By Philip Moreno
Magic Stick Detroit Michigan
November 26th 2012
3 bands that I have been wanting to see on one bill in one of the best venues in the state, sign me up! Located down the street from the larger Fox and Fillmore in Detroit, The Magic Stick is attached to the Majestic Theater above a bowling Alley. In between sets they had bands playing mini sets downstairs and fresh pizzas coming out of the ovens. Royce and Leann were behind the bar pouring strong shots of the preferred libation of WMI, whiskey. Not the Powers brand that is the official whiskey of WMI, but the almost as good: Jamison. Doors opened at 8 and the first band hit the stage a little after 9pm.
Cheap Girls is a three piece out of Lansing MI. Fronted by Ben Graham, the group roared out of the gate with a mix of grunge and punk that would have been welcomed in Seattle in the early 90’s. Adam Aymor’s drumming was especially reminiscent of the raw power of a young Dave Grohl. Ian Graham, the guitar player, was a force that got the crowd moving with heavy original riffs that shook the venue. The set lasted less then 45 minutes, but they are an opener worth seeing in Grand Rapids. In fact, after I talked with Ben between sets, he let me know they were a part of the annual Holiday Show at the Intersection Dec 30th. Get out there and support this great local band!
Ceremony was playing for the 3rd time in Michigan this year, with an opening date on the Bloc Party tour and a headlining date in Lansing, the Detroit crowd knew what to do. Ross Farrar graced the eager crowd with numerous stage dives. Bass player Justin Davis hung from the sound board above the stage during portions of the next two songs. Then, with all of us in the crowd wiped into a frenzy the opening notes of “Hysteria” the lead song off of their latest record “Zoo”came on and the entire place went nuts. The song and album are examples of the new direction of the band: less of a hardcore album and more of a pure Punk album. “Hysteria” is one of the best songs of the year and live with the crowd calling and chanting back to the band it seemed to have been written with the live show in mind. The “OH OH OH” chants and thundering drums seemed to make the crowd and band become one. Ceremony powered through almost 20 songs in 60 minutes, a reminder what shows should be. This band is not to be missed, we can only hope they find their way a little more north on the next tour.
This year in music we have had some great albums released. On that short list is the New Titus Andronicus album “Local Business”. The opening song from that album, Ecce Homo is a great show opener. Mixing in songs from all 3 of their albums, plus the group was preformed like a band who has been touring all year. They were in there grove the entire show never missing a beat even thou they played for over 75 minutes. Songs from “The Monitor” fused with new songs effortlessly. The highlight of the set was the new song “My Eating Disorder”, its pacing and lyrics got the crowd moving and screaming along with lead singer Patrick Stickles. Tight, uncompromising, and important to the American music scene today Titus Andronicus is a band that needs to be seen to fully realize their power.
Overall show 8.9 out of 10
Overall Highlight Ceremony-Hysteria