To get to this show, I had to board a boat. Wait, a boat? Yes, a boat. Essentially, the show was a rock and roll river cruise, which is an astoundingly simple and yet profoundly novel concept. You got metal in my recreational boating! You got recreational boating in my metal! It continues to amaze me that this kind of synergy isn’t more realized by adventuresome promoters. Tell me you wouldn’t go to a metal show at a paintball park. In any event, it was like attending the “70,000 Tons of Metal” cruise, but much much colder and smaller. So, more like “7 Tons of Metal.”
The first of two bands for the evening was Skeletons In The Piano, a locally based act who capitalized on their unique combination of alternative music, electric violin and belly dancing. That sounds like a combination that was conjured out of a lost bet, but the assorted musicians (and dancer,) are skilled enough to understand how the various elements come together. Ultimately, their set was only dampened by the so-so sound quality of the boat, which clobbered much of the band’s intricacy into so much mashed potatoes. That said, the members of Skeletons In the Piano play their songs with fervor and dedication, which is the least we as fans can ask.
Selfish Needy Creatures, by contrast, contains no intricacy. They are as subtle as an Abrams battle tank and as elegant as a crime scene. But then, that’s the point, isn’t it? To forsake image and pageantry for what Clutch once famously called “Pure Rock Fury.” The musical world of Selfish Needy Creatures does not stand stoically on the conventions of ‘civilized’ society. Rather, it is a world of cathartic expression, filled with friends on a first-name basis and a kinship through the morals of rock and roll.
As such, the basic ideology of rock and metal are the bedrock for much of the substance of a Selfish Needy Creatures live performance. The sheer sweat-laced desperation and gritty perseverance demonstrated by frontman Vegas Nacy and his fellow musicians speaks not only to their heart, but to the baseline emotional nature of their music.
Nacy clearly believes, and states as much, that rock and roll is not just undergoing a dormant period or some kind of latent evolution, but that it is dying beneath the umbrage of a fragmented audience and finicky mass media promotion. It is his quest to reignite the furnace of rock, and it begins with playing the cuts off their full-length album “The Hard Way.”
Backed by a throaty and dominant bass, Selfish Needy Creatures launched themselves into their set, and pounded through easy to grasp cuts like “The Hard Way,” and “Friendly New Enemy.” It was a seemingly last-minute insertion of “Full Fury Redemption” that actually produced the band’s most cohesive and best sounding effort of the evening.
The crowd of dedicated fans urged the band on through each cut, both parties feeding off of each others' vitality. It was this cycle of energy that led to a thunderous “Fifty Caliber Kiss,” coupled with the powerful “Every Ready.” Through all of their cuts, Selfish Needy Creatures was an adrenaline infused exhibition of loosely controlled chaos, feeling their music as much as playing it.
It’s worth nothing that this may be the one metal band that displays one quality exceedingly rare in a live heavy metal performance. That being, there are no slow moments. No ballads to break the momentum. No songs that could be called “time to go to the bar and get another drink” songs. Nacy even joked at one point that “We’re gonna slow things down…wait a minute, we’re Selfish Needy Creatures! We never slow things down!” This gives their set just that little extra push that is independent of most metal bands around them.
At night’s end, two messages were clear, both loudly proclaimed by Selfish Needy Creatures in their lyrics: “Rock and roll will save your soul,” and “You can break my heart, but you’ll never break my spirit.” If you haven’t check this band out yet, take a few minutes and do it now.