House of Blues--The Parish
The Detroit Cobras and The Woggles
February 06, 2006
It was a rainy night, and I was one of the first people to be let into The Parish at the HOB. This is never fun when you're alone, so I moseyed over to Ol Toones. That bartender(older skinny guy with a bald head) is so nice, and OT is always a great place to exchange a word with people you would never talk to otherwise. I love bartenders that actually thank you for their tips, as if your dollar isn't just another dollar on top of the other many dollars they've received that night.
It looked like about twenty people were hanging out when The Woggles hit the stage at 9. The Woggles is an Athens-based rock band that formed in '87. The fact that they're still together is proof that '60's Kinksian rock will never die. There's something inherently enjoyable and important about that music, and its building blocks have informed way too many bands for it to fade away. Along with the influence of poppy '60's rock, there was something garagey about The Woggles. In addition, they mixed synchronized R&B instrument-included dance moves with the do-or-die attack of punk.
Man, they didn't let up. At the beginning of the concert, I was certainly skeptical and a bit ageist. I noticed how old The Woggles were, so I immediately thought, "Oh, some dinosaur act looking to push music they grew up on that's had its day. Boring." But, it wasn't. The Woggles showed me why garage rock is still important. It grabs life by the nuts. The Woggles played like the show was the only thing they had to worry about. Like there was nothing else. They were hardcore in their execution. Song after song of dance and shake-able sex in an amp. This would be great first date music. Can't go wrong if you like to boogaloo.
The Woggles played songs like "My Baby Loves to Boogaloo," "Get Tough, and "Red Light, Green Light." The music was fun, but it wouldn't have registered with the audience if the band hadn't been so theatrical. They were the opening band, after all. Vocalist The Professor led the charge by punching diagonally into the air with his tambourine and pulling all kinds of acrobatic rock star moves. The best was when The Professor jumped off the stage and slid across the floor on his knees. That got everyone's attention, and from that point out, there was a person-less strip of space in the room reserved just in case the band(drummer excluded) came marching back, which was very likely. The Woggles electrified the room and made it as much of a party as an opening band could.
Too bad the same can't be said about The Detroit Cobras. They had more people to work with when they went onstage, but they didn't take advantage. They apparently had just gotten off the bus, but that's no excuse. They figured that since the crowd wasn't giving them energy, they were gonna sleepwalk through the set. I don't understand how bands like The Detroit Cobras can complain and be so blase and expect any crowd to like them. There were the prerequisite super-fans up front nodding heads and bouncing, but most were just standing there. Yeah, rock and roll, y'all! Please. The female lead singer just stood there. She seemed more interested in sipping her drink than pleasing the crowd.