By Brent Michael, Rock At Night Tampa Correspondent
Venue: The Ritz, Ybor City, Tampa, Florida, January 23, 2018
If you’re Ryan Adams, you definitely want to avoid this band’s show! Lots of flashing strobes! But first, let’s talk about Night Beats (the band’s name comes from the title of a Sam Cooke album) the Seattle-based band who got the crowd warmed up on a Florida-chilly Tuesday night (for those of you who have never been to Tampa, that’s anything below 70 degrees Fahrenheit!).
The band consists of lead singer and guitarist Danny “Lee Blackwell” Rajan Billingsley, drummer James Traeger and bassist Jakob Bowden, that played a mashup of psychedelic sounds that reminded me of Jefferson Airplane (not Starship), heavy on reverb and earthy guitar sounds, The Ventures, Dick Dale and his Del-tones, with touches of R & B, garage rock, Sgt. Pepper, and John Mayall. The crowd was too thin for this band, I know, because many people only showed up later for BRMC, but Night Beats put on a great show (special kudos to newest member Jakob Bowden, the hyperactive bassist who really pumped up the energy level, jumping and dancing around and putting all his emotion into every song!)
Now, as for Ryan Adams (and anyone else suffering from seizures due to flashing lights), this isn’t your show . Most of the night the lightshow was light/dark in a rhythmic pattern that would likely trigger you. I thought of Ryan because there was an infamous incident here in the Tampa area where an inconsiderate photographer was called out for using flash at his show, and if you’ve seen anyone have a seizure, it’s nothing to play with!
However, should that not be the case, their show is not one to be missed by fans of good old rock and roll! Widely acclaimed California-based band Black Rebel Motorcycle Club released their seventh studio album, Wrong Creatures on January 12, 2018 and the “Wrong Tour” is in support of that effort – in fact, it’s nearly a live session of the album. Wrong Creatures takes a journey throughout rock’s history, taking unlikely twists and turns, both peppered with historic influences but also having one foot firmly in the present. Peter Hayes, who shares lead vocal and musical duties with Robert Levon Been, were the band’s original guitarists (along with assorted other instruments like piano/synth, percussion, and harmonica), joined by drummer Leah Shapiro in 2008. Remarkably, Shapiro was recovering from brain surgery while the album was created – you wouldn’t know it by her performance on tour. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club has been crafting perfectly honed, bluesy, psychedelic garage-rock since 1998, I first heard of the band a while later, when “Love Burns” appeared on a PromoOnly CD – and I was hooked.
“The band who broke the floor” (I’ll let you research that little story) is still growing strong, and alternated between stripped-down songs and heavily layered productions, straight ahead hard rockers and soft, emotional ballads, a testament to the band’s growth over the years. Catch them on the Wrong Tour 2018, follow them on Facebook, or Twitter, buy their new album Wrong Creatures!
You can’t go wrong!
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – “Little Thing Gone Wild”
“Whatever Happened to My Rock and Roll”
BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB 2018 TOUR
January 15 San Diego, CA @ House of Blues
January 16 Phoenix, AZ @ The Van Buren
January 18 Dallas, TX @ Granada Theater
January 19 Austin, TX @ Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater
January 20 Houston, TX @ House of Blues
January 21 New Orleans, LA @ House of Blues
January 23 Tampa, FL @ The Ritz Ybor
January 24 Fort Lauderdale, FL @ Revolution Live
January 26 Orlando, FL @ The Beacham
January 27 Charlotte, NC @ The Underground
January 29 Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
January 30 Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
January 31 Boston, MA @ Royale
February 2 Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel
February 5 Montreal, QC @ Club Soda
February 6 Toronto, ON @ Rebel
February 7 Detroit, MI @ Majestic Theatre
February 9 Columbus, OH @ Newport Music Hall
February 10 Chicago, IL @ Vic Theatre
February 11 Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
February 12 St. Louis, MO @ Delmar Hall
February 13 Kansas City, MO @ The Truman
February 15 Denver, CO @ Ogden Theatre
February 16 Salt Lake City, UT @ Metro Music Hall
February 18 Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater
February 19 Vancouver, BC @ Commodore Ballroom
February 20 Seattle, WA @ The Show Box
February 22 Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater
February 23 Pomona, CA @ The Glass House
February 24 Los Angeles, CA @ The Fonda Theatre
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When not in custody, I've been involved with music, photography, and writing my entire life. Ever since I was a young boy and played those silver tunes, I've had the beat, but being a drummer didn't suit me so I became a lead singer, which lasted a few years. Settling down, sort of, I translated my knowledge of audio and glib tongue into mobile emcee work, and my training as a photographer and videographer into a living in the wedding, party, bar/bat mitzvah, and entertainment industry. During this time I also managed to bamboozle my way into a master's degree in writing, worked for a couple of magazines (yes, I took photos for a nudist magazine!), have photographed hotels, done commercial work (shot the cover of Tablet and Capsule magazine), published a few articles, hosted some public access shows (a couple times in drag, but that's another story), and generally made a nuisance of myself until I landed here.
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