Black Rebel Motorcycle Club at Avalon on May 30

A review of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club at Avalon on May 30, 2007

, Editor-in-Chief

Have you ever wondered whatever happened to your rock ‘n roll? It’s a natural question that plagues many music fans from time to time. At the Avalon Ballroom on Wednesday evening, the question was even asked in one song by headliner, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (BRMC). However, with a set that delivered a high dose of organic energy and musicianship, the band provided their own answer to the above question.

To say that luck has not been on the band\’s side since the release of their highly acclaimed 2001 self-titled debut would be an understatement. From being dropped by a major record label to the internal squabbles that resulted in drummer Nick Jago temporally leaving the band, they have certainly been through a lot of crap for such a talented trio. In 2005, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s career was resurrected with the release of Howl. Now, two years later, the band is back with higher aspirations for the recently released Baby 81. Judging by the band’s Boston gig, there’s no doubt the band should now be back on the track to stardom.

The show was layered in marvelous guitar playing, as the San Francisco based group rocked a faithful audience with renewed vigor and force. The band kicked off their two-hour set with the heavily distorted “Took Out A Loan.”& It was the first of many tunes off Baby 81, an album that seems to be a nice bridge between Howl’s Americana/acoustic driven melodies and the band’s earlier darker and harder edge. “Weapon Of Choice” was stellar, while “Lien On Your Dreams” was equally strong.

There were a handful of tunes off the Howl, including the energetic southern–rock fused “Ain’t No Easy Way” and “Devil’s Waitin’,” which came during a mini-acoustic set. They also found plenty of time to reach back in their catalog for fan favorites such as “Whatever Happened To My Rock N’ Roll (Punk Song)”.

Guitarist/bassists Peter Hayes and Robert Levon Been were in great form, sharing melodies throughout the night, and propelled the band’s set in different directions. From the start of the show the trio (with a touring instrumentalist for multiple tunes) was all business. Despite little interaction with the crowd they still displayed a clear and genuine love for their fans. Even after the venue began to turn the house lights up, the band answered the cry for more from the rabid audience and returned for a four-song encore to close out the show. It was all impromptu as the band took requests from the crowd, starting off with “High/Low” (a song they say they hadn’t played in roughly two years) and ending with “US Government.”

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