Three shows, four nights – suppose where there’s a will there’s a way. So where did I decide to close the weekend – back to where it all started, D-22. There’s simply something about D-22 that’s accepting – the stage which pits band smack in front of viewer; the balcony which gives a POV from just about everywhere; the fatherly figure and owner grooving behind the bar. D-22 feels just right, where anyone and everyone can have the chance to play.
My associates and I (which included two brothers from Manchester who walk a thin line between hooliganism and sincerity) luckily got there before the first act, Perpetual Motion Machine. It was the perfect band to start things off. No tricks, no gimmicks, none of that excess – this was old school rock done right. Great beats, great rhythm, great deep voice on the singer.
Tell me that doesn’t get your feet tapping. Perhaps it was their earnestness, but I can’t wait to see these guys again – solid showing.
Next up were Yantiao, who came out screaming and didn’t take a breath till they came off. Compared to the previous band, these guys were frantic, chaotic, and loud, very very loud. By no means can I say I was put off – in their own way thy were kind of endearing, especially the lead singer, specks and all, jumping into each sing with a full tank of gas – but at the time it was a bit much. Definitely warrants a second listen, and I bet in the right setting these guys would kill.
Making their way from Shanghai, Friend or Foe, came out like a bat out of hell, or better yet, like alien beings from another planet, appearing onstage donning black capes, holding up cutout spaceships. Let me explain – you see, as noted in the comic strip included in their album, Friend or Foe, are two parts alien lifeform, one part human accomplice, who have landed on this earth to observe human behavior and report back to their home planet – through song. Works for me. Theatrics aside though, Friend or Foe, gave a great performance, and proved themselves worthy.
They’re a dirty little gremlin of a band, one that draws you in with its boogie and then proceeds to rock your socks off, leaving no prisoners behind. With a tight controlled sound that wouldn’t be out of place in southern California, albeit with a darker more sinister edge, they played through most of their debut album’s tracks with conviction. Humorous, dangerous, groovy, gritty, and straight up fun – Friend or Foe are a true blood rock and roll band with character. And they have a song about snorting Clorox, so yeah, enough said. Check out some more of their videos below.