Jaill w/ Pizazz and The Sugar Stems @ Turner Hall Ballroom
Aug. 14, 2010
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
“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.