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Concert review: Red Elvises/The Neptunes 3/9/2011
I hate to judge. I have no room for it. I've sat out on a number of great local shows, so I understand. It was a Wednesday night. There was lots of other stuff happening. The couch was too comfy. I get it.
But having only 20 or so people show up at Audie's for the Red Elvises show last night seemed sort of sad. This is a dance band after all, and watching a dance band with no one dancing is just sort of creepy.
But let's not get ahead of ourselves.
The Neptunes: Awesome surf rock. There are plenty of surf-rock bands (though not really in Fresno) and many throw their own spin on the genre. The Ghastly Ones are spooky. Deadbolt goes voodoo on it. The Neptunes are pretty traditional. The music is precise and loud and rumbling with a duel-guitar attack. I appreciate Tom Walzem taking time to introduce/share stores about the songs. I'm only sad I missed him playing the double-necked electric.
Red Elvises: The Red Elivses are your favorite band (that's their tagline anyway). And they were my favorite band, too. For awhile at least. I was 18 or 19 and in a ska band and into crazy-good rock-a-billy-style dance music. And these guys were in "Six String Samurai." The bonus was was they were Russians. Not commies, but they played on the iconography, which I loved. How do they hold up some 12 years later? Pretty f'in well. There's obviously still some schtick to it. They have guy who plays bass balalaika (a three-stringed Russian instrument that looks like an oversized flying-V), and the singer's name is Igor and he wears a pajama suit (that's seriously the best way to explain it) and has a thick accent. But the music was spot on and super fun.
Which brings us back to the crowd, which Igor put at 12 (but we made noise like there were 18 of us. Huzzah!). Initially things looked bleak. The crowd were all fans and totally enthused, but you could tell the band wanted people up and dancing. That only took a few songs and by the end of the set almost everyone was up on the dancefloor shaking and bopping along. Highlight: "Closet Disco Dancer."