Black Rebel Motorcycle Club- Exit/In – October 3rd, 2010

I was worn out after the weekend. After seeing bands on Friday night and then almost losing my hearing at Third Man on Saturday (well worth it though), it seemed like Next Big Nashville had taken its toll. I didn’t know if I’d be able to handle Black Rebel Motorcycle Club when my ears were still ringing from the days before. Luckily, I was wrong.

The setlist they played didn’t strain too far from the time I saw them in St. Louis. I could tell it wouldn’t vary too much when Robert Been opened with his roaring bass line for “War Machine”, much like he did in St. Louis earlier that month. Never was a huge fan of that one on album, but live, the band rips through it without mercy but not without sheer conviction. It’s simply a great opener.

The band continued to soldier on for an almost 2 hour set. Like I said earlier, they didn’t strain too far from their strong points, playing their classics like “Whatever Happened to My Rock N’ Roll?” and “Weapon of Choice”. What I was kind of down on was the lack of material from the album Howl. Seeing as how similar the newer album, Beat the Devil’s Tattoo, is to it (they were recorded in the same basement) , it surprised me that we didn’t get ones like “Shuffle Your Feet” or “Weight of the World” weren’t included into the setlist. It was okay though, because they gave the audience (or at least me) a couple of tracks that they haven’t heard in a bit. They delivered an awesome version of “Took Out A Loan” and even played “Salvation” off their debut album as part of their encore. “Salvation” sounds heavier live thanks to Leah Sharpio’s drumming, but this doesn’t make the song lose the peaceful “going home” feeling that it holds on the debut album. It rather makes it more interesting and builds the tension up for the end which explodes rather than fades out like on the album. An interesting way to end a usually peaceful song that I can honestly say I will not look at the same way again.

Another rarity I am happy to say I saw last night was “Half-State”, the 10 minute closer for their newest album. Peter Hayes fucking delivered on this track. His vocals and lyrics let alone make this song worth hearing, but what will sell you is the howling, screeching guitar that he makes follow his lyrics of isolation. Robert Levon Been follows this moment by supplying a repetitive but essential bass line right behind Haye’s verses. Him and Sharpio share the bottom for this one, but all three of them play off of each other extremely well that it doesn’t seem as though one’s pulling more weight than another.

The band closed with “Shadow’s Keeper” which slowly morphed into “Open Invitation.” They had done this at the Saint Louis show as well, but what I couldn’t help but notice this song was Been. He was pouring his heart and soul into this one and almost looked to the point of tears. Maybe it was the tragic loss of his father (the Call’s Michael Been, who was also the band’s sound engineer) a couple of weeks ago or that the years of touring are starting to take their toll, but Been seemed to be the one who shined throughout the closer and seemed to sing with the most conviction.

Basically, if you haven’t seen this band live yet, do it. They’ve made killer record after killer record and don’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. The fact that this band isn’t bigger than it is is a crying shame because their live act is something to be seen. Even if you have to fork up some cash to go see them open for the shit Stone Temple Pilots, I’d recommend it. This band destroys live and deserves some attention.

Beat the Devil’s Tattoo:

Weapon of Choice:

Ain’t No Easy Way:

Whatever Happened to My Rock n Roll?:

http://www.blackrebelmotorcycleclub.com/

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