Just as we feared, Bonnaroo has straight-up spoiled us to death. That misguided notion of being able to roll up to a show roughly on time and not have to wait around like a jackass never should have followed us back from Manchester, but boy, did it ever. Following text message cries of boredom from our trusty photographer, we rolled up on The Zombie Shop at 10 p.m. to catch Reid Magette's release show for Shrine of Youth. And then we waited. Oh, did we wait.
Figuring that we had enough time to run to East Nashville and back in order to pick up a companion for the night's foray into garage rock (and some much needed BYOBitude), we booked it to Inglewood in hopes that we'd manage to hit that sweet window of time between when the sound guy stopped tapping on the microphones and when local punks New Pleasure ended. Based on our reputation, you may be surprised to hear we overshot by a bit.
We caught precious little of New Pleasure, but it was enough to tell us exactly what their deal is. Which is to say, they're easily camouflaged in this three-piece garage thing that has been terrorizing our city's music scene for the past couple of years. For their part, New Pleasure's dirty, fuzzy garage rock felt closer to the young'un kiddie-punk circle — the one that also claims bands like Dirty Dreams and Mom and Dad — than their ever-so-slightly older and wiser brethren in the Nashville's Dead set, but we'd be interested to see more of them in the future. If they're anything like Ranch Ghost — i.e., play every show ever forever — we'll almost assuredly get that chance. Any band that finds their Internet home on a Blogspot account called “I'll Fuck You Up, Mick Jagger” is one worth keeping an eye on.
While waiting in line for a beer, our show companion asked if The Zombie Shop had finally elevated their stage in the warehouse's rock 'n' roll corner. As it turns out, no — Richie Kirkpatrick is just really goddamn tall. Decked out in Western wear (rather than the referee uniform that we're not sure we've seen him out of in the better part of a year) and a sweet Stetson, Ri¢hie settled into a set of country-tinged rock music owing tribute to Elvis Costello that would've felt a little out of place were we: A) not familiar with headliner Reid Magette, and B) not big Ghostfinger fans from way back. Richie might not be singing about being born on the moon, but his songs still have a sing-along anthem quality to them that are instantly charming. And handy, as it turns out.
A couple songs into Ri¢hie's set, power blew in the stage area and killed the amps. Without a moment of hesitation, Ri¢hie barreled straight through, letting the crowd act as his amplifiers. Maybe we're giving Ri¢hie too much credit, but it seemed well timed enough that it could've been part of the show. Maybe somebody was cued to trip the circuit breaker for a few seconds to give us a crazy powerful moment in the show. Or, maybe we were watching a show in a beat-up warehouse with lamps hanging from the ceiling. Either way, Richie (and Ri¢hie) is a total pro.
After watching a lady and her friend slow dance/dry hump the (mostly useless) fans set up next to the venue's back gate — which was memorizing in its oddness — Reid Magette set up and proceeded to blow the roof off the damn place.
We've been singing the praises of Magette for a minute now, but we're totally enamored with his new band, especially the unironic saxophone. Reid Magette and the 1020s play anthemic, Springsteen-y rock music straight from the gut. It's so big that even the awful PA and dubious acoustics of the concrete Zombie Shop couldn't hold it back. We're not the biggest fans of vintage dad rock (Springsteen and so forth), but we are all about the contemporary music that spawned from it. We'd lump Magette into the same raw, boozy group as The Hold Steady and Titus Andronicus: earnest in their pursuit of power chords and saxophone solos, but down-to-earth enough to be affective in their gravelly, homespun way.
By the end of the night, Magette had the entire room wailing along to lyrics like “Last night / I got so loaded / I imploded” and endless refrains of “World's gonna end” from “Hobknobbin'.” It was exactly what a weird show at a weird venue needs to be — chaotic, massive and drowned in keg beer. We'd love to hear these songs coming out of a PA that doesn't sound like someone did crimes to it in a dark alley, but, for now, we left totally satisfied.