Ramblings of a Redhead Music Snob

Life & Music in New York, My City

Posts Tagged ‘BRMC’

Michael Been of The Call is Celebrated

Posted by xneverwherex on April 22, 2013

The Call (featuring Robert Levon Been of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club)
Jeffertitti’s Nile
DJ Dan Mancini
April 11, 2013

Its not often that a show touches your heart and is so endearing. But this show was just that. It took a year and a half for the show to be put together. It appeared that The Call’s music was not the easiest to learn, but Robert did one hell of a job to follow in his father’s foot steps.

Robert Been, bassist and singer of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, came together with his father’s band The Call to perform their music. It was one of two shows that the band will be playing. His father, Michael Been, died a few years back on tour with his son’s band. It was sudden and way too soon. So this was a perfect tribute to his father, bassist and singer, of The Call.

The Call

The band seemed very excited to be playing. Their music still sounded incredible and they definitely still knew how to rock. Their 80s alternative U2-esque sound was amazing as they opened up the set with ‘Everywhere I Go’. The crowd was enthusiastic with lots of cheers. Tom (Dickie), the guitarist, was right in front of me clad in a BRMC shirt. It was fitting and he was full of smiles. He smiled at me a few times, easily one of the younger people in the audience. The guys next to me were pumped up as they yelled out songs and talked about their first time seeing the band. Scott, the drummer, was on top of it, pushing the band through the music. Jim was great on keyboards, having a really fun time.

The band seemed to be racing through songs and they all sounded incredible. While I only recognized a handful of songs, it was easy for me to want to be there to support this special night. Their songs are easy to get into and their music still has a current sound to it. The gents next to me gave Robert a hard time about messing up a few of the songs. Robert was cute and nervous and some of the songs were clearly more difficult than others.

One of my favorite bits of the night was the crowd heckling him for not quite getting the songs right. He commented on how hard they were to learn and why it took so long for them to have this night. He told a heart warming story about his dad’s bass being stolen. Then one day he gets a call from a pawnshop in Santa Cruz with the owner being a huge fan of the Call and realizing that it was Michael’s bass. It landed back in Robert’s hand and he’s been playing it. He comments about it being very hard to stay tuned, but that it was special.

I was beyond excited to hear ‘Let The Day Begin’. I had recently heard it when BRMC had played it, but it was just incredible to hear the band play it. The crowd sang along and clearly was having a great time. The lyrics still seem so relevant. The set ended with ‘Walls Came Down’ and it sounded even better live. With everything that had been going on, the song just seemed so fitting. They ended the set with Uncovered which was just Robert singing and it was just hauntingly beautiful. It was great that they kept playing and didnt leave the stage right at 11. They pushed on and said to hell with last calls/closing times. Its a joke anyway – I sure dont remember this when I last lived here. (Apparently its a new thing – with some place moving in and wanting to change it up – thank you gentrification).

Jeffertitti’s Nile

Robert definitely tried his hardest and wanted to please the band and his fans. A guy commented next to me, ‘well he’s definitely not his father, but he’s holding his own’. Robert sounded great and albeit a bit nervous, he was clearly having fun. The guys were all good natured and poking fun at him. His father definitely had to be smiling down at him. The band clearly missed Michael but this was the best tribute anyone could have asked for. It was just heartwarming and endearing and Im glad that I got to be there to be a part of it.

Jeffertitti’s Nile, the opener, is a 4 piece band from LA and a friend of Roberts. The lead singer came out clad in skin tight jeans, that looked like they were painted onto him. He had a mop of blonde hair hanging in his face reminding me of a surfer. But a surfer band they were not. The other guys came out in long shirt/dresses and pants and longish hair stepping out of the 60s. It was fitting that they played psychedelic-garage-bluesy-glam rock. They kind of flowed all over the stage. The real awesomeness was the drummer and his hair which exceeded Brent (fathead of The Dandy Warhols). This guy had the most awesome head of hair, only sadded by the fact that the drums hid it. People seemed to really enjoy them. They were pretty quiet with not much to say, and when they did say something it was all distorted through the mics. This is one band that I cannot wait to see again.

Setlist (from LA – and prob the same in SF)
Everywhere I go
I Still believe
I dont wanna
Floating Back
Into the woods
Turn a blind eye
you were there
tore the old place down
red moon
swim in the ocean
let the day begin
modern romans
whats happened to you
…same old story
you run (acoustic)
walls came down

I feel alone lyrics


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BRMC Spread the Love

Posted by xneverwherex on December 26, 2012

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Cellar Doors
December 19, 2012

The Bay Area is lucky to call BRMC their own. The band announced a few West Coast shows to prepare for their upcoming tour in support of their new album. San Francisco was the first of these one-off shows and what an awesome night it turned out to be.

The band started the show out with Santa Cruz’s The Call’s ‘Let the Day Begin’. Robert sang that song and what an awesome way to start out the show as Robert’s father was the singer. Apparently Santa Cruz was treated to the song with a former band member. The band continued on into a new song ‘Funny Games’ and then the crowd pleasing dirty gritty jangly ‘Beat the Devil’s Tattoo’. It sounded great and the crowd was energized and singing along.

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

Some of the other stand-outs were the guitar-heavy and oh so catchy ‘Berlin’ which had everyone singing along to the chorus. ‘Aint No Easy Way’ off of Howl stood out with the awesome harmonica sounds of Peter. The alt-folk jangly pop song is always a toe-tapper.

The songs off their new album had the bluesy/garage neo-psychedelia rock sound of their last album. The songs sounded tight with lots of great guitar work from Robert (who was in front of me). It was always a delight to see Peter whip out his harmonica and start tapping his feet and playing along in some of the more folkier sounding songs. It was harder to see Peter but he always sounds great and his guitar work always sounds impressive. The addition of Leah, drummer of The Raveonettes, is a great add-on. She fits right in with the guys and always seemed to be having a really great time. Her drumming is top-notch.

Their show was a good 90 minute set if not longer. The setlist contained everything that one might expect/want to hear. The band seemed very excited to be playing Slims and such a small club as they tend to play bigger venues these days. They wasted no time with getting through their music and didn’t even bother with an encore just playing all the way right through it.

The set ended with ‘Lose Yourself’ and everyone seemed to be dancing to it, with heads bobbing, moving back and forth and singing along. The crowd was really into it and the band couldn’t have ended on a higher note.

Cellar Doors

Cellar Doors

The opener Cellar Doors from San Francisco was discovered on their last tour when BRMC needed an opener. They had only played one show (maybe?) and were asked to join them. The band quickly learned all their songs for the tour and joined them in San Diego. Its great to see that the band is still around and sounding strong.

The band has a similar sound to BRMC with their heavy garage rock sound mixed with a bluesy influence. Their songs were infectious and I found myself easily getting into their music. The lyrics were catchy and they had some great hooks. The 3 piece pulled out an awesome 45 minute set that you just didn’t want to end.

I’ll definitely be checking them out at their show at Bottom of the Hill next month and so should you! If you missed BRMC and love their sound, for now this is the best thing to get your fix!

Set List:
Let The Day Begin
Funny Games (new)
Beat the Devil’s Tattoo
Conscience Killer
Love Burns
Screaming Gun
Lullaby (new)
Aint No Easy Way
Rival (new)
US Government
Red Eyes and Tears
Six Barrel Shotgun
Spread Your Love
Lose Yourself

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