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Name: Adam Bernard
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Buckcherry @ Irving Plaza
Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Last night I let my inner headbanger out for a few hours with Buckcherry at Irving Plaza in NYC. Yes, I love Hip-Hop, but that does not preclude me from also loving some good old fashioned ear splitting rock n roll (and I still have the ringing in my ears to prove it!). While my tape, yes TAPE, collection is filled with classic Hip-Hop albums by artists like Das Efx, Eric B and Rakim, NWA and DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince, I was also known to rock out to numerous 80’s rock bands…. Bon Jovi or Def Leopard anyone?

Upon walking into Irving Plaza I immediately noted the layout, perfect. A balcony for those who don’t mind being a bit detached from the show and a large floor area for those who don’t mind risking the occasional crowd surfer in order to be closer to the action. In terms of people it was a very blue jean crowd with tattoos and interesting hair abound. Last night reminded me how good looking the girls at rock shows can be.

First up on stage was a band called Joker Five Speed who thanked the fans for ten years of support and informed the crowd that this would be their last show. A number of people in the crowd were obviously supporters of the New York band as they sang (sang?) along with their lyrics as the groups bowel shaking basslines moved even the most stationary people in the crowd. This was a real rock n roll band and it was a good start to the night.

Rock n Roll Soldiers were next up to bat and they seemed slightly out of place on this night. The crowd at Irving Plaza was very pro-hard rock and Rock N Roll Soldiers, while good in their own right, had a vibe to them that was reminiscent of one of the “The” bands, like The Strokes, The Vines or The Hives, with occasional dashes of Blink 182 thrown in. I’m sure if the crowd had been significantly younger Rock N Roll Soldiers would have went over well as their music, with the exception of a few curse words, seemed to be more pop radio friendly rock than hard rock. With the crowd as it was, however, the general feeling was “we’re putting up with this to get to Buckcherry.”

At around a quarter to eleven Josh Todd and crew hit the stage for an extremely loud set of hard rock, the kind that had me, and numerous others, being headbangers for an hour or so. The band came out like they had just been let out of a cage and immediately started with a few anti-establishment songs. Looking around I could see that Irving Plaza, which had been crowded, but not full, was suddenly filled to capacity, without any walking room at all. A few songs in a wildly tatted up Todd took off his shirt and continued his high energy set sans a top. One of the highlights of Buckcherry’s hour plus long performance came during an extended version of “Crazy Bitch” when Todd pointed out that if you end up sleeping with the wrong crazy bitch your could end up feeling some fire where you don’t want to. The band seamlessly segued into the Ohio Players’ classic “Fire” for eight bars before returning back to “Crazy Bitch.” It was a nice tip of the hat to a group I’m sure inspired Todd and crew. Another great moment from the show was when the group performed “Brooklyn.” Not only was the crowd doubly into this song due to the location of the show, but it was also a song that was noticeably different from the rest of the set. “Brooklyn” starts out with a blues riff that is fantastic and is well worth a listen. I don’t think a single fan in the crowd was disappointed by last night’s show, and anytime that can be said it’s impressive.

Sightings: No major celebs to speak of but tons of good looking rock n roll girls. There’s just something about an eyebrow ring and an appropriately placed tattoo. Also, and this has nothing to do with the show, but while I was waiting to get in I saw a friend of mine from college that I literally hadn’t seen for three years because he was out of the country. Only to other New Yorkers is NYC a small place, but this was definitely one of those moments and it was great to catch up.

Liks: I was playing the role of the non-drinker last night, but if my two dollar bottle of water, which I’m guessing was about 10 oz., was any indicator the liks weren’t cheap. The vast majority of the crowd seemed to be drinking beer, though, so much like at a baseball game, I’m sure prices were jacked up according to demand.

Verdict: Overall seeing Buckcherry live is a great time. The band rocks, their lead singer simultaneously pulls off being a hard rocker and a charismatic individual on stage, and the band knows their crowd and enjoys playing to it. Next time I go I’ll be bringing some earplugs, however, since it’s now 11 hours since the last song ended and I still have quite the intense ringing in my ears. Ah, I guess that’s rock n roll for ya!

For pics from the show click here.
posted by Adam Bernard @ 11:06 AM  
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