Saturday Night: Gram Rabbit At Last Concert Cafe

Gram Rabbit Last Concert Cafe August 14, 2010

Here at Aftermath, we're big fans of Houston - love our town - and of the local music scene. Based on what we saw at the recent Houston Press Awards showcases, we've raised some pretty good rock bands in Houston.

We wish they could've been at Last Concert Café Saturday night to see just how high the bar is they need to reach or get over to be truly great rock bands, because Joshua Tree, Calif. rockers Gram Rabbit melted faces. From the moment they stormed onstage like guys in those old World War II movies where the sirens go off and the squawk box screams "battle stations, battle stations," it was kick ass and take names. The term "stormtroopers" comes to mind.

Rabbit didn't bother introducing themselves, they just let drummer Hayden Scott begin the pounding and the band dropped into the rock zone with all the sizzle of an egg hitting the hood of a car on a 100-degree day. They were all biz and show biz. Relentless. Merciless. Driving. Pounding. Merciless.

Whether they were sampling the new techno whiz album Miracles & Metaphors or grab-bagging into their catalog for oldies like "Dirty Horse," there wasn't a moment of slack as these creatures from the high desert of California did battle with the kind of oppressive humidity they never encounter.

Soaked in sweat doesn't begin to cover what happened to Gram Rabbit as they relentlessly rocked an outdoor stage in one of the world's great swamps. But beyond soaking them from head to toes, it didn't phase these L.A. scene pros for a second, although bassist Todd Rutherford did finally just give up on wearing a too-tight T-shirt.

Aftermath's companion, who had never been to Last Concert Café or seen Gram Rabbit, claimed she was "gobsmacked by the whole scene." The only sour note of the night was Jesika von Rabbit's baiting of the crowd to dance and party.

Houston is not the high California desert with its zero humidity. Note to Gram Rabbit for future: It's hard to get a Houston crowd to dance the watusi outdoors in the summer. That's the shortest route to a heatstroke.

But, truly, we wish more of Houston's rock bands could have seen this non-stop "shock and awe" show by a ridiculously gifted rock band. Gram Rabbit sets the bar high, very high.

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