RADIO BIRDMAN
+ AWESOME COLOR
The Ottobar
Baltimore, MD
June 30, 2007

By MICHAEL DOWNEY

  
The unreal Radio Birdman return to our shores once again!  Damn, after last years tour, I never would have dreamed seeing them so soon, in my home town no less.
  
This time was different for a couple reasons.  Obviously, the sound changed without Pip present.  His contributions to the band can't be overstated, but I have to say that they sounded like a leaner, meaner fighting machine with the two guitars supplying the fireworks.  Deniz and Chris were spot on from the first notes and fed off each other throughout with intensity.  Yeah, Kramer/Smith-like...  I got a sense that this was indeed a band on a mission; out to prove that they are here to stay, making vital music now.
  
Which is another reason they were different, and better, this time.  There were alot more songs from Zeno Beach (let's stop calling it the new one), that blended perfectly into the repertoire.  Of course, the opening round of "Smith & Wesson Blues", "Non-Stop Girls", "Do the Pop" and "I-94" really juiced up the joint immediately.  Next was a huge thrill to an ol' BOC fan, as they ripped through a killer "Hot Rails to Hell".  Following was a trio of rockers from Zeno before hittin' us hard again with tunes from the first two LPs.
  
The guys did a masterful job mixing it up all night, pacing the show brilliantly with high energy start to finish.  All members had a hand in creating another unforgettable rock'n'roll event.  Rob was in fine form and voice, the aforementioned Deniz/Chris juggernaut and the hard-ass, get down rhythm anchor of Jim and Russell.
  
The set ended with a fantastic "Aloha..." before they came back to the crowd's cheers for a five song encore.  It was so cool to finally hear "Breaks My Heart" live, which was followed by a Deniz-led, driving "Locked Up", segueing into a great cover of "Til the End of the Day".  They brought it all to a crashing end with a blazing "New Race".
  
Seeing them play like they did this past Saturday, I got the feeling that nothing was beyond this band, that they could take on all challengers and beat them hands down.  Another incredible Radio Birdman experience.
  
Oh yeah, of interest; they did drink PBR all night.
 
In closing, I must give a callout to opening band, Awesome Color, an, ahem, awesome trio of youngsters who just tore it up.  A really promising, new hard rocking band that delivered the goods.
  

Five Rolling Rocks, five Rolling Rocks fer sure

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