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Concert review: Firehose@Fulton 55 4/13/2012
With this one show Fulton 55 fullfilled its promise. There have probably been other shows, but for me, this was the one. This is the type of show that should be (and is quickly becoming) the bread and butter for the venue. That is, a mid-major touring act with some name recognition for those in the know. A reunited indie band stopping through on its way to Coachella. That is, Mike freakin' Watt, who is sort of legendary.
Quiet Americans: The Quiet Americans were a last minute addition to the show. Literally, the band found out it was opening the night before the show and had to scramble to make sure everyone was in town.
I've seen several incarnations of the band, including a two-peice (guitarist/vocalist Luke Giffen and drummer Eli Reyes), but for this show they had a full line-up (bass, keys and another guitar). It was a short set, but well played and it was only after hearing Firehose that it became apparent just how well Quiet Americans fit on the bill. It was a good choice, sound wise, and the type of opener that makes Fresno look good.
Tera Melos: Tera Melos play what I will heretofore refer to as pedal-core (a term I may have just made up). Defined as: Noisy, angular rock music characterized by heavy use of effects pedals.
The guitar player had no less than a baker's dozen pedals that made all sorts of crazy whizz, buzz and boing sounds (the bass player had a more than a few of his own). Watching them play footies with it all was impressively fun (probably something like the reaction people had watching the jazz guys do bebop back in the day). It's not the most assessible music, and there were more than a few confused faces in the audience, but that endeared the band to me all the more.
Firehose: Apparently Firehose played somewhere in Fresno circa 1994. Or, at least that's what I was told repeated by those who were there. In 1994. Which is to say there was a bit of nostalgia going around. I did not see Firehose in '94, so I cannot compare this to that, but I did not find the present version lacking. Ed FromOhio (or however it's written) was a charismatic frontman who was visibly happy to be playing these songs again. Mike Watt mostly stayed close to his bass rig with his back turned almost to the audience. He stepped foward to sing and song or two and then retreated back to his corner. Great set with a single encore (though the audience could have handled another).