Big Eyes w/ The Audacity, The Living Blackouts and Appleseeds
Nov. 29, 2012
But here’s where you can tell that good old fashioned rock ’n’ roll still has a pulse and it’s getting a bit stronger: Even during times when the genre’s relevance seems to be on the wane, it’s still not that unusual for a good band like Big Eyes to come through town every now and again, when just a couple of years ago, a four-band bill that was as collectively worth seeing as from top to bottom as the one Thursday night would have seemed nigh on inconceivable. Getting things started were two local openers, Appleseeds, whose blasts of twitchy punk and manic female vocals are as infectious as they are fleeting, and The Living Blackouts, who play a more conventional strain of punk but with plenty of tumbling drums and tricky guitar lines to keep things interesting. Next up was Burger Records act The Audacity, from Fullerton, Calif., who’ve developed into an amalgam of classic, kicking garage rock and longhaired grungy weirdness.
As good as all those bands were, it became apparent that it was mostly Big Eyes that had packed the club, but unfortunately, it gradually also became apparent that singer-guitarist Kate Eldridge wasn’t as enthused as everybody else. It seemed like nothing was going her way. First she couldn’t quite hear the vocals (Quarters does need a louder PA), then she broke a string and was forced to play a backup Fender, a brand she’s not fond of, then she seemed to have a hard time dealing with the heat (Quarters does get broiling with a full house). But for all of her apologies and apparent frustration, everything sounded fantastic. Even with the somewhat muffled vocals and the drummer from The Audacity filling in, the group was in fine form on fan favorites like “Your Lies” and “Back from the Moon” as well as some spunky new songs. The crowd seemed to be doing their best to bolster her spirits throughout, but even as they were howling for an encore, Eldridge was wondering aloud whether it was better to end on a weak note or no note at all. It was kind of disconcerting; everyone seemed to be having a blast but her, but even if she couldn’t hear it, they put a big exclamation point at the end of a long night of quality rock ’n’ roll.