great show, great people, great night

Here's what The Stranger had to say:

"You can’t help coming off like Dweeby McDweeberson when you try to analyze music like this. But here goes anyway…

Seattle trio Idle Times played scrappy garage rock that’s as common as PBR. A lot of people like PBR, so Idle Times should be golden. They rocked in a perfectly functional manner, but it’s hard to say much more than that. If you’ve been listening seriously to music for five years or longer, you will have encountered many bands like this, no matter where you’ve lived. And you can appreciate them. (Idle Times' lineup last time I saw them at the Comet included Dean Whitmore and Charles Leo Gebhardt IV, and that may be why I liked them better then; neither played last night.) This is coming off snottier than I intend; Idle Times are a good band, but sometimes you want more than you get on a given night.

The Oh Sees, four Caucasians from San Francisco, came on in full hyperkinetic mode. They played garage-derived rock, too, but these treble-maniacs trebled the energy level (the song title “Meat Step Lively,” which they duly performed with great urgency, aptly describes the tenor of the Oh Sees’ set). Band leader John Dwyer holds his guitar high on his torso and frequently fellates the mic when he sings. He looks like he wants to pick fights with his own songs as he plays them. Brigid Dawson stands center stage, plays keyboards, slams tambourines, and sings, but she is by no means a traditional female rocker on whom you focus; she’s just another valuable cog in a well-oiled rock throwback machine. The Oh Sees’ music is nothing new, but through sheer dint of its primal, feral nature and catchy, familiar-sounding tunes, it thoroughly wins you over. Their no-nonsense, barreling gay-rog rok is done to absolute pitch (im)perfection.

Joining headliner Jay Reatard onstage were a chunky drummer (Billy Hayes) and a bassist (Stephen Pope) with a Buzz Osbourne-like ’fro. Both bassist and guitarist Reatard strapped on flying Vs. It didn’t seem possible, but things got even more rudimentary with these blokes. Jay’s face was mostly obscured by a curtain of wavy, auburn hair, and damn near everything he said and sang was indecipherable. The band immediately got to the point with Ramonesian unfussiness.

The song on the Croc’s PA right before Reatard took the stage was Slade’s “Cum on Feel the Noize,” and it was a fortuitous lead-in to the trio’s bubblegum-metal-punk fuzzbombing. Even when Jay reached for his acoustic, the songs careened at 100+ mph. The night’s most accessible number found Jay singing in an oddly girly Geddy Lee-esque tone.

Many fans really threw themselves into Jay Reatard’s performance. A young woman crowd-surfed and stage dove. The pit throbbed with much bouncing and colliding. Stranger freelancer Travis Ritter vigorously shook his head and gave many a one-beer salute. Security ushered out at least two customers—one a fat, hirsute white dude and the other a rail-thin black guy.

I expected more of a lo-fi, shambolic type of rock, but Jay Reatard & co. were pumping out arena-ready blur-blare (blargh). This type of nuance-free music bypasses critical faculties and shoots directly to the lizard brain. Nothing much stuck in the mind, but it all rushed through said thinking apparatus with such rude haste and crude energy that it electrified us in the motherfucking moment.

Jay Reatard played 35 minutes, definitely enough for the large Monday crowd to get the gist. (I woke up kind of deaf in one ear, and I wore plugs.) A 7 Seconds song came on the PA instantly after the band exited the stage—again, seeming strikingly apropos. But right before that, Jay yanked a guy up to the proscenium, gave him his guitar, and let the dude shred on it while Jay screamed. At song’s end, I looked up from my notebook to see Pope and the stand-in guitarist kissing and then violently parting in a shove. Couldn’t tell if the whole thing was staged or spontaneous, but, knowing Reatard’s rep for antagonism, he probably planned the whole thing—so he could blog about it later.

Dweeby McDweeberson, out."

Thee Oh Sees

If you watch really closely you can see Jon spitting into the air and catching it in is mouth (50 sec. in). I was impressed :)