I was expecting an early evening last Saturday night at O’Leaver’s. Fizzle Like a Flood was scheduled to be up first, followed by Shelter Belt. I planned on leaving after that, having seen my share of sloppy Poison Control Center freak-outs. But when I arrived, I found out that the order had been changed — Fizzle was now up last after The Belt and PCC. In the end, it was all good.
Shelter Belt put on their usual solid set of good-time rock tunes, declaring from the stage that it would be the last time they’d be playing tunes off their last CD, Rain Home. Look for new Shelter Belt music sometime early next year (if all goes well).
Next came PCC. The talk before the set centered around what piece of equipment the boys would break. The Ames Iowa 4-piece is said to be banned from all One Percent shows after destroying various pieces of equipment down at Sokol Underground. What would get destroyed tonight? The microphones (too easy)? The “monitor” (more on that later)? The biggest bulls-eye was circled around that big ol’ plasma TV behind the drumset. In my mind’s eye I could see a mike-stand flying through it.
Ah, but it was not to be. While they performed their usual calisthenics — the backward somersaults, table splits and high kicks — nothing was shattered. Sure, the microphones were thrown to the ground on more than one occasion and numerous glasses and bottles of beer were knocked over by flailing feet, but no one got injured. And for once, PCC sounded more like a band than a novelty act. Yes, they came with their share of sophomoric dick lyrics, but the music was first-rate punk-howl, and though the between-song patter became tedious, the crowd laughed more than once at their drunken monologues.
Finally up, Fizzle Like a Flood featuring Jim Carrig on bass, Travis Sing on guitar and frontman Doug Kabourek behind the drum set Don Henley-style. I came prepared for Doug’s usual sing-song mewings. I wasn’t prepared for him to bring the rock. Fizzle turned its back on the quiet ballads for a heavy show featuring Sing’s rippin’ guitar and Kabourek’s first-rate drumming, transforming older, quieter songs into full-out punkers. I’m not kidding. This is not your father’s Fizzle. If there’s a drawback to the new style, it’s Kabourek’s vocals, which seem better suited for ballads than punk. Part of the problem was O’Leaver’s “monitors.” Throughout the set, Kabourek complained that he couldn’t hear himself, making the trick of playing drums and singing even trickier. Clearly pissed, Doug announced his last song, played it, then split for the exit with the crowd begging for more.
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