Andy D put together a showcase of cool bands this past Friday night at the Melody Inn, and he'd chosen Indy favorite Beta Male as his lead-in, and Take Manhattan and Buster Eagle to round out the lineup. Expectations were high - seeing bands of this caliber in a cozy venue like the Melody Inn can be a special experience.
Andy D was the master of ceremonies for the evening. He livened the crowd with off-the-wall banter and, at one point during the evening, mocking rock-star lifestyle trappings by discussing the contents of Snoop Dogg's artist rider — obtained by means known only to him.
It's unfortunate that the crowd was thin for the earlier portions of the evening, as Buster Eagle, a tight 3-piece band, ran through an exceptional set of material to lay the ground work for the rest of the evening. As the crowd started to fill in, Take Manhattan took the stage and raised the energy in the room with an animated stage performance from lead guitarist/singer Scott Gallop. The presence of Cara Kinnally's backing vocals and vintage keys from a new keyboardist was a pleasant juxtaposition against the angsty sounds of Buster Eagle.
It seemed that a majority of Friday's crowd was on hand for Beta Male. A quick set change and Beta Male took the stage to much theatrics - evening gowns, body suits, and creepy matching see-through masks. Most of the performance was played to backing tracks, but the highlight of the performance was the band showcasing their musical talent by forgoing the iPod and allowing voices, guitars, hand percussion and keyboards to blend and carry the day. Patrons pogo'ed and chanted along with David Hazel's vocals, and exceptional backing from Allison Hazel on bass and backing vocals and keyboard work from Jess Hack left a satisfied crowd in their wake. Beta Male continues to evolve and excite.
What the hell can you really say about Andy D that hasn't been said before. Prince by way of Danny McBride, the electro cool of Fischerspooner mated to the idiot fun of early Beastie Boys, the bastard child of 80s excess and modern hipster cool. Except that doesn't really capture a live Andy D set - quite possibly, words can't do it justice. The irony would wear pretty thin if the stage show weren't so damn entertaining. The lothario swagger and hyperkinetic energy coming from a less-than-svelt Andy is never self-conscious, and the commitment to the performance makes you give less-than-a-shit that he's no supermodel. Whatever "it" is, Andy D has it by the bucket-full.
For five bucks, Andy D put together a hell of an evening of live music. Be sure to catch all of the bands on this bill at other venues.