The bally who...(Pt. 2)
December 11, 2004
I expected too much. After listening to their debut album in my car off and on for a month, I expected the band to drop out of the sky and deliver an inspiring, flawless, and explosive performance. But, I forgot to realize that this band wasn't perfect, that like all bands playing live for the first time, they were gonna have problems and be unpolished. Hell, they're probably not gonna work out the kinks until their fourth or fifth show. That's normal. I was so sure the show was gonna be great. The Dufourc brothers on the stage together, playing catchy but wink and a nudge skewered melodies(Check out the first review for a better description of their sound). Drummer Arthur Mintz attacking with his usual fury. The show DID have its moments.
But, Lounge Lizards had sucky sound compared to The Howlin' Wolf or The Mermaid Lounge. Bands can normally get their point across, but that's because most of the bands that play at Lounge Lizards don't need the sound quality to support a subtlety that The bally who... had Saturday night.
The bally who... wasn't just four guys blasting away party music. Some of it was party-like, but it was more importantly intelligent music that shouldn't have made the listener swoop in to distinguish the difference in guitar sounds.
So, the vocals weren't loud enough. That was the main problem. Also, singers/guitarists Jacques and Rene Dufourc weren't confident enough on the mic. More force. Less mumbling. Also, unless the band was just up there to have fun and not be taken seriously, then it didn't make sense for Jacques to brag that the drummer and bassist had only played the songs three times before. The technical aspects of the songs came off well enough, but why not wait until everybody's gotten together at least ten times or more to make sure that everybody's on the same page before you hit the stage? There were enough moments when Mintz looked over at Rene for direction or just in confusion.
Mintz's monster drumming and the fuzz from the guitars met in some great rock moments. The energy and soul of rock. Jacques was flailing over there on the side, getting into it. Too bad these moments only lasted for about a minute each.
Ernie Sploom did a great job of introducing the band and getting people to surround the stage, but once the energy level was set-up for kill, the band turned out a slower version of their song on CD. Powerful rock accents, but not fast or driving enough.
Why did Mintz opt out of the last song and send his World Leader Pretend guitarist up there in his place? Luckily, he could play the beat, but it was really frustrating to listen to, knowing it could have been so much better if Mintz was on drums.
With one or two new songs thrown in, the band basically played their album from beginning to end. The highlight of the set was the ballad that Jacques and Rene played without the rest of the band. The soft, delicate, and romantic notes floated through the air. It was a nice moment.
It was impressive how many people the band got to fill the front of the bar. They got a good reception.
Whatever happened, the bally who...have the good heart and music in them. They just need time to grow and get it out in concert. They're just saying yes. I can't argue with that.