Good old American rock and roll is alive and well . If you have any doubts, just check out the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club on their current tour. The band made a stop in the Queen City last week in support of their latest studio album “Wrong Creatures” and brought their special brand of no frills garage rock to a packed house at The Underground. Getting its name from a fictional motorcycle gang in the 1953 Marlon Brando movie “The Wild One,” the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club is pure anti-establishment raw rock and roll. From the black leather jacket of bassist and vocalist Robert Levon Been to the shrieking, distorted guitar riffs of Peter Hayes , the band oozes classic rock and roll rebellion. Their stage set up was minimal and the band took to a blackened stage with intermittent strobes illuminating Hayes as he banged on a pair of drums set up stage left. Kicking off their set with “Spook” from their newest album, the band got things going quickly. Been took his spot behind the mic with his bass in hand, offering an ominous yet uber cool stage presence as he sneered and snarled all night long.
Hayes was busy all night crunching out riffs as he sang and alternated with harmonica as needed. Drummer Leah Shapiro provided a solid pounding presence behind the kit showing no signs of wear as she has been recovering from a rare neurological disorder. Their set list was full of songs from the new “Wrong Creatures” album along with BRMC classic and of course a few covers with their version of Ewan MacColl’s “Dirty Old Town” and The Call’s “Let The Day Begin.” Sonically, the band sounded just as you would expect like any band rehearsing in any garage in the country, and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
Their raw sound fits their songs well and a small venue like The Underground was a perfect setting for an intimate rock show. After a rousing “Spread Your Love,” the band exited for a short break before returning for a three song encore. The audience was on their feet as the band went back to their roots for “Red Eyes and Tears,” and “Awake,” before the climax of the evening ‘Whatever Happened to My Rock’n’Roll (Punk Song.)”
It was a great night of pure rock and roll courtesy of the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club leaving fans satisfied yet eagerly anticipating the next show. If you love rock and roll, be sure to check out Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (and their latest album “Wrong Creatures”) when they hit a town near you.
Little Thing Gone Wild
King of Bones
Beat the Devil’s Tattoo
Ain’t No Easy Way
Question of Faith
Carried From the Start
Dirty Old Town (Ewan MacColl cover)
Shuffle Your Feet
Let The Day Begin (The Call cover)
Six Barrel Shotgun
Spread Your Love
Red Eyes and Tears
Whatever Happened To My Rock ‘n’ Roll (Punk Song)
We would like to thank Nathalie Rubin from BMG for the credentials to review the show.