Concert Review: The Hentchmen @ Magic Stick
Take one part Anvil, one part Jackson, toss in some Hentch, sprinkle with a lil’ Motor City magic – what have you got? Friday night at the Stick. Pure rock, done Detroit style. I imagine if the MC5 and Iggy still hung out on the scene like they used to, they would have been present at this gig. Being able to take part in the rebirth of the downtown rock scene these past few years, you have to be amazed at the sheer talent witnessed on a weekly basis.
Shooting over to the Stick after catching the local punk fest at the Shelter, I was able to witness another three bands worth of pure energy. First up was THE HARD LESSONS – on hand to celebrate their new 7″ single “FEEDBACK LOOP”. This band has been making inroads these past few weeks as they play every gig thrown at them – either as themselves, or their undercover cohorts The Eric Estrada Blues Enchilada (Complete with sunglasses and mustaches). You could never go wrong with the hotness that is Ko Ko Louise. Tickling those ivories with reckless abandon, as guitarist Gin sweeps in and out of the melodies, I eagerly await their next headlining gig. Get out to a show soon, pick up the 45 and enjoy their set – it’s toe tapping from start to finish! Backed by The Anvil on drums, you can’t help but boogie and smile as he pounded to the Motown beat.
Sliding into second – BACK IN SPADES. You’ve heard the lineage, but have you heard the band? I can’t say enough about these guys, except that they cover CITY SLANG better than the Hellacopters or Scott Morgan. That says it all. If you don’t know what I mean… look it up. BIS is a direct bullseye in the world of what I call real rock n roll – along the lines of the Rolling Stones. Colliding into the best of the 60’s influenced shakers of today, but grounded in the myth of the past. As difficult as it was to stop dancing and snap pictures, I had to remind myself to document it. Stephen Palmer belts out vocals while Jackson Smith plunks out riff after riff and slaps it on top of Anthony Rochon’s bass and Joe Leone ‘s drums licks. I am still beating myself up for not grabbing their new cd. By far the best performance of the show…
Rounding out the rawk tonight was the esteemed HENTCHMEN. You know em, you love em. Their buttons say “I like Hentch”, and I’ll be damned if I don’t too. Tonight’s act was hard as hell to follow, and while they may not have had the strongest set of the night, it was still fun. John, Tim and Mike all have many tricks up their sleeves, and they let a few of em out. You have to love a band with the Polish Flag on the organ, and the fun is easy to feel…literally. Bumping upbeat anthems in line with the strongest of 60’s rock, the Ventures have nothing on our very own Hentchmen. Strolling outside I hailed a taxi to take me home, rock echoing in my brain. I said to myself as I stepped into the backset… God Bless you Detroit. And then passed out. — Christopher Chouinard