Hammerhead at the Turf, 8/12/10
So what's the name of that thing? That word...that hormone that makes men crabby when they have their periods...that thing that starts with a T? That thing. I was expecting a lot of it when Hammerhead reunited locally at the Turf Thursday night in anticipation of the AmRep 25th Anniversary show, to be held August 28th at Grumpy's.
That thing. Whatever it is, with that thing hanging ripe in the sticky, stormy summer night air, local opener STNNNG was a fitting start to the evening, offering up a very high energy, very t-word set. Singer Chris Besinger was within seconds down on the floor, mano-a-mano con los hombres, tan muchos hombres, ¡Ay, caramba, la testosterona! The crowd, however, remained polite (read: older, respectable). No shoving, no slam bam dancing or whatever it is younger dudes tend to do when they're all hopped up on that t-stuff and angry at the world. In fact, by increments in the hundreds Besinger was by far the rowdiest in the crowd. Not to say the crowd was unengaged. Far from it - fists pumped, and glasses were raised throughout STNNNG's brief set.
Photo by Nikki Miller STNNNG
Photo by Nikki Miller Seawhores
Continuing in the vein of pretty damned appropriate openers, Seawhores followed next. Seawhores are my favorite band in town. It used to be a different band, but for the last year or so, it's been Seawhores for the win. Usually when a band is assigned My Favorite Band status, they immediately disappoint me. This didn't happen tonight, thank Jeebus. Because that moment sucks worse than your really cunty older cousin telling you there ain't a Santy Claus. Bummer!
Photo by Nikki Miller Hammerhead
When Hammerhead was first big in the Twin Cities (and then elsewhere), I was a kid still too young to be fully experiencing the effects of the t-word with my male compatriots. In other words, none of them had pubic hair yet (my classmates, not Hammerhead). So I have no primary-source knowledge of this band. Had I heard of them? Yes. Did I know the label they were on, the label for whose 25th anniversary show they've now reunited (and, hark! recorded new material?), with Boss Hog et al (Mmm Boss Hog. See, I knew them because my 15-year-old self became well-acquainted with Jon Spencer while in the midst of her pubescent longing grrrrrwwwwwllll). Yep. But had I heard of them, myself at the time pre-pubescent, in rural South Dakota? Hell no. lt seemed not even MTV's more "alternative" outlets (read: Beavis and Butthead) managed to shove the band down my virgin throat, not one inch. So I knew not what to expect at the Turf Club. The band's older, so I expected them to be like the crowd assembled by 9:30PM, ostensibly possessing of children, minivans, and of monitors in those minivans playing those Pixar films my eyes don't know how to process. Au contraire mon 80s child - by the time Hammerhead took the stage, the Turf floor was packed with fans of all ages, from far older than the band itself to children who were likely wetting their diapies when the band was in its heydey, all equally excited to be witnessing this reunion.
The band did a fine job upon their comeback Thursday night; this should not be minimized in any way. But the feeling to note tonight? The enthusiasm of their audience, which seemed to at first match the energy onstage then do its best to triple it.
Bottom line? The dudes owned it. If you managed to get a ticket to the sold-out AmRep show later this month, I'd expect to see them own it again, along with every other what-you-mighta-thought-was-a-dinosawaur-act owning the motherfuck outta the Grumpy's parking lot. As for Thursday night, a bill like this makes you glad you've conditioned (damaged) your ears not to need ear plugs.
Photo by Nikki Miller Photo by Nikki Miller Photo by Nikki Miller Photo by Nikki Miller Photo by Nikki Miller Photo by Nikki Miller Photo by Nikki Miller
Personal Bias: A whore for Seawhores + sucker for certain other AmRep bands.
The Crowd: Quote from my boyfriend: "I was still wetting the bed when most of these people were first listening to this band."
Random Notebook Dump: HEEEYYYYY I'M DEAF LIKE YOUR GRANDPAAA WHAAAAAAAT?!?!?
Overheard in the Crowd: "Hey Amos, pass me the Geritol will ya?" j/k, dudes.