Part of me considered passing on this show. I'd seen six shows the previous week, and I have something scheduled for just about every other night this month (I'm even marking stuff down for September right now). In the end, however, my desire to support the good people at ORRiginal Promotions, who booked this show, and James Plane Wreck, whose Atypical Tuesday performance impressed me greatly, won out.
As it turned out, this show needed whatever support it could get. Monday nights are typically slow for any bar, and many of the folks who did come down to Tom Grainey's chose to hang out on the patio. So it goes. To their credit, the two bands who played this night didn't seem to let the small audience adversely affect their performances.
James Plane Wreck went first and more than confirmed my initial good impression of them. Between their confident mash-up of genres (country, folk-rock, metal, punk, pop, hard rock), their solid tunes, their sharp arrangements and their amiable, ragged-but-right rowdiness, I'm tempted to call them the band that Parade of Bad Guys wants to be. That's kinda harsh, though, so I'll just say that they made me think of what the New York Dolls might sound like if they went alt-country. Agreeably rough singing, terse and twangy guitar riffs, unflashy basslines, dynamic drumming. I'll look forward to seeing this group again. And again.
After James Plane Wreck came Oakland-based pop-punk band Death Ray. This duo boasted a strong tune sense, good guitar riffs and rhythm tracks, mega-catchy synth hooks, a very robust sense of humor and a willingness to go to extreme lengths to entertain the audience. Examples of the latter two: playing original songs about Die Hard (yes, the chorus includes the line you're hoping for), why you should never date a five-foot-tall girl and the guy who played "the fat ginger kid" in The Sandlot; dropping some wonderfully un-PC banter; and the lead singer downing some white glue during one song and then stripping down to his briefs and gyrating like crazy during their set-capping cover of the J. Geils Band's "Centerfold."
This is what you miss when you stay at home on a Monday night in Boise.
You can find info on James Plane Wreck and Death Ray on Facebook and elsewhere online. Also, for any touring bands interested in booking shows in Boise, you can look up ORRiginal Promotions on Facebook and contact them at info@ORRiginalpromotions.com.