FRIDAY NIGHT DOUBLE FEATURE: PART II – BLAMESHIFT AT WITS END
So after my earlier festivities it was time to go and rock hard with BLAMESHIFT at Wits End in Deep Ellum. I’ve gotten to know them pretty well since my interview with singer Jenny Mann last November and I was met with hugs and high fives all around, first from guitarist Tim Barbour, then the rest of the band. Jenny and I spent some time talking about Massapequa, New York, too. Almost made me miss it, but not quite. Newest members Mike Sarkissian (bass) and Dan Scofield (drums) seemed like they’ve been in the band for years, and that comfort and familiarity translated to the stage as well. You’d never know they were new, that’s how seamless the transition was. With what seemed like an endless roster of bands, some great (JAGGED ROW) and some not-so-great, it was now time for BLAMESHIFT to do what BLAMESHIFT does…ROCK BALLS from bell to bell!!
After the moody intro, they came out swinging for the fences with “The Enemy You Need” and “No Apologies” from their killer new album Secrets. I swear it was like somebody flipped a switch at Wits End. For the other bands, most people were bobbing their heads and tapping their feet a bit, but when BLAMESHIFT got onstage there was a spike in the energy level of the crowd, and an electricity that if harnessed could have lit up an entire city block! “Revolution” and “Ghost” followed, Tim and Mike playing off of each other like men possessed, and Jenny coaxing the fans who were practically climbing over each other to get to the front of the stage to jump up and down. Even she was surprised by the audience’s enthusiasm as she kept wondering aloud what it was we were on and where she could get some.
One of my favorites was up next, “C’est La Vie”, after which there was a drum transition with Mike and Tim playing along with Dan. Very different, and VERY cool. This flowed into hit single “Secrets” which is another favorite and kicked the place into overdrive. Jenny’s voice is even better live than on disc, especially on this one! How she does it is beyond me, considering she takes the time to talk with each and every fan who comes by. She’s a rare breed, equal parts rock goddess and girl next door, and a pleasure to be around as well as watch her work.
Before closing number and brand new single “Let Go” we were treated to a hellacious live version of “Figure Out a Way” the second offering of the night from 2011’s The Black Rose EP. When the smoke cleared I was spent. In just nine songs BLAMESHIFT put on a clinic on how to rock the shit out of a place. Other bands, take heed. BLAMESHIFT are coming, and you can’t stop them. Catch them in your town on this run while you can, because the venues are just gonna get bigger and bigger, my friends. And a big shout-out to Brian Torch, the promoter who put together a great night of music. I also have to thank Jenny, Dan, Mike, and Tim for signing a copy of Secrets for Mini-Amps. Man, what a night!