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Night 1 of Blowout 2014

Night 1 of Blowout 17 (2014) took place at the Magic Stick and Garden Bowl on April 30th.

Arrived in time to see George Morris & The Gypsy Chorus, but wasn't feeling it. Went downstairs to the Garden Bowl, and Talking Dolls was late setting up.Once they got started, it was some entertaining minimalist rock music.

The Garden Bowl was running late, but the action upstairs was punctual. Next was Pony Show, a band comprising 3 of the 4 members of The Von Bondies' last lineup. This was hyped as their first public performance, yet they already had t-shirts made up to sell. The performance was underwelming, and Jason Stollsteimer seemed to be holding back his voice's full capabilities.

You might remember Local H from 1996 when they got some radio play. They're one of a few out of town acts booked for this year's Blowout. I saw them a few years ago at St. Andrew's Hall, when they opened for Electric Six. They put on a great performance, and they were the number one reason for me to show up at the preview night.  They started the set with a cover of Lorde's Pretty Ruins, with the room at about half capacity.

They left the old radio hit, Bound For The Floor towards the end, like you'd expect, but they didn't play out the whole song. They made a part of a medley with some of their other stuff. Throughout the whole performance spectators were slowly filtering out. By the end, the room had maybe half as many people as it did in the beginning. Frontman Scott Lucas's attempt to crowd surf to the merch table had to be facilitated by the crowd underneath him walking him over there.

Just after Lucas made it over to the merch table I go downstairs, and Snakewing, a Hardcore Punk band was in the middle of their set. I'm not really into that genre, mostly because the name of it is so self-aggrandizing, but this band was enjoyable. One of the guys from Dutch Pink must have committed some kind of moshing foul, because he got forcefully ejected by self-anointed amateur security. Actual event security didn't seem to mind, so they must have agreed with the ejection.

The next three days of the Blowout are spread across Detroit, Hamtramck, and Ferndale. It's going to require some decisions that I would compare to Sophie's Choice if it wasn't ridiculously hyperbolic. For Thursday night, (well, tonight really), Hamtramck seems like an obvious choice. It will have ten participating venues, compared to six in Ferndale, and only five in Detroit. In addition to 10 venues, Hamtramck will have the Detroit Cobras playing Small's Bar at 11:30. I hope they don't disappoint me again.

Ferndale's Thursday lineup isn't devoid of choices if your friends are dragging you there. Johnny Headband, 10:15 at The Loving Touch should be a solid choice if they're back on their game again. The Ragbirds at Rustbelt Market at 11:30 should also be solid.

Detroit has the slimmest pickings, in part because the Magic Stick and Garden Bowl aren't involved for Thursday night. I really don't understand why the Metro Times wanted to include some Midtown destinations. If there are people too intimidated by Hamtramck, how are they going to handle walking from Old Miami to Jumbo's at 11PM? Also, why is Northern Lights involved? I like the place, but that's two blocks from Grand Blvd. Not even remotely walkable from the other destinations.

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 With a face for radio, a voice for print, and the prose of a new immigrant, I'll stick to amateur blogging