Fight for your right...
After a night of beachy froth at Dewey, The Legwarmers returned home to the State Theatre last night for a steamy June show that made the Intermission showing of Michael Jackson's 'Beat It' video look old school by comparison.
Opening with the headbanging wake-up call of 'I Wanna Be Sedated,' 'Kids in America' and 'Rebel Yell,' and ending with a (literally) wall-shaking 'Welcome to the Jungle' and the Beastie Boys 'Fight For Your Right (to Party),' the band showed again that VH1 Classic might be just too minimalist for what these songs can really be.
Maybe because school's out, or summer's almost here, but there were costumes galore Saturday night -- silver straps, bright blue tops, lots of headbands and wristbands, one guy in a total Ferris Bueller prep suit and dancing everywhere. A girl got pulled onstage to help with 'The Right Stuff,' one guy crowd-surfed, some parents made a conga line and a pretty woman asked me to dance! 'I went to a party on a Saturday night' indeed!
Everything clicked, and if they debuted only one song (the Beasties), the band made up for it with precision playing, searing guitar solos, a hyponotic 'Voices Carry' and a driving 'I Love Rock and Roll' that might've shaken Joan Jett from a career hiatus if she heard it.
The Legwarmers are back in July, but play everywhere this summer, including a stop at B.B. King's in NYC this September. Catch them if you can, because despite what the song says, 'it IS a big thing!'
'Your mom busted in and said what's that noise?'
So I'm watching the MTV Movie Awards tribute to 'The Breakfast Club,' and some guys called Yellowcard come out to do a tepid version of 'Don't You Forget About Me.'
What's the deal? Were the Legwarmers unavailable??? Jeez...
'When you call my name...'
All tomorrow's parties...
The right stuff indeed.
After two nights at the State -- four completely satisfying and full-bodied sets, four costume changes and almost 100 songs -- The Legwarmers left no doubt last weekend that this is far more than a cover band.
Because the Legwarmers reach straight to the throbbing heart of the big 80s. They strip away the video glam and show just how great these songs can be when they're played like songs, and not just sound-on-sound for some TV commercial video whiz.
Let's put it this way: Def Leppard was on NBC's Today show last week playing in Rockefeller Plaza, and halfway through their rather tired version of 'Pour Some Sugar On Me,' it hit me. I'd rather hear the Legwarmers!
Make no mistake: These Legwarmers are no burned-out poseurs, no anonymous karaoke machine coming to your town twice a year to take your hard-earned cash with note-for-note rip-offs of big hair favorites.
No, this is a full-fledged music machine, peaking, professional, polished, making these songs liver than they've ever been. Is there any doubt the Warmers now own 'Summer of '69' and 'Paradise City?' Or is it the crowd who can claim ownership, and the Legwarmers are just channeling the pure pop of a shared Nintendo handheld? We think it's the players, not the song.
But either way, the Warmers, at every show, lead a generational foot stomp as vital as any 50s hop, Woodstock mud chant, Mudd Club bang-up or oh-so-distanced 90s grunge match. The Warmers are the real deal, and you can feel it even outside sneaking a smoke or trying to call a gal pal on the phone.
Cut to May 20. The first night was Legwarmer Incorporated: the crowd familiar and roaring, the energy almost bringing down the house.
The power trio of Cru, Chet and Gordon would be enough for most bands: Cru's jump-start vocals would thrive in any rock and roll era but seem perfect for capturing the screaming chords of 80s rock and roll thunder; Gordon's can-sing-anything pop chops grow wider and wilder each outing, and he can shred a riff that would make a Judas Priest parking lot start honking with metal fever; and Chet: Has any bass man ever been so front and center?
Add to that Cyndi's smooth musical wink -- a pop presence so rapturous that she can she-bop and growl at the same time -- and Rikki's soaring vocals -- on this night she brought back Cher from retirement and added a soulful echo to 'Video Killed the Radio Star.' They are coalescing into a pop suite femme fatale from another land.
And then, no longer obscured by plastic sheathing, the grit and precision of Lavaar is revealed as the throbbing machine behind the whole affair. His drums do one of the hardest things in music: Propel sometimes silly pop into a structured and driving mass of bottom and beat. Only at a Legwarmers show, thanks to Lavaar and Chet, can you feel the soul in something like 'We Built This City.'
The horns of mournful Clarence and crowd-favorite J.R. add to the mix, and when 'The Right Stuff' is turned out, there's boy band pose as well. The combination is a precious thing indeed, and those who take this band for granted will recall these days as the best days of their lives, as the song goes, when it goes away someday.
Then flash to Night Two: This was a younger crowd, a money crowd, more Legwarmer newbies and several knots of partygoers obviously there on word of mouth alone.
"I heard this band is supposed to be great," said one well-dressed young professional type dragging his compatriots for a night of nostalgia. His friends, so bored, so blas
Can one show be any better than the next? Can two shows back to back rock and rule? YES!!! AND You guys rock and rule "Your House" (The STATE Theatre).
Thank you for a weekend of 80's deja vu. It was magical and monumental. All of you were fabulous and I especially liked the Leghorns' Safety Dance. There's no doubt they Got the Right Stuff.
I can't wait for DEWEY.
For those about to rock...
In less than 24 hours the Legwarmers will begin the first of two sold-out shows at the State Theatre.
That's like 80-85 songs in four sets over two days. How could anyone NOT be there? Put another dime in the jukebox baby...
As if an omen, we heard on 94.7 FM today Whitesnake's 'Here I Go Again on My Own' and Def Leppard's 'Pour Some Sugar On Me' within the same hour. You don't hear those songs on the radio in a year of listening, at least on MY radio.
A good vibe indeed. To those going, we salute you!
'Like a drifter I was born to walk alone.'
Angry in DC|
Anyone have extra tickets?
I am a virgin Legwarmers attendee and really wanted to go to the sat (5/21) show at the State theatre. Does anyone have some extras? Email me. firstname.lastname@example.org
ALREADY SOLD OUT!!!!!!!! YOU ALL BUY TICKETS TOO EARLY!
Where are the pictures from the last show? You guys need a "street team"....people in the crowd who can take pictures from an outside point of view. You would have so many awesome pictures of the band and the stuff that goes on out in the crowd while you are playing.
Think about it. You guys are simply a good time! All of it should be documented everytime!
You guys are awesome! You already have countless numbers of groupies and when you play Baltimore, I'm proud to say I'm one of them! I haven't heard these songs played so well since the original bands played them! You guys need to record a cd, I've bought imitation bands who play cover songs of the eighties and they can't touch your talent! Your last show at Rams Head rocked! I got to meet the band members and their down-to-earth personalities make it worth while to follow where they go! I love you guys! You need to play in Baltimore MORE! Rock on!
where have you been all my life?
It's been nearly a month since I first saw you in Baltimore, and I can't get you out of my head. Seriously, I can't stop thinking about you! You are the best band I have ever seen. Period. I'm counting down the days till I can see you again at the State...
You made me feel shiny and new
Like a virgin, touched for the very first time
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