Saturday, June 07, 2008



Yikes, what a show!

As faithful blog/Tune-up readers know, I just saw X three months ago at South by South West, and I considered that show one of the best of the festival. I normally don't go see bands that I've seen that recently, but, hell, X is X. Besides, I really wanted to see The Detroit Cobras.

And I'm glad I did.

I had a feeling it was going to be a fun night early in the afternoon when I went to the Brewing Company to buy my ticket (no kiddies, I don't get into concerts for free all the time. Paying for music is good for the economy, good for America and good for the soul.) Sitting at an outside table was none other than the members of X eating lunch. They were a friendly bunch. We talked a little about the Austin show, which they said was fun.

Between those two X shows, I have to say that the band sounded better in Austin, mainly because the vocals were mixed far better than in Santa Fe. Last night it was hard to hear the singing over the roar of the instruments.
Billy Zoom & Exene
But the Santa Fe show was more fun than the SXSW show, which was a live television performance (Direct TV). The local crowd last night was far rowdier and the band picked up on the energy. While in Austin their songs were clear, concise and tight, in Santa Fe they went a little crazy and stretched out at times, keeping those fires stoked.

It was a middle-aged mosh pit. It was the first one in several years for me, and, large as I am, I was being bounced around like a pinball. Yes, it was annoying at first (mainly because several potentially good photos were ruined when someone would come flying into me) , and yes, it did get old after a while. But in the middle, it was exhilarating.
As for the Detroit Cobras, they were good too.

The Cobras are a guitar-based self-described "covers band" that specializes in old R&B and soul tunes with a little rockabilly thrown in. Most of their material is obscure enough it might as well be their own. Singer Rachel Nagey has a husky sexy voice.

They got off to a rather slow start. It was still daylight, which Rachel said was strange for them. These flatlanders also complained about the altitude and lack of oxygen.
But once they got going and the audience warmed up, the magic started working. By the time they did "Shout Bama Lama" (an old Otis Redding tune) the place was on fire. I hope the altitude doesn't keep them away from Santa Fe in the future.

A couple of times during X's set, the Cobras took the stage as background singers/dancers. There seemed to be a good comradery between the two bands -- something you don't always see between headliners and opening acts.

Check out my photos of the concert. You can see X HERE and The Detroit Cobras HERE.

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