. There were not a lot of girls at Bowery Ballroom last night. It shouldn't have been that surprising to me. Swervedriver have always been a Dudes Band. But I hadn't been to such a dude-heavy show in a long time. And, as you often get with shows by veteran band, you could tell a lot of the dudes hadn't been to a show in a long time. I texted my friend Don before they started: "There are like 10 girls here. Five are bartenders, the rest are here against their will." I was excited to see Swervedriver's first NYC show in ten years, but all this, um, dudeness was freaking me out. A bit. At one point I thought it might be funny to take pictures of all the women at the show and ask them what they got out of the deal for agreeing to come to the show. Might be funny for the blog, right? The ladies perspective.
But then Swervedriver came out and just killed it. Like the last ten years never happened. Jaw-droppingly, why-aren't-you-still-a-band-and-making-records good. And maybe it's just the decade that's passed, but they almost seemed better than I remembered. Swervedriver's sound hasn't dated I don't think — it's the sound of vapor trails off hot desert pavement, or after-burners on a spaceship. On songs like the slow-burn "Duress" it felt like gravity lost its grip on us just a little bit. The band was clearly into it as much as the crowd. Adam Franklin is a cool dude, looking more like Geoffrey Wright having long-since shaved off his signature dreads, and didn't say more than ten word to the crowd the whole show but he had a smile on his face every time he did. Dudes win.
MP3: Swervedriver- Duress
Swervedriver play tonight at Music Hall of Williamsburg. It's sold out but if it's anything like last night's show, there will likely be people selling tickets outside. And probably a few available at the door. If you were on the fence about seeing them, I can say without hesitation… go.
Dirty on Purpose were about as close to perfect an opening band as you could find. There's definitely a throughline from Swervedriver to DoP's effect-laden sound, especially in guitarist George Wilson's whammy-bar, guitar-manhandling style — which was in full effect on the set-closing instrumental "Monument." No matter how similar their styles were, a few impatient types in the crowd couldn't help themselves and shouted 'SWERVEDRIVER!" throughout the set, to which guitarist Joe Jurewicz responded. "Swervedriver are on next. Maybe you want to wait to wait downstairs in the bar till they're on."