Live review: Black Lips

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Black Lips w/ Box Elders, Temperance League

Neighborhood Theatre

March 17, 2010

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The Deal: Rowdy crowd loves Atlanta power punk band as trio of acts heat up the 'Hood for St. Patrick's Day.

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The Good: Though only a couple dozen people were there to witness it, the night got started off strong with a 30-minute set by Charlotte's Temperance League. Formerly known in various incarnations as Bruce Hazel and Some Volunteers, the League is comprised of David Kim, Mark Lynch, Shawn Lynch, Chad Wilson and Hazel.

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The band's brand of garage rock reminds me quite a bit of Springsteen — through Hazel's tone in his vocals and storytelling lyrics. Songs like "Detroit," "Walk Away" and "Power to the Working Class" can be found on the band's MySpace site.

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I was a fan of the Volunteers and the fuller sound they offered with a horn section, but now that things have stripped down into a more solid rock foundation, Hazel's energetic personality seems more in line with the new music.

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Omaha, Nebraska's Box Elders were up next. The band's music is somewhat rockabilly in style thanks to the old-school drum beats of energetic drummer Dave Goldberg. Clayton and Jeremiah McIntyre pair their vocals nicely, but it's Goldberg at center stage who quickly gets all the attention while the band performs. I've never seen a more energetic, wild drummer who swings his arms with abandon as he hammers away while standing. Definitely memorable and entertaining to watch.

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By the time Box Elders were finished and Black Lips hit the state, the crowd had swelled to somewhere around 150 people, most of whom were raring to go. By the time the first notes of "Sea of Blasphemy" struck out, some in the crowd were in a frenzy.

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Though on tour in support of their latest album, 200 Million Thousand, the band only played two songs from that disc — "Drugs" and "Short Fuse" — during their main set which lasted just under an hour.

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The band also found a few moments of "Magic Time" when the lights went dim and a projector threw what looked like lava lamp images onto the audience and stage. The band's set was raw and energetic without any polish on it — just how you'd want it.

The Bad: That those who were there for Box Elders and Black Lips weren't in the crowd for Temperance League.

While the Black Lips has a bad reputation, there wasn't any evidence of that during the show. In fact, the most poorly behaved in the crowd were those who jumped on stage and threw beer bottles at the ground and beer at the band.

The Verdict: Keep an eye out for any time any of the bands is performing in town. They're all worth seeing.

Black Lips Setlist

Sea of Blasphemy

Drugs

Short Fuse

Katrina

Dirty Hands

Make It

Cold Hands

Dutronic

Not a Problem

Lock and Key

Boone

Fairy Stories

Boomerang

Got a Knife

Buried Alive

Bad Kids

Juvenile

Encore

Encore songs coming soon!

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