Live Review: eagle teeth, the full clips, the gypsters, flannel

Nov. 15, 2013 • the shakedown

On Friday, Nov. 15, the Shakedown became a boiling melting pot of styles and sounds, ranging from 90’s nostalgia to heavy synth-pop, from eastern European jazz to pop punk. There was so much energy bounding inside our precious musical heaven that night that, properly harnessed, we might have been able to power a small city for some time. The crowd took that energy and danced their asses off.
Flannel took the stage first. If you aren’t familiar with these guys, they cover songs from the 90s (and yes, they all wore flannel). These guys put on hell of a show. Opening with the Mighty Mighty Bosstones’s “Impression That I Get,” there was scarcely a person who wasn’t singing along. The thing that struck me, beyond the near flawless delivery, was that this band carries no feeling of novelty, but a passion to honor the songs they grew up with. Their song choices (“Timebomb,” “Bob,” “Possum Kingdom,” etc.) reflect more on their tastes, not the era’s smash hits, though each song was familiar to the crowd.
The Gypsters kept the mood upbeat with their unique blender of sound. They make a lot of room for the instrumentation, leading the crowd through tempo changes and surprises while setting the stage for vocals. I heard so many types of music happening here (punk, ska, surf, bluegrass, just for starters) that there is trouble categorizing them; each element serves a purpose. Occasional gang vocals, bratty lyrics, attitude, and mixed genres, the Gypsters led the audience through Ellis Island into the very heart of American music.
The Full Clips kept the genre blending of the night going strong and pushed in some funky, jazzy elements into the mix. They are extraordinarily dynamic, tight, and polished. The music is sexy, and the crowd loved it, dancing through an instrumental aural canvas that paints car chases, bank robberies, and other funky connotations. I couldn’t tell who had more fun, the band or the audience.
The stage presence of three men, two of which are in zebra print, laying down tight bass lines and drum beats to an aggressive synthesizer whilst they sing about dancing, partying, and all things hedonistic simply cannot belong to anyone but Eagle Teeth. Alan worked the bass from the monitor platform most of the time, dancing as much (if not more) as the crowd, while David toggled between his git and synth, delivering his pop vocals in stunning falsetto (and occasionally through a vocoder). During “Shut Up,” I felt like Maximo’s drums were preparing us for war, or perhaps just an epic dance off. They played long and hard, debuting new material and keeping the party moving. When they finished, the crowd demanded an encore, and proceeded to storm the stage to dance with the band when they delivered. Awesome. There’s nothing like the sight of 20-plus people on the stage at the Shakedown, dancing like Babes on Bicycles.
–Jake Werrion