One Eyed Jack's
We're Only In It For The Honey
September 11, 2004
“People come up.” That’s what former Rage Against The Machine vocalist Zack De La Rocha said in an authoritative way to start out “People of the Sun.” The song was off the band’s second album, “Evil Empire.” De La Rocha’s comment was a figurative call to arms for Mexicans, and it was also an admonition to anyone who would try and keep Mexicans down.
What if De La Rocha hadn’t been an unsmiling, “nothing’s ever good enough,” avenger type of guy? What if he had been an annoying, constantly happy Human Resources motivational speaker that liked local rock band We’re Only In It For The Honey? Well, he still would have been saying, “people come up,” just in a different way. He would have been standing with back to the stage as the band played, offering candy to the audience in exchange for playing a game. “Now, this game is called ‘people come up,’” he would have said. “It’s real simple. Move your little feet closer to the stage. That’s right, Mr. biker man. See, everybody? I’m giving Mr. biker man a jolly rancher because he’s such a good sport.”
We’re Only In It For The Honey could have used the second version of De La Rocha Saturday night at One Eyed Jack’s. He might have gotten hurt, but there was definite void between the band and audience that needed to be filled. The crowd didn’t give the band love. Given—the band was the first of four, but they played enjoyable, straightforward rock n’ roll. People don’t want to hear this, but sometimes you’ve gotta give love to get love. Some people would say that it shouldn’t have to be this way. They’d say the band should bring all the energy, that the band should have to prove themselves before love can be given. These are the same people who don’t give tips.
An opening band is never gonna get the love they deserve, so it’s up to the audience to not be afraid of the stage and “come up.” Even if you’re cursing them out, telling them you’re gonna rip their bleepin’ heads off if they don’t rock, they will smile at you because hey, at least you’re in the show. Honey, minus vocalist Joe Dean, seemed a little nervous at the beginning of the show, and it would have taken only a few people to wake them up. Bassist Don Toscano, guitarist Kevin Bowles and drummer Dan Cardona joined Dean. Thankfully, Dean was at his Iggy Pop fullest from the word go. He pranced, jumped, rubbed his band mate’s heads, howled, held the microphone from the top, and spat water into a mist. The word “rock n’ roll” was in the lyrics a few times. So, I guess Dean was preaching. The rest of the band warmed up as the concert went on, and the crowd did applaud and respond better. I head-banged and stomped my foot here and there, and the music made me want to lose it. I was almost there. Just to the edge. I didn’t make it over, though. That was the only problem with their set. The band was a little sloppy. Rock City Morgue came on after them, and the contrast showed me Honey wasn’t at their tightest.
Still, the band played the straight man well. Straight beats, guitar and bass. I just want to see them headline. Then, we’ll find out if the “people come up” and drive the band to lose themselves earlier.