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Alternative Yin and Yang, A Night at the Rialto

22-May-2006 10:34 am Contributed by: Anonymous Concert Reviews
She Wants Revenge, OK Go, and The Year of Acceleration
May 1, 2006
Tucson, Arizona
Rialto Theatre
Review and Photos by: Janice French
Enema Rating: (8/10)

The Rialto Theatre in Tucson Arizona was built in the 1920’s and has had a wicked past indeed. Members of the Dillinger gang were captured in front of it when they were burned out of a bar across the street. Vaudeville, Stripers, and the Spanish Cinema were once housed within. But tonight it was all about entertainment with She Wants Revenge, OK Go, and The Year of Acceleration as they strummed up rock passion in the crowd of a packed house. OK Go and She Wants Revenge were like a meeting of the light and the dark, the yin and the yang.

First up, The Year of Acceleration came on with a commanding performance. The bassist, The Black Cat, really kicked it and Christopher O'Gorman has an incredible voice that delivers their songs with smooth, controlled power. When he turned it on full, my hair stood on end. The band is heavy on guitars - Marcus Arvan drove them on with a rhythm guitar and Matthieu delivered some show stopping hot licks. I was blown away by them. They are alternative rock with a dash of new wave. Their song Prescription Medicine got the crowd rocking hard and cheering.

The recently warmed up audience first got a taste of the light side as OK Go took the stage. The band took me completely by surprise by wearing paisley prints, dress shirts, suit coats, and ties clasped with huge rhinestone brooches. Their music was upbeat with catchy melodies and smart lyrics. Damian Kulash’s vocals were high, light and personality laden, and he didn't miss a note. Their sound was hallmarked by polished and outstanding harmonies as well as fast rhythms. Do What You Want had a slamming beat and a funky straight rock melody reminiscent of bands from the early 70's. Dan Koponka's drums stand out in this energetic piece that wildly loses control, urging one to "Come on, come on / Do what you want."
At the close of their set they performed A Million Ways - not by playing their instruments, but by performing the dance from their video. It is one of the most downloaded videos of all time, but it’s ten times better in person. Tim Nordwind just shined as the main focus, Andy Ross was brilliant, Dan seemed to be having the time of his life, and Damian put on the perfect attitude. When it was over the audience went wild and big smiles were everywhere.

Then the stage turned to shadows, and the dark side, as She Wants Revenge took to the stage. Justin Warfield stood in a green glow that seemed to be coming out of the floor and Adam 12 was showered in red. It enhanced the moody quality of their dark, alternative punk music. Justin's deep, rich harmonic vocals are as intense as Adam 12's bass and keyboard, a perfectly seductive combination. A long, steady and alarming beat introduced Red Flags and Long Nights. This murky, somber song is about complacency in a hard and lonely relationship. Justin's eyes glimmered in the faint light and Adam 12's face was solemn. People rocked, entranced and consumed by the relentless rhythm.

With the first note of These Things the audience instantly recognized the song and roared. Agitation ensued in the pit as the fans started head banging and dancing. Justin raised his hands with the words "She's in the bathroom / She pleasures herself" while Adam 12 rocked to the beat as he played. The crowd sang the song along with them and when it was over they went nuts, screaming and cheering. Justin and Adam 12 finished the night with their hit song Tear You Apart. Its infectious rhythm took over the entire crowd who pushed up against the stage and beat their hands in the air. I love the raw sexual wanting in this song. Justin and Adam 12 were fueled by the audience’s reaction. They moved back and forth with the beat as the song reached a zenith and Justin brought the night to a close as he held the mic out and the crowd cried in unison "I want to fucking tear you apart."


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