Robert Been of BRMC
Hardy Morris of Dead Confederate
Though I was unaware of it until a day or so before the show, Dead Confederate was the opening act. And with a sound that is just as dirge-y and dark (with occasional Southern rock leanings) as that of the headliner, the Athens-based local favorite did a more than adequate job of warming up the Monday night crowd for BRMC’s moody set.
Since its 2001 major label debut, BRMC’s strong point has been its ability to simultaneously be simple and complex. The trio of charismatic vocalist/guitarist Peter Hayes, vocalist/bassist Robert Levon Been and drummer Leah Shapiro performed a seemingly stripped-down set of garage-y, bluesy rock ‘n’ roll backed by little more than bright white lights, a fog machine and strobes. From the shadows, Shapiro (who was sporting some Adam Ant-like tribal stripes on her face) pounded out strong, but basic, beats as the black-clad Hayes and Been powered through a set of newer tracks from the
recently-released Beat the Devil’s Tattoo, as well as more gospel-influenced folk rock tracks like “Ain’t No Easy Way” from 2005’s Howl, and older hits like “Whatever Happened to My Rock ‘n’ Roll (Punk Song).”
The band started to lose the crowd a bit late in the set, when it delved into a string of its mellower folk numbers (it was a Monday night, after all). But it finished on a high note, leaving those who toughed it out glad they ventured out on a work night.
Review by Jonathan Williams and photos by Brook Hewitt