The Black Cat, Washington D.C.
September 6, 2006
Words by Michael Downey
Picture by REBECCA & DAN SCHULTZ
At long last we U.S. punters finally got to witness the power and the fury of the mighty Birdman. After reading all the latest gig reviews, I was even more hyped up about seeing them.
Well, I can assure anyone who has any doubts about whether these “old guys” can still deliver the goods, that they blew anyone I’ve seen off the stage. Really. I mean, the opening salvo was: “Burn My Eye”, "Do the Pop”, “Non Stop Girls” and “Murder City Nights” - whew!
They alternated the rest of the set between the first two classic albums and Zeno Beach, never looking back.
Rob was the cool, detached but riveting singer and frontman. Pip was looking oh so new wave suave with his ensemble and concise moves. The engine room of Jim and Russell kept everything locked down rock fuckin’ solid. And the dual guitar hot leads of Chris and Deniz made me think about what it would have been like to see Sonic Smith and Kramer trading licks and feeding off each other in their heyday.
Towards the end of the set, they launched into “Hand of Law” then “Descent into the Maelstrom”. The crowd went freakin’ nuts. Actually, for a U.S. audience, I was happy to see so many people so into the experience.
The last song before encores was “Aloha…” and I never thought I’d be so lucky to as to see Deniz and Chris play the opening licks in person. The encore set began with some killer guitar in “…Golden Hemet” into “455 SD” and ending with a devastating “Search and Destroy”. The lads came out for one more and you know it had to be “New Race”.
The punters were overcome by a frenzy at this point, grabbing Chris’ mike to scream the chorus. All in all, Birdman live totally exceeded every expectation I ever had.
As the Barman would rate: five Rolling Rocks, indeed.
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