MUSIC: Dudesmash Smashes Dudes At The Met
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Deer Tick-curated event Dudesmash invaded The Met in Pawtucket, chock full of local talent and a few of the best musicians from beyond Rhode Island's borders. It was the second edition of the festival and you knew going in that it was going to be a blast. Two stages, tons of people and spectacular tunes—where else would you rather be on a Saturday?
The Kolour Kult
When I arrived I checked out The Kolour Kult at the indoor stage located within The Met and I was definitely impressed. A departure from the other bands, this duo only had two synthesizers and a microphone but they did it right. A lot of intensity that even got the singer revved up enough to smash one of the synthesizers, The Kolour Kult were a breath of fresh air when it comes to New Wave. Why are the only synth based bands I like from Rhode Island? Give The Kolour Kult a listen and you'll find out why.
Toy Soldiers, one of my favorite bands from Philadelphia, took the outdoor stage by storm with their groovy & feverish brand of rock & roll. "Been Here All My Days", "Tell The Teller", "Weeping Willow" and "Down In The River" were my favorite songs from their performance and they definitely had a lot of boogie. It's funny when a band you loved in college you thought nobody knew about all of a sudden has a huge fan base in Rhode Island. I couldn't be anymore happier for Toy Soldiers, you should get their new album The Maybe Boys and get down with the goodness.
Back in the indoor stage was a band from Providence that I simply can't get enough of, Ravi Shavi did what they did best and brought that infectious energy everyone loves. Wearing flashy vests and Rafay Rashid adorned with a funky helmet, this revolution rock quartet exuded charisma right from the start. Songs like "Hobbies", "InDecision", "Dance Around", "Permanent Damage" and "Accidental" packed the room and had the crowd going crazy. You can always catch Ravi Shavi playing around The Creative Capital and beyond, they are an absolute must see.
Smith & Weeden
Another band from Providence that I can't get enough of, Smith & Weeden fittingly took the outdoor stage immediately afterwards. They rocked it like always with "Drinkin' Through Some Issues", "Glory & Grace", "Creepin'", "Boys & Bands" and "Playin' A Part" that had The Low Anthem's Bryan Minto on harmonica. It was so cool seeing them play the hell out of the big outdoor stage, a very special moment for all. Smith & Weeden will be putting out their debut album before the end of the year and I want it as much as you do.
T. Hardy Morris + Diamond Rugs
One of the best songwriters ever to come out of Atlanta, Dead Confederate's T. Hardy Morris and his band joined Deer Tick's Rob Crowell & Dennis Ryan on the indoor stage and continued the rockin' & rollin'. "Audition Tapes" and "Disaster Proof" were part of the beginning of Morris' performance, and then something crazy happened for the finale. John McCauley and Bryan Dufresne went up to join Morris and they went right into "Big God" for a mini Diamond Rugs reunion. It was a truly amazing thing to see and I was headbanging during the entire song. Speaking of amazing, get T. Hardy Morris' solo album Audition Tapes, the Diamond Rugs record that came out last year and any piece of music from Dead Confederate you can get your hands on.
The Low Anthem
On the outdoor stage was another one of Providence's finest acts in The Low Anthem and they were as good as ever. I'm completely in love with their new material, a great transition from their early folk songs to their current unique brand of intoxicating rock. With Luke Randall's moth machine glowing in the distance, "Airport Mirror", "The Early Morning Of The Air Hockey Fire", "Live By The Trains" and "Dreamin' Drunk" with Last Good Tooth joining them on stage that had Penn Sultan licking Ben Knox Miller's face encompassed an excellent time. If you don't listen to The Low Anthem, then what's stopping you? They have a new album coming out before the end of the year that's sure to hit the Providence music scene like a wrecking ball.
Very reminiscent of The Newport Folk Fest afterparties at The Newport Blues Cafe back in July, Deer Tick went on the outdoor stage with a horn section and preceded to light a musical fire in Pawtucket. There was a pretty long soundcheck that made the crowd fairly restless and then they went right into "The Rock". "The Bump" had people up front groovin' and movin' while singing every word, then Dennis played the drums to start "Easy" and that brought the house down. "The Dream's In The Ditch" had Ian O'Neil taking the lead to continue the madness which was surely worth the wait. The power on the guitars went out during "When She Comes Home" but Dennis and Rob kept it together on drums and keys for a very cool take on a classic. The power went back on at the start of a rendition of Hank Williams' "I Can't Help It (If I'm Still In Love With You)" and then they went into a flurry of "Mr. Sticks", The Replacements' " Can't Hardly Wait" and "Spend The Night". "Main Street" with the horn section had me going crazy, kind of fitting since the song is written about the street The Met is on. Vanessa Carlton joined Deer Tick for a old school country number and then Deer Tick rocked "City Of Sin (Art Isn't Real)", "Dirty Dishes", "Baltimore Blues No. 1" and "Smith Hill" for another flurry of brilliance. The crowd was left chanting "One More Song!!! One More Song!!!" after the finale of "Ashamed" and Deer Tick went back on stage for "Lets All Go To The Bar". People it's Deer Tick, can they really do any wrong? You gotta get Negativity when it comes out on the 24th. Just another spectacular chapter in Deer Tick's illustrious book.
Joe Fletcher & The Wrong Reasons
Concluding an unbelievable night were Joe Fletcher & The Wrong Reasons in the indoor stage. They played "Who Makes The Knives", "Ambulances", "The Drowsy Surgeon", well screw it. If you've read my reviews of Joe & The Boys then you pretty much know all of the kickass songs that they play. Bryan Minto as always joined them on harmonica during a few songs too and as always it was fantastic. All you need to know about Joe Fletcher is that there are three things guaranteed in life: death, taxes and Joe Fletcher putting on one hell of a show. Joe's moving to Nashville by the end of the month and he has a solo record coming out called You Got The Wrong Man. If there is anyone that can turn the music scene of Nashville upside down it's Joe and I wholeheartedly believe that. The 2nd edition of Dudesmash was a vibrant assault that hit you like a bed of roses, and it was an experience i'll never forget.
For more experiences like this one, log on to The Met's website at themetri.com to see when the next can't miss show is happening.
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