Legendary folk punk band Violent Femmes amped up a vast crowd filled with nostalgic old timers looking to relive 1984.
After Horns of Dilemma members Blaise Garza (saxophonist) and John Sparrow (percussionist) opened up with an experimental set, consisting of untimely drum rolls and loud blows coming from a sax taller than the average human, the core members of the group, Gordon Gano and Brian Ritchie, marched from the entrance of the venue, playing a whimsical tune as they got onstage. The quartet opened up with “I Hate the TV” and as they sang the lines “I hate the president,” everyone—including myself—cheered in agreement. Soon after, they kicked it into high gear with tracks off their debut album.
The older crowd quickly got up from their seats and chanted famous hits such as “Blister in the Sun” and “Kiss Off.” For “Gone Daddy Gone” bassist Brian Ritchie switched to the xylophone and played the famous jingle with ease. Frontman Gordon Gano switched instruments as well for many songs, including banjo and violin for songs like “Country Death Song” and “Good Feeling,” respectively. When the band performed “Gimme the Car,” Ritchie turned away from his signature acoustic bass and grabbed an electric one, busting out funky, psychedelic solos.
The bassist still implements his famous style of catchy, walking bass lines as he plucks the strings as hard as he can. Gano still delivers the same quirky vocal tone and pitch from the group’s earlier years. Garza and Sparrow added to the rhythm section, providing great performances on horns and drums that enhanced the renowned band’s sound. As someone who was born too late to see them in their youthful days, I don’t believe I missed out as they currently sound well within their prime.