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The Phenomenauts / Big D And The Kids Table

The Phenomenauts / Big D And The Kids Table: live in San Franciscolive in San Francisco (2005)
Springman Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: FuzzyFuzzy
(others by this writer | submit your own)

This past Warped, my brother and I got the chance to catch the Phenomenauts playing their brand of "spacebilly" twice in one day. It was a whole lot of fun, and seeing them with Big D could only be better. So I trekked down to the Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco, and after having a bit of a spat.


This past Warped, my brother and I got the chance to catch the Phenomenauts playing their brand of "spacebilly" twice in one day. It was a whole lot of fun, and seeing them with Big D could only be better. So I trekked down to the Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco, and after having a bit of a spat with the bus driver, arrived to a mostly empty room.

The first band, the Teenage Harlets, played a mix of surf/pop-punk, kind of like the cheesy Dick Dale stuff mixed with the Descendents. It was fun, but nothing memorable. The best thing was that the singer spent nearly all of his time out in the crowd, getting everyone in on the action.

As the River City Rebels were getting ready, I just got more and more irritated. I would like to petition them to either stop posing or stop playing music. In the past year or so they've slipped completely into this glam image that simply doesn't suit them. While the music (for the most part) is still kind of rockin', it lacks the punch or the relevance found on Racism, Religion, And War, and the lyrics are completely vapid and boring. Add in the fact that their stage show can be best described as if Reel Big Fish's schtick was playing up every stereotype of a New York Dolls/glam band. Good lord, just stop.

Big D came up next. I think they've pretty much become my favorite live band currently. There's just something about their energy that can't be matched. Dave's spastic floor punches and spitting emotion, Sean's bizarre dancing while singing backup, Bush, Dan and Paul's spot-on horn playing and JR's speed drumming all just meshes together into a stage presence that reminds me of another Boston ska band that I miss dearly. They played a nice mix of stuff from their newest album as well as stuff from Good Luck and Gypsy Hill and finally gave in to my request and played "Jeremy," which was wonderful. The highlight had to be the two instrumental tracks "The Sounds of Allston Village" (from How it Goes) and "Great Song" (from Gypsy Hill) because they showed off their real musical chops. It's easy to forget that most of these guys are classically trained in their instruments, some sporting degrees.

Oakland's space-traveling heroes took the stage with a smoke machine and a blast off into "The Year 2000" and it was a lot of fun. They mix up rock, punk, rockabilly and fun into their own style, which they call "rocket roll" and it works really well. I'm not that familiar with their catalog, but their extended non-Warped set was pretty awesome. Dressed in matching jumpsuits and sporting some odd helmets, they rocked and rolled the crowd pretty damned well. I left as they finished their last song, and managed to avoid their toilet paper-shooting gun, but I had a good time. Easily recommended viewing.

The best thing about this concert, and any concert at the Bottom of the Hill, is how intimate the club is. The bands are always hanging out, and everyone who plays there seems to really enjoy talking to all the kids. It's awesome to see that there are still bands that do this, and venues that seem geared toward it. By the end of the night, the club was packed with kids waiting for Big D and the Phenomenauts and it was a great vibe throughout.

my photos from the show

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (August 4, 2005)

Do you know where I could find some Phenomenaut lyrics?
Do they even exist?

Chason (March 3, 2005)

holy crap, half my comment dissapeared. oh, fuck it.

Chason (March 3, 2005)

i have a question. i've seen a lot of people on punknews post the "

IheartAdam (March 2, 2005)

No way, that guy from PM Dawn was secretly Kendall before his cult life.

Anonymous (March 2, 2005)

score is for remembering it was PM Dawn.

maybe the fat guy in PM Dawn was just Heavy D with dreads.

sickboi (March 2, 2005)

"Fans will remember Heavy's contribution to "Set Adrift On Memory Bliss" as a shining moment in music history."

I thought that was PM Dawn?

Score is for PM Dawn.

Anonymous (March 2, 2005)

I don't think I'll ever understand why everyone is so down on the River City Rebels. I think that Hate to be Loved is fucking fantastic.

Fuzzy (March 2, 2005)

"Sandys a cute dog"

She's the only reason i miss home.

Anonymous (March 2, 2005)

the aquabats=most fun live band around

Psychoos231 (March 1, 2005)

Sandys a cute dog

Anonymous (March 1, 2005)

glam>punk

and:

phenomenauts=most fun live band around.

Fuzzy (March 1, 2005)

"every stereotype of a New York Dolls/glam band"

How many other punk rock bands are toying with a Dolls/glam influence these days?

I didn't say that other punk bands were doing that, did I? I don't enjoy the whole fake glam image, be it the cultured persona of David Bowie's work or the rough and tumble glam of the Dolls. It's just not my bag, and think that RCR do it very poorly.

IheartAdam (March 1, 2005)

Now that we've found love what are we gonna do............................................................... ................................................................. ................................................................. ..................................with itttt.

Anonymous (March 1, 2005)

I always liked Heavy D and the Boys... they were a nice alternative to "gangster rap" which permeated the airwaves starting in the early 90's.

unfortunately, Heavy D and the Boys' positive message in their songs didn't sell records, resulting in the group's ultimate demise.

Fans will remember Heavy's contribution to "Set Adrift On Memory Bliss" as a shining moment in music history.

Anonymous (March 1, 2005)

The Phenomenauts put on a better show than Big D. Score's for them.

Anonymous (March 1, 2005)

Score's for the Ventures, the best surf and most influential instrumental band in the world. I'm not exaggerating.

Anonymous (March 1, 2005)

i saw this show last week and Big d just owned, great show. i wish there were more surf bands

Anonymous (March 1, 2005)

Sounds like a good tour dude, even if RCR aren't my bag. Big D are one of the best current live bands as well. I like ska, sue me.

Joe

CorpseOfMyMotivation (March 1, 2005)

These guys were amazing both times I saw them.

Anonymous (March 1, 2005)

im goin to see this show tonight at the troubadour and Red Letter M is playing. this score is for red letter m

gladimnotemo (March 1, 2005)

"every stereotype of a New York Dolls/glam band"

How many other punk rock bands are toying with a Dolls/glam influence these days?

IheartAdam (March 1, 2005)

I'd just like to mention that the River City Rebels never had any relevance....or talent...on any release. Thank you.

Anonymous (March 1, 2005)

allston village without the keyboards or female oooh ahhs really wouldnt be that good.

Anonymous (March 1, 2005)

aside from rockabilly, surf is the Phenomentauts second major influence

Anonymous (March 1, 2005)

so does big d. both those bands together are a wet dream of sorts..that river band ruins it though

- jones the bones

- stevejones8770@yahoo.com

TheOneTrueBill (March 1, 2005)

Yes! Phenomenauts rule!

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