Home / Concert Reviews / Jaill w/ Pizazz and The Sugar Stems @ Turner Hall Ballroom
Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2010

Jaill w/ Pizazz and The Sugar Stems @ Turner Hall Ballroom

Aug. 14, 2010

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It is the rare band that can transition from basements and small clubs to a vast space such as the Turner Hall Ballroom, bring in much of their usual crowd and still play an easy-breezy show. Jaill, the much-buzzed-about local psych-pop quartet recently signed to famed West Coast label Sub Pop Records, held their official release show for That’s How We Burn, a collection of songs that has been touted as one of the best of the summer since being made public to ears late last month. The band played a similar-minded, celebratory show at the Cactus Club this past April, but Saturday’s scaled-up event at Turner seemed the more appropriate step for a band that will be heading out on tour with The Hold Steady.

Openers Pizazz (Detroit) and The Sugar Stems (Milwaukee) performed solid, lively sets, the latter band releasing their own album that evening (Sweet Sounds of The Sugar Stems), playing from the new release and looking at ease. Singer Betsy Borst stopped before their final song, “Beat Beat Beat,” to thank her dad for loaning her his guitar for the night. The quartet’s upbeat power-pop songs sparkled thanks to Borst’s muscular vocals paired with guitarist Drew Fredrichsen’s spot-on harmonizing tenor.

Jaill took the stage before a majority of already-familiar friends. Looking calm and collected, singer/guitarist Vinnie Kircher stepped out in front of his stage-worn Vox amp to hit the opening guitar chords. The title track from the band’s previous LP, There’s No Sky (Oh My My),got the set going, and “The Biggest Nugget of Them All” followed suit. Kircher stopped shortly and said coyly, “Here’s the part where I come in and be a total dick: Where’s my whiskey?” He laughed at the impersonation of a stereotypical entitled rock star. While Jaill hasn’t succumbed to that sort of attitude quite yet, the obvious joke broke up the stale air of expectancy bubbling around the show. The crowd relaxed a bit and danced more as the group went into “She’s My Baby” from the new album. “The Stroller” powered along with bassist Andy Harris’ churning lines and aggressive sound, expansive reverb and pick-on-string scratching waking things up. Kircher pointed out that the song’s video was created by local music video pros “Rock ’n’ Roller Remote Controller.”

“I like to check to see how many hits it’s gotten,” he confessed.

The rest of the show saw Jaill playing up the new album while throwing in the occasional older song for their hardcore followers. Kircher provided funny anecdotes and threw out song trivia, waiting until the final song to introduce his band mates and then chiding the audience that they’d better remember their names after the show when they stopped by the merch table. The crowd couldn’t have appeared happier by the genuine energy of the band; hearing an old, familiar tune to send off their old, familiar friends into the unfamiliar world of national tours and national labels probably didn’t hurt, either. It was one for the local books.

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