Live Shot 

Last week at Exit/In, The Dirtbombs fused soul and fury to make electrifying rock ’n’ roll

Last week at Exit/In, The Dirtbombs fused soul and fury to make electrifying rock ’n’ roll

Last Thursday’s show at the Exit/In began hard and strong with a set from The Lost Sounds, whose guitar riffs were so loud you could have heard them down the street at the Krispy Kreme. With their shaggy hair and slouching posture, the Memphis band looked like quintessential young garage-rockers. But while they played loudly and earnestly, it was The Dirtbombs, the headliners from Detroit, who tendered not just attitude, but also electrifying rock ’n’ roll fused with blues, funk and dirty bass rhythms.

The Dirtbombs also know how to work a crowd, especially lead singer Mick Collins, whose unhurried coolness makes you believe there really are people who can look natural and even hip as they jump around onstage. Anchored by two bass players and two drummers, the band’s sound was not so much louder as it was fuller and richer than that of their peers, the grooving interplay among the instruments adding another dimension to the standard, at times limiting bass-drums-guitar concept. And their intensity never flagged. By the time of the encore, the Dirtbombs had wound themselves and the crowd so tightly that when Collins played his guitar not just behind his head or with his teeth, but on his mic stand, it seemed a fitting, exhausting end to a show that testified to what can happen when soul and fury collide.

—Lacey Galbraith


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