Volume: The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – House of Blues Cambridge Room, Dallas, TX 05/07/11

Blues Explosion!

“It looks like, the guitarist, Jon, his other band is coming through in about a month” the late Kelly Parker told me after the insanity at Mad Hatter’s had concluded. Boss Hog had just played a very, very rare show (at the time – 1993) and the place had been absolutely jam packed with fans. “I think this show is going to be even more bad-ass than tonight was”.

He was right.

I hadn’t heard anything from The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion until they took the stage that next month, and was immediately converted. Being familiar face at Mad Hatter’s, and a club regular, I usually didn’t get overly excited during shows there, although I saw plenty to illicit excitement. But on this night, I battled my way to the front as they launched into a sweaty, raunchy version of their band new song, “Bellbottoms”. The Theremin had been in full swing all night, the crowd was rowdy, and this was a full-bore ROCK show.

This past Saturday night The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Mr. Russell Simins, Mr. Judah Bauer, and the charismatic ringleader Jon Spencer himself descended into the fairly sterile confines of House Of Blues’ Cambridge Room and sullied it up a bit, their first time in Dallas since they played Gypsy Tea Room in 2002. It wasn’t difficult to imagine being in a small, sweaty hole-in-the-wall rock club with the energy emitting from the stage. I was honestly afraid that time might have dulled the Blues Explosion. In the past few years, I’ve even thought I was “over” them, that there was no real need in my life for their revved up take on rock-n-soul Rolling Stones style blues rock, that the twin guitar attack of Bauer and Spencer just wasn’t it for me anymore.

How incorrect I was.

I was almost instantly transported back 18 years to that first time I saw them, as Spencer shouted, growled, howled and yelped his band through at least 20 songs in 75 minutes. You can’t catch your breath, they sure don’t, as their set doesn’t allow any time for thinking, just barreling through song after song after pauseless song. Hitting on tracks throughout their career, “Dang”, “Afro”, “Soul Typecast”, “2 Kindsa Love”, “She Said”, “Shirt Jac”, and “Orange” highlighted the night complete with at least 50 references to “Blues Explosion!” sprinkled in, well, everywhere. There was no mistaking who you were witnessing.

It truly was The Blues Explosion. I will not doubt your power again.

~ by thesynaptic on May 10, 2011.

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