ketner on percussion, making the songs we all know sound a lot fuller and more mature. The congas were cool and it went well with the drums but some of the cowbells and wood blocks kind of sounded out of place in a prog/rock band in full overdrive. Bobby Knowles is still the driving force on the drums, appearing much more comfortable on his kit and really commanding those crazy drum lines he wrote. He's really starting to come into his own on the skins. Jeff Collett has proven to be a great replacement on bass, although I can't help but crave his funky slap from some of his previous bands. He may be overqualified for this band, but he fits in well and is definitely an asset. He has added his own style to Mark's old lines, and is a true compliment to Bobby's riot back there.
The few new songs of the night were a sign of growth from the Ticket. Guitarist and lead singer Adam Livingston (from Boom Ticket) has continued to grow in his stratocaster-ship, as well as his songwriting. There were a few times when his vocals fell a little flat due to his focus being more on his new guitar parts, but with a couple more outings, these songs are gonna shine. The addition of Chris McElroy on guitar gave the old tunes some cool new layers and made the new ones sound like a band that has found their stride and figured out where they're headed.
They announced their last song, which was five of Bobby's best minutes of the night, then, before the crowd could beg for more, Adam said, "alright, we'll play another one", like we were pounding the pews at the Ryman. It was funny to me. I'm glad they did play another one, it was great, but after my 10 hour work day and my two hour crap ingestion, I was ready to head out. It was good to see this lineup finally, as I had been stymied out of the last two shows by a snowstorm and a bad situation in Franklin. It's clear to see that they have been working hard and have a clear vision of where they want Boom Ticket to go.