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This week: Frank hits The Fabulous Thunderbirds, The Atomic Swindlers, and Burning 2

Harp and a halo 

The T-bird torch hasn't been completely passed just yet. Yeah, Fran and Jimmie split a long time ago and Keith swapped his bass for a harp and a halo. But as long as Kim Wilson is up front croonin' and munchin' on the tin sandwich, it'll be The Fabulous Thunderbirds. Surrounded by new blood --- save for keyboard legend and on-again, off-again Blaster Gene Taylor --- The Thunderbirds rocked the High Falls Festival Site in front of an enormous crowd. Dressed like one of Batman's arch-rivals, guitarist Nick Curran slung and sung like Johnny Guitar and proved it twice with his own "Shot Down" and a cool stab at Little Richard's "Keep OnKnockin," which included those sensationally flamboyant "Wooooos!" Wilson is a master of circular breathing and played an extended solo --- with one continuous breath --- toward the end of the set that easily lasted 15 minutes. The band played long into and after the sunset illuminated the sextet rather cinematically.

The Atomic Swindlers done swindled me. I love this band and was looking forward to the acoustic set they promised. However, when I rolled into Whiskey on Saturday, the only thing acoustic were the guitars --- and I'm pretty sure they were plugged in as well. Regardless, the band played well, though the sound was a little spotty at times; lots of hard surfaces will do that I suppose. Their songs in any environment, at any volume, played in whatever medium are simply fantastic. So maybe I wasn't swindled outright, just a little misled. But April can lie to me anytime she likes and it'll sound better than most musicians' truth.

Hit The Bug Jar toward the end of the night in time to catch Burning 2 Entyce's last two songs. It was super heavy and heard with the double-kick pummeling like a Gatling gun. The singer raged and paced the stage roaring in a voice twice his size, sounding like a cross between Darth Vader and Cookie Monster. It was intense and I certainly would've liked to hear more. Frankly, I can't get enough of anything.

  • This week: Frank hits The Fabulous Thunderbirds, The Atomic Swindlers, and Burning 2

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