Night in the ruts
Strong Like Monkey, Azalea Drive and Reverend Shelby Cobra
Azalea Drive’s performance illuminated a few bright spots in search of an identity. Imagine college rock’s greatest hits: a bit of the grunge, taste of jam band and a dash of emo. Azalea Drive’s enthusiasm and dead-on cover of the Pixies’ “Where Is My Mind” lifted the crowd’s dedication from their pints to the band.
Last, if you consider the middle finger the most noble of human gestures, have I got a band for you. Soon after 1 a.m., the members of Strong Like Monkey’s vigorous performance laid testament that no such late hour existed in their internal clocks. Strong Like Monkey works hardcore punk similar to the aggressive, early-'80s brand: A trip to Gilman Street, a vomit-caked boot to the head, no apologies. Their brutal language was voiced in loud chords augmented by occasional punk-funk bass and an ever-so-slight suggestion of dub. As some involved spectators proved, there still exists a very dedicated audience for this genre.