Saturday, July 23, 2011
Friday night was another good show from good ol' H-Beam down at 12th and Porter. They were the headliners, supported by Running With Bulls, who I missed completely, and The Justin Caulke Orchestra. I caught the last few of their songs, which included the soundtrack song from Super Mario I, boards 1-1 and 1-2. I sort of got a feeling from their set that was like, "Ok, I get it. You can play guitar really fast. Now show me something that everyone else in this town hasn't already shown me". It's like I always say, play what you feel, not what you know. Caulke certainly knows an awful lot, but it seems like there's just nothing there, like a Boxer mix who's had 3 knee replacements.
H-Beam started a little slow, with their "For Those About To Rock" intro leaking a little, but as soon as they hit "The Girl's Gone Wild", they were all over it. Joining the band this evening on rhythm guitar was none other than Adam Livingston, of Boom Ticket. I've seen Adam play probably dozens of times in the past few years in different bands and on different instruments. The difference tonight was that this was the most enthusiasm I've seen out of him since the old Mile 8 days. It was good to see him shake it and smile and have a visible good time. He didn't sound bad either.
Matt Walberg, looking extra Gallagher-y, was on fire, especially during the "Comfortably Numb" solo section, which was pretty killer. The rhythm section with Curt Redding and Russel Wright is always a pleasure to watch, and they only got stronger as the show went on. H-B's songs were intricate and fun, sometimes a little silly, but always respectable and played with a ton of feeling.
The show's MVP has to be hands down Mr. Andrew Fantastic, on keys and sax. Being the longest current tenured Beamer, other than Matty, he always seemed to be sort of in the back ground. Tonight he finally stepped up, playing well, being funny in character, and even persevering through an overly gropey audience member sketch. Not that he never did those things before, but tonight he seemed to have an abundant confidence and swagger. Good on ya Andrew.
This was the best H-Beam show I've seen in a while. Maybe because it was half of my former favorite local band, or maybe they were all just on, having a great night. Either way, keep it up.