A couple of weeks ago, I headed over to Snug Harbor to catch a double-whammy of an indie rock show that didn't fail to disappoint the packed venue -- The Sammies and The Noises 10.
While I've had a brief witness to both acts in the past -- The Sammies played a quick-hit set at the Charlotte Music Awards; The Noises 10 once played a few songs in their practice space for me -- I hadn't seen either in a full-on show. What better way to hear them than both on the same night in the same club?
The Noises 10 was the meat on the rock sandwich that night, performing after non-local opener Morning State and before The Sammies. El Diablo noted last year that the band has the "Hottest Groupies" and judging by those in attendance at Snug, they'll take home the award for 2007, as well.
It's no surprise The Noises 10 won the Best Overall Artist award at this year's Charlotte Music Awards. Hell, no one even cared when they flubbed some of their cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Dancing in the Dark." They've got a solid stage presence, catchy riffs that aren't too pop and emotional lyrics that can draw you in and keep you focused.
As for The Sammies, it's a ton of energy poured into quick-hit songs. I'm more of a fan of their upbeat tunes, but even the slower ones can captivate a listener. It's good ole fashioned rock 'n' roll. No wonder MoRisen scooped 'em up. They've been making waves in the Charlotte scene for a while now and it won't stop any time soon.
ROLLINS ROLLS: I caught Henry Rollins' spoken word show at Amos' on Sept. 28 and was thoroughly entertained for three hours. Sure, I had heard some of the stories during my interview with him, but that didn't make him any less entertaining. Rollins was quick to note that he wasn't at his usual venue of Tremont Music Hall this time around, calling the old haunt a "beast" while adding he has a number of great memories from it. The former Black Flag/Rollins Band frontman discussed his place at The Ruts reunion, the recent Van Halen reunion, his travels in the Middle East, homosexuality and the need for more wild animal attacks around the country. Among the highlights: How an open chord on the guitar can elicit a "psycho-sexual response that makes him want to fuck, kill and rock"; asking why rap stars always talk about what they're "going to do" when they get on the microphone noting "they have the mic, so do it already."
BEHIND THE SCENES: You've probably already seen the photos from Van Halen that I took at the Charlotte show. What you don't know is that the show was one of the most difficult to photograph that I've ever been to. If you aren't familiar with the process, here's a look behind the scenes... When a photographer is approved to take photos at a concert, the "industry standard" is that you're allowed to take photos during the first three songs from "behind the barricade" or right in front of the front row without using a flash. Sometimes, bands alter these rules for a number of reasons. Local bands usually allow photos all night. For Beyonce, photographers got the first 45 seconds of the show and had to take pictures from the soundboard at the back of the floor. For Kenny Chesney, we could take pictures during the second and third song, from the middle of the crowd in front. For Van Halen, it was the first three songs from the back of the floor. If you've ever been on the floor for a general admission show, you know how difficult it is to see – ducking and weaving between heads. Now, imagine you're holding a camera while you're looking ... it's a miracle I got anything out of that show. It's the only time I can remember that I wished I was at least a foot taller (and I'm 5'9"). See you at the show!