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A lot of bands use crazy onstage antics and energy to mask the fact that, though their music is good, it ’s pretty mediocre. You see it all the time and these days it’s pretty commonplace and, well, annoying. Anyone can stand on a table, jump on their fans and climb the rafters, but not everyone can set concert chaos to a kick-ass soundtrack.
The American Sharks can.
The local foursome played their third or fourth show last night at the Proletariat and put on one helluva rock show.
The group matches an early rock and roll style with the attitude of post-punks like The Germs and the energy of, well, every band ever. The guys tore up the stage (and the area in front of it) at the Proletariat, and the audience was happy to join in. The only thing more entertaining than the music were the band’s presence and the crowd’s reaction.
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Singer Mike Hardin and guitarist/keyboardist Will Ellis played on the floor, leaving the stage to drummer Buck Gamble and newly added bassist Ben (We didn’t get a last name). The place wasn’t sold out, but the audience made that hard to believe. Fans jumped into the band and the band jumped into fans. Hardin and Ellis herked and jerked around so much the microphone stand rarely stayed in the same place for an entire song. At one point, Ben tripped and fell into the drum kit and just kept on playing.
A fan hoisted Ellis’s keyboard above his head and shook it in the air; I’m not sure why, but it added to the general craziness. On a side note, the keyboard actually belongs to Ellis’ friend, who, immediately after the band’s last song, unplugged it and took it out to his car. Apparently he hadn’t even seen the thing after loaning it to Ellis two years ago. Tough break, dude. Hope you find another one before the next show – which hasn ’t been announced, but if you like to rock, you should find out about it and go. Try www.myspace.com/theamericansharks for gig updates, but unfortunately no music. At least not yet. – Dusti Rhodes
Should You Really Have Been There? Most definitely. Click here for a slideshow.
Want your show reviewed? Just ask. But don’t expect anything less than an honest opinion. And don’t say you weren’t warned.