Concert Review: Dead to Me at the Jackpot

Usually, a Monday night punk show means a total lack of crowd. Happily, at the Jackpot last night, there was a healthy number of people to see San Francisco’s Dead to Me with Reno’s Cobra Skulls and Kansas City openers Bent Left and Fists Up.

Dead to Me rocked it from start to finish. Despite the fact that the incarnation of the band that took the Jackpot stage doesn’t feature any of the former members of One Man Army, the three piece carries on in the grand tradition of that West Coast punk act, as well as the band to which One Man Army was frequently compared, the Swingin’ Utters.

If one were asked to find an analogue for Dead to Me here in the Midwest, it would be Lawrence’s own KTP, to whom Dead to Me sent out “Runnin’ Through My Brain,” with Chicken introducing the song by saying, “I walked in here once and they were butt-fucking the stage with their music.” A strange compliment, to be sure, but an enthusiastic one.

Right before them, the Cobra Skulls had thanked the audience in a similarly backward fashion, saying, “Thanks for coming out on a Monday night. You’re either unemployed or really alcoholic.”

Judging by the reaction to the band’s “Honorable Discharge Under the Influence,” I’m guessing that much of of crowd was like me and taking great advantage of the various drink specials available.

It was Cobra Skulls’ first time in Lawrence after several shows in Kansas City, and the people in attendance seemed extremely excited to not have to make a drive to see them. The band’s blend of rockabilly and punk rock didn’t disappoint.

I felt the same way with openers Bent Left and Fists Up. Both acts are stellar examples of the pop punk scene currently going on in the area, and it’s great to see that both acts managed to get on to a Lawrence show.

The reaction to both acts was stellar, with Fists Up in particular sounding better than they have the last couple time I’ve seen them. While former lead singer Kyle was energetic, since his exit from the band, Fists Up has become a tighter unit.

The first time I saw them, it was a steady decline from first song to last, and they now manage to rock out from set’s start to end. Now, they’re a fully tuned-up, rarin’ to go, punk rock machine.

Both acts manage to embrace a classic pop-punk sound, the sort of which bands around here like the Primetime Heroes have done so well — it’s a little rough around the edges vocally, but the gruffness works and adds a sense of authenticity to the mix.

Categories: Music