The Black Lips, Gentleman Jesse and His Men, The Moaners
Cat’s Cradle, Carrboro
Wednesday, March 4
Starting with the third song of its set, “O Katrina!”, and continuing throughout The Black Lips’ Cradle spree last night, a band member would shout “magic time,” and the venue would transform: Red-and-white liquid kaleidoscopic lighting flooded the stage, making the grill of guitarist Ian Brown, aka Ian St. Pe, reflect into the audience as massive amounts of smoke rose from the stage.
Drawn by the energy, the crowd pushed toward the stage, dancing frenetically. Throwing hats and plastic cups and bottles at the quartet, the audience eventually lifted its own skyward for flights of body surfing. The sounds fit the sights: Think 1960’s pop-rock gems distorted in dirty garages, harmonies screamed over convulsive drumming, everything echoing. “Tour ain't easy, but it sure is fun,” declared St. Pe by night’s end.
The Chapel Hill duo of Melissa Swingle and Laura King—or the might of The Moaners—kicked off the night with loud, no nonsense guitar-drum rock and hypnotically disinterested vocals. Gentleman Jesse and His Men, The Black Lips tourmates and fellow Atlanta kids, took the bill’s middle. The group delivered straight ahead rock with ’60s pop melodies delivered with a deep, nasal, punk sneer and vocal harmonies chiming in on the chorus. Think early Beatles, plus the word “fuck.” Sort of great.
Rick Cornell on Gentleman Jesse.