TT the Bear's Place - Cambridge, MA - Friday, August 10, 2001
We got to the show late and missed The Headset. Walked in about halfway through
Varnaline's set, I reckon. The drums were very slow, and there was clear, singing guitar
feedback. Slow, feedback, sweet, picked guitar chords; these were the songs I liked the
best. Their last song was this lame blues-jam sort of song with fiery slide guitar and a
repetitive bluesy bass line that didn't seem to try too hard.
The Go-Luckys! set up quick- two guitar amps, one bass amp, the ubiquitous four-piece
drum kit. 3 band members, two young guys who looked exactly alike (Fabrizio
Steinbach on guitar and bass, and twin brother and Flavio on drums) and one Barbara
Manning (playing guitar and bass and singing). At first there were some guitar problems
with pedals, which took the power out of the instrumental opener. The second song was
a kind of old-school punk Ramones-y feeling thing, with power chords. It was kind of
just okay. Things got quickly much better, when we moved towards the back of the room
to be able to hear the vocals better, and the songs got smarter and more on the pop side. I
don't know too much of Barbara Manning's stuff, but I did recognize some SF Seals
songs: the one about crying, the one about poison, and the one about Doc Ellis.
There were some annoying moments in the show. During the one about drinking poison,
Fabrizio was doing some backup vocals, but nothing was coming out of the PA. I look
back at the soundman, and he's just sitting there, kind of staring off into space. What an
incompetant jerk. Also, the Go-Luckys! had a guy playing saxophone on some songs.
He played mostly whole notes, which would've been nice if he wasn't so horribly out of
tune. He also solo'd around a bit, and when he ran out of ideas, he'd just trill between two
notes. Yeah, he pretty much sucked. He was drinking a hard lemonade, which probably
didn't help his playing much, but likely made his playing sound better to himself.
Some guys from the Boston band Abunai! (another band with an exclamation point in
their name) came up and sang and played guitar on the song about Doc Ellis. The guitar
guy was shredding! The vocal levels were really off; I blame the soundguy. The
performance was nice, though. One of the Abunai! guys looks straight out of the 70's.
Also, there was a song where the merch table girl played a Casio keyboard into a
microphone. Barbara Manning was very friendly and bouncy, making silly corny jokes
and getting very excited when she recognized friends in the audience. The whole band
looked like they were having a good time. I really liked Ms. Manning's guitar playing;
she played a beautiful shiny silver Gretsch guitar that sounded great. They ended at 1am
on the dot, actually 1:55am since TT the Bear's clocks are set ahead. Their last song was
this epic about an arsonist, which had a lot of changes. It was twisty and good. She has a
wonderful voice. Overall, it was a great show!
Written By: Ernie K.