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  6X w/ The Moto-Litas  
  The Star Bar  
  Little Five Points, Atlanta, GA  
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I go to a lot of shows and I never end up writing reviews of most of them. Why? Sometimes it's the same bands I always go see. Sometimes I either arrive late or leave early. But most of the times, it's just because I don't know what to say. I mean, in general, even if I don't particularly care for a band, I try to figure out who they might appeal to. And normally, I can point out the good things in any band's set. When I can't, I usually don't bother to review the show -- it really seems kind of rude for a nameless nobody to write bad things about an apparently hard working band.

With that in mind, I have to confess: I really have a hard time finding many redeeming qualities about this evening's opening band, The Moto-Litas, a local Atlanta band consisting of 4 women (of which 2 share vocal duties). From all the good press they get in various indie rock zines, one might expect them to be something of a revelation, equal parts Kathleen Hanna, Wanda Jackson, and Dick Dale. And certainly, based on the numerous times I've heard of them playing out, you'd expect them to be rather entertaining and comfortable on stage, although I haven't seen evidence of this the last few times I've encountered the band. Nevertheless, their brand of semi-angry straight up rock seemed to connect with much of the crowd, who danced and applauded freely.

Me? I was reminded of a somewhat less-talented Melissa Etheridge (of whom I am not a fan) playing riffs that were a little too loud and that were somewhat beyond the band (judging by the fact that both guitarists and the bassist spent much of the evening looking at their fretting). Furthermore, they didn't look to be having too much fun on the stage; their generally serious posture threw me off and led me to ponder, "Could they be a good band if they'd just quit trying so damn hard?" I'm not sure I want to know the answer myself, and I'm not sure it really matters. Either way, The Moto-Litas are a band I'm likely to actively avoid for the foreseeable future, and I was quite glad for their set to come to an end (as I glanced at my watch for the hundredth-time).

Lest you think I'm one of those people who hates female-fronted bands, I'll tell you upfront that I like the headliners, 6X, who are fronted by Lara Kiang. In their case, the music (as well as the performance) never takes itself particularly seriously. And although the lyrics aren't particularly meaningful and the songwriting isn't necessarily innovative, 6X's garage pop is always well-performed by talented musicians who show genuine pleasure being in front of a receptive crowd.

On this evening, despite my somewhat hesitant mood after seeing the opening band, 6X met my expectations. There was lots of silly banter within the band and with the audience. Guitarist Rob Gal and Bassist Kevin Rej showed off their talent while guitarist/vocalist Lara Kiang kept the whole thing moving along in her usual hyper-energetic manner. Still, even though it was all fun, I had this nagging feeling that they were just getting by, doing what they always had. There was nothing unexpectedly wonderful about the show; nothing that made me want to call up the other Minions and say, "You should have been there." It was one of those performance that just was, and it certainly wasn't strong enough to offset the issues I had with the first band.

It was a "chocolate mousse" kind of evening: fluffy and insubstantial and completely forgettable once I left The Star Bar and crawled home to bed.

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