On Friday night, I went to a concert with Leezle, and our friend Mike (of the good southern stories and snapping-turtle-eatin’ fame) (who is also Mike of the outstanding taste in music fame). We went and saw a band called Son Volt (which I know is an odd religious-sounding name, but it’s a misnomer), that I was only vaguely familiar with. I agreed because I got a frantic message from Mike saying something along the lines of OH MY GOD HOLY SHIT THIS IS THE GREATEST BAND EVER AND IF YOU DON’T GO I’LL DIE AND I KNOW YOU WILL LIKE THEM SO YOU HAVE TO COME WITH ME OR I WILL COME TO YOUR HOUSE AND KILL YOU IN YOUR SLEEP. Except that it wasn’t like that, because Mike is the nicest guy ever and he would never threaten me with death, and also he doesn’t curse in casual conversation (like some people I know) (read: ME) but you get my point.
So we trounced on over to The Music Farm, which is a fabulous venue that resides in a converted 19th-century train depot. You may remember that this is where I went to see my favorite band, the magnificent Old Crow Medicine Show back in February. Son Volt had an opening band, the Black Diamond Heavies, that I grew slightly concerned with when I saw that their “merch” (by the way, I think the word “merch” is lame) section included a pair of panties with their name emblazoned across the crotch. Yeah, not so promising.
And God help me if it was not the worst band I have ever heard in my life. I’m not exaggerating, I’m not embellishing for the sake of having something to write about, they produced, literally, the worst music that has ever poisoned my now-pained ears.
I hesitate to even give them the justification of calling them a “band” because it was just two people – a drummer, and the lead “singer” and “guitar player.” In truth, I actually believed for the first 5 minutes that they were a joke, because I couldn’t believe that a band like Son Volt would allow someone like this to actually open for them (we came to the conclusion later that it must have been the choice of the venue or something) or, frankly, that anyone could actually seriously produce such terrible music. The lead guy (whose name I cannot muster up the strength to Google) was a walking parody. He was like a cross between Kid Rock and Scott Stapp (from the detestable “band” Creed.)
It was that bad. A greasier, skeevier, less-talented, more hackneyed wash-up couldn’t possibly be conceived.
And he was wearing EXACTLY that same outfit at the show I saw. What you can’t see here is his terrible man-tan, and awful, tired circa 1992 black combat boots.
And all of this could be forgiven if they were even reasonably talented. I’ll forgive a hell of a lot of ugly for good music (I love The Ramones, after all!), but hoo-wee, they were just plain terrible. This guy was trying really hard to have one of those old, gravelly rocker voices which was clearly faked, and he screamed out the terrible lyrics in this tone that sounded suspiciously similar to a woodchipper that is trying to process a piece of sheet metal with a bunch of rabid racoons lashed to it. And, as he spewed forth such forced noise, he also awkwardly banged away at a keyboard that he had set to the “guitar” setting so as to produce some sort of wretched melody that surely sprung forth from the fiery depths of hell. I created better music as a 10 year-old futzing around on the family’s Casio.
Sadly, I don’t think that I have the literary capabilities to truly express how awful this was. It was painful, nay, OFFENSIVE to listen to. For them to parade that around as music was a spit in the face to anyone out there who appreciates it. There were times when I literally had my fingers in my ears it was so bad, and as I looked around and noticed the people around me grimacing and staring hatefully at the stage I knew that I wasn’t the only one. You’d think they would be clued in by the fact that only about 5 people were standing around the stage, as the rest of us pressed up against the back wall of the building trying in vain to get as far away from the sound as we could. The only person dancing or even swaying to the music was one very drunk, very obvious 19 year-old who could barely keep herself upright while her friends looked on a laughed at her. I’m pretty sure I saw her passed out on the bathroom floor about 15 minutes later.
I guess what I’m trying to say here is that they sucked. Did I convey that adequately?
Oh, and Son Volt was awesome, but somehow I can’t muster up the energy to talk about them. Frankly, a passel of 4 year-olds banging on pots and pans would have sounded like the Vienna Opera Company after what we went through.