Review by Kevin Templeton
Photography by Rodney Gitzel
Or, something like that. While I don't profess to know the exact lifespan of a band of Luscious Jackson's calibre, if they continue to use big-name producers (who's next, Don Was?) and play shows like the sold-out inferno they played on this eve, then I would expect them to stick around a little longer than the Bellys (R.I.P.) and Veruca Salts of the world. Luscious Jackson opened their set with three tracks from the cool Natural Ingredients album ("Here," "Pelé Merengue" and "Energy Sucker"), and the crowd quickly immersed themselves in the band's eclectic and funky group dynamic, singing and hopping along like there was no tomorrow. Bassist and main vocalist Jill Cunniff is clearly the band's strongest weapon, with her sensual and subtle rap vocals breathing new light into songs such as "Naked Eye" and "Deep Shag," while Gabby Glaser added neat staccato guitar and some (deeper) vocals of her own.
With this being the first date on Luscious Jackson's tour, one might have presumed the quartet would be a little rusty, but, again, this assumption couldn't have been further from reality. Kate Schellenbach (once the drummer for the Beastie Boys during their early hardcore/punk phase) and keyboardist Vivian Trimble seemed to have no trouble hitting their rhythmic stride, and, with help from a DJ and a percussionist, form quite an impressive nucleus to the band. They occasionally slipped into auto-pilot during weaker tracks like "Electric" and "Soothe Yourself," however, despite the exuberant, dance-hall feel to the festivities. At show's end, though, it was the band's calming disco-dub vibe that had the crown on its feet and pleading for more, which they received in the form of a couple of encores and a brief discussion from Cunniff on the merits of pogo-ing.
"We'd like to thank Luscious Jackson... and don't ask us if we give a fuck about anything else!" stated the sunglasses- and scarf-wearing vocalist from Ten Days Late, who opened the bill in place of the cancelling Eels. This five-piece from Vancouver have really come into their own since I caught them last at a Rock for Choice show a couple summers back. Playing heavy metal akin to Girlschool (!) with killer buzzsaw guitars (occasionally) in a British/DIY/punk sort of manner, Ten Days Late impressed much of the dance shoe-wearing crowd with a set based on hunger and sheer intuition. A friend noted that the band seemed a little out of place on the Rage stage -- and I agreed -- but given the right circumstances, I can see this band on an arena stage in a year or two... their sound is that big. Be on the lookout for their just-released CD (produced by GGGarth Richardson) and wish them luck.
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