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  THE EVILS w/ Freakshow and The Blue Flame Combo  
  The 9 Lives Saloon  
  Little Five Points, Atlanta, GA  
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It had the makings of a sociological experiment: three indie rock Minions were planning to travel to The 9 Lives Saloon, self described as ďAtlantaís Only Rock-N-Roll Club.Ē That description may sound innocuous on the surface; however, the reputation of The 9 Lives Saloon is as a hang out for the more metally minded musicians in town. In short, itís not a place we would normally think to visit. However, we had all liked The Blue Flame Combo so much the time we had seen them that we were willing to lay aside our biases and go to The 9 Lives to see them again.

When we got to The 9 Lives at the ungodly early hour of 9:20 pm, we were of course shocked to find out The Blue Flame Combo (our reason for going) had already been playing for 15 minutes. I mean, what kind of rock club starts music before 10? Still, after a little debate, we paid our cover and went in to catch the end of the set.

We were not disappointed: The Blue Flame Combo were just as impressive this night as they were the last time we saw them. Although we only saw 15-20 minutes of their set, their brand of punk rock is so catchy that you canít help but find yourself singing along and bopping your head. Furthermore, this bandís execution is nearly flawless: the guitar is loud and reverby, the drums keep a driving beat while remaining varied in their rhythm, and the stand up bass thumps along, acting as a bridge between the tone and textures on the other two instruments. In short, The Blue Flame Combo seems to be a near perfect blend of style and substance, and are quite probably one of the best bands Iíve discovered thus far this year.

Afterwards, we decided to stick around for the next couple of bands. After all, we had paid the money, so it was a sunk cost. And remember, this was an experiment, so we were fairly open to seeing new and different stuff. Therefore, we werenít too put out when the next band took the stage, looking like a hard rockiní NíSync. What do I mean by this, you ask? Well, each member had a distinct look that differed from the rest of the band. For instance, the drummer looked like an average young rock kid while the bassist had a mohawk. One of the singers had tattoos up and down both arms whereas the other resembled a shaved-head club kid with his nicer shorts and clean t-shirt. Based on their looks, the bandís name (Freakshow) seemed somehow appropriate, although Iím not sure the band themselves would agree.

Since the varied appearance of the band members gave no hint as to their type of music, I was quite frankly stunned when Freakshow began to play. Now, if youíve read any of my other reviews, you ought to have a figured out Iím an indie rock kinda girl. I canít help it, itís what I do. However, a corollary of this interest is that I havenít had that much experience with some of the more modern forms of hard rock. And in particular, I havenít listened to many bands that have two equally loud and screaming lead singers trading vocals parts over what Iíd describe as solid, distorted power chords. But this was in fact what Freakshow sounded like. And since itís outside of my realm of experience, I canít objectively say whether it was well done or not.

On the other hand, I have seen a fair number of concerts in my day. And based on these experiences, I will tell you that Freakshow was having a blast. The singers jumped onto the barís floor, rolled around on tables, surfed off the stage monitors, and shimmied around the stage while the rest of the band concentrated on the music at hand. Despite my skepticism towards the music, I have to admit I was impressed and fascinated by the performance. I couldnít turn away for fear of missing something entertaining, which is a type of praise in and of itself.

After Freakshowís set, their was a long lull in the concert action, although there were two bands yet to come. At this point, we figured out that the next band, The Evils, were getting ready to record a live album, and they were apparently taking their time to set up. We hung out for a while, figuring it was still early, while we waited for the band to take the stage. Eventually, at the point we were thinking about leaving, The Evils started to playÖ..and play like Motorhead they did. I guess I could go into detail about how or what they played, but suffice to say, it reminded us all of Motorhead, and after 3 or 4 songs, we realized that it all sounded the same. Still, the crowd around us really seemed to like this band, and I suppose if you like that type of music it was good.

However, I had seen the band I wanted to see as well as one additional one, and I was ready to go home. So we left, happy to have seen The Blue Flame Combo, and at the least entertained by Freakshow. Not the best evening Iíve experienced, but certainly better than I could have expected from sociological experiment.

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The show wherein we are introduced to The Blue Flame Combo.


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