The Dictators NYC, the band with more name changes than P. Diddy, hit the Bowery Electric this past Thursday for their first New York show of the year. As always, BE was packed with the sweaty faithful, wanting it fast and loud, and our boys did not disappoint.
Sometimes it’s big things (Oh my God, they’re actually playing? It’s been five years!) from shows that make for the memories, and sometimes it’s little things. Here are a few of the little gifts the show had to offer:
• A much-needed pitchfork was taken to the set list. “Savage Beat,” “I Stand Tall” and “Minnesota Strip” are in; “Haircut and Attitude,” “Pu**y and Money” and “American Beat” are on the bench. (The lobbying committee to add “Master Race Rock” and “Cars and Girls” meets on Wednesdays at DFFD HQ. All are welcome. Conference Room B, bring a snack.)
• Having Dean do the perverted whispering BV during “Minn Strip,” and never go near the mic for the rest of the show, is genius.
• You can hear (and love) a song a thousand times, and one tiny change can totally remake it for you. “Stay With Me,” one of my fave tunes ever, was given new depth when HDM channeled his inner Lou Rawls, and threw in a plaintive “I believed you, baby!” right after “you said we’d never part ’til we died.” Right there and then it became a soul tune!
• Dean has found a way to fill the time during HDM’s rants by taking selfies on stage with his bestie:
About that name change — there are 2 trains of thought here. One is that the “NYC” appendix gives enough of a sense of differentiation from the original brand/band name while still retaining familiarity, allowing the band to pursue higher-profile gigs. One is that it’s too close to the real thing, and that “The Dictators” name should not be used in any way, shape or form, unless all 5 Dictators are involved. We citizens of Switzerland see both sides of this debate, and respect both POVs as being equally passionate, valid, and rooted in respect for the name and what it represents. In other words, we’re here for the tunes.
A final note, directed at the tuneless wonder who bellowed into my left ear for the entire show — drunk, off-key and out of time is no way to go through life, boy.
— Salvi C.
5/30 set list:
1. Savage Beat
2. The Party Starts Now!
3. Next Big Thing
4. Avenue A
5. I Stand Tall
6. Who Will Save R+R
7. Slow Death
8. Baby Let’s Twist
9. Minnesota Strip
10. Faster and Louder
11. New York, New York
12. Stay With Me
13. Two Tub Man
14. Kick Out the Jams