Opening with “Mine Tonight” the Dum Dum Girls hit the Biltmore stage on May 25, then railed through 17 additional songs (in what seemed like the world’s longest opening set) including a buzzy “Bhang Bhang”, “Season in Hell”, “Jail La La”, “Catholicked” and scads more of their palatable 60s punk-pop. Lookin’ hot per usual, with Dee Dee rockin’ the new bleached blonde Blondie look, The Dum Dum Girls have a look I adore, references I dig and a sound I wish I could love more. Good enough on a platter, a little flatter live, the DGGs seem to lather-rinse-repeat through about four types of tracks, but yunno, while it may not set the world alight, hey ho, let’s go!
So! Good thing Kurt Vile and his pretty awesome Violators were up next. Less Captain Charisma and more Cousin It (his amazing hair makes it almost impossible to tell if he’s got a face, and when you do manage to snap it, you wanna yell BINGO! as loud as possible), Kurt Vile’s got this groovy slacker charm.
His is a musical world where it’s okay to have a bunch of songs that kinda sound the same, because that’s sorta what you expect. And even though he sounds like he’s high on the sofa, reading lyrics out of a diary of an average life, it’s all cool. There’s some beautiful guitar work in a live show, J Turbopicks up the sax and brilliant drummer Mike Zanghi uses maracas for drum sticks. “Baby’s Arms”, “Freak Train”, “Jesus Fever” and the Springsteen cover “Downbound Train” all trip along nicely while folks come and go in the crowd, buzzed on BC bud and smiling. Not that Vile could see the smiles, mind you, with that hair I’m not even sure he knew the sold-out crowd was there. \m/