Home / Concert Reviews / Drugs Dragons w/ Dirty Dancing and Static Eyes @ Cactus Club

Monday, Jan. 27, 2014

Drugs Dragons w/ Dirty Dancing and Static Eyes @ Cactus Club


Jan. 24, 2014

drugs dragons
Drugs Dragons
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Like almost every music venue, Cactus Club’s walls are adorned with music posters. Most venues plug upcoming shows, but the seminal Bay View rock club unabashedly celebrates its past by keeping up its old ones, displaying its keen sense to host shows for up-and-coming touring acts before they hit it big. And that’s certainly a huge strength of the Cactus Club, but the venue also deserves praise for putting on essential local-centric bills. Friday night proved that those domestic line-ups can be far more visceral and just as gratifying as any touring outfit.

The night started off hearty with the riotous Static Eyes. Lead singer Lee Olson, clad in an unsanctioned Jean Segura T-shirt and sunglasses, provided a restless energy behind the microphone, oftentimes infiltrating the relaxed crowd, trying to garner a reaction. Their crisp, animated garage punk concluded before it really began, but the brevity should really be considered strength, as the best punk records hit hard and finish faster than you’d like.

Dirty Dancing followed with fragmented dance-punk that was neither danceable nor mosh-inducing. Nonetheless, the three-piece’s set was utterly arresting. With a projection screen producing splashy visuals in the background, Dirty Dancing emanated a spellbinding psychedelic aesthetic. But when things got too formulaic, they were ready to throw the audience for a loop. After cueing up the next projection screen became routine, Dirty Dancing feigned playing the next song, then the projection went blank, and a completely different projection came up as the band began a different tune. The bait and switch provided a nice visual trick that kept the audience’s attention.

Drugs Dragons would close the night with a sonically punishing performance. Frontman Luke Chappelle’s desperate howl was alarming, as well as his stage behavior. In the middle of the band’s set, he chugged the remnants of a PBR and proceeded to throw the bottle straight down to the crowd floor. Amazingly, instead of smashing into a hundred sharp pieces, the bottle remained intact. Someone placed the bottle upright, leading Chappelle to kick the PBR further into the audience. That chaotic sensibility filtered into much of the performance. After its first song, the band jested only one more remained. They would make this joke several times. Drugs Dragons’ shock-punk maintained an unhinged and loose vibe, a blurred mix of ruggedness and detachment.
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