(Photo courtesy of Ian Jane /Rock! Shock! Pop!)
Did you spend the weekend craving a cigarette and some cuddling? If not, then you weren’t at the Manitoba show at the extremely oversold Bowery Electric on Thu 1/26. The lucky attendees have spent the last couple of days looking back in awe.
You thought the Asbury show was great? So did I. Well, this was a quantum leap above the debut. From Note One, the band kicked a** and took names. They were tighter than a mosquito’s tweeter, and there was a ROAR coming from the dueling Gibsons that is almost beyond description. Imagine being on a tarmac without earplugs as a jet plane comes in for a landing — THAT’s what they sound like.
We’re used to RTB, HDM and JP bringing their “A” games to each and every show, and this was no exception. HDM, aka “The Eric Cartman of Punk Rock,” had a 5-year backlog of hilarious stories and used every one to good effect. RTB looks to be the happiest guy in rock+roll nowadays — his smile could light a room. JP is the heart of the whole shebang, the glue that holds it all together. But it was the newbies who threw the band over the top. The absolutely stellar performances from Daniel Rey and The Dream made the difference from the debut’s “great show!!” to this gig’s “OHMYGOD!!”
As fantastic as the band played, I have to say that the entire experience was dampened by how dangerously overpacked the room was. It’s no knock on Bowery Electric itself, which is a very nice venue. But we were sardined in so tight that the guy behind me really should have bought me a drink and paid my cab fare. All it would have taken was one nitwit, and the entire crowd would have toppled over. I totally get the concept of playing a small place first and building a buzz, but this is a band that’s capable of filling the Bowery Ballroom!
It’s time to road test this baby. How about a weekend combo of Providence and Boston, or Chicago-Detroit-Cleveland? Or maybe Providence and Boston? Did I mention Providence and Boston?
It’s back, my friends. It’s all the way back. Against all odds, they keep getting up off the mat. This incredible body of work is once again given a voice.
One of Manitoba’s stories included “I’m PETER PAN, baby! I’m doing this forever!!” Let’s hope he’s right. Let’s also hope that if it works for him, it’ll work for the rest of the band, and for us!
— Salvi C.
• 1. The Party Starts Now!
• 2. The Next Big Thing
• 3. Avenue A
• 4. Baby Let’s Twist
• 5. Haircut and Attitude
• 6. Pu**y and Money
• 7. Who Will Save Rock and Roll
• 8. Prototype
• 9. Slow Death
• 10. Faster and Louder
• 11. New York, New York
• 12. Stay With Me
• 13. Two Tub Man
• 14. Loose (Jesse Malin on vox)
• 15. California Sun (w/Jesse)
More photos (and another review) at Rock! Shock! Pop!