28th Day fulfills its promise
Before I move on to the drooling, I need to do some slobbering.
West by Swan, a blend of players from several noteworthy Chico rock units, played its first show ever, opening last Thursday evening for 28th Day. A two-guitar, bass and drum fighter squadron of loudness, WBS was thrilling. Bassist Conrad Nystrom provided an insistent melodic foundation augmented by the Greenfield brothers (Dan and Dave) alternately leaving solid ground for their sonic explorations. Particularly satisfying was the mid-set “Swarm,” with drummer Daniel Taylor doing a little giddy-up hop that melted into an extended bridge of pulsing white guitar noise that was breathtaking.
This night at the Brick felt like a high-school reunion, and with the snap of Mike Cloward’s first snare crack the years evaporated, and 28th Day returned Chico to the center of the universe for a warm, modest crowd of friends, devotees and curiosity seekers.
Sparked by the social and energized Barbara Manning—trading wisecracks and harmonies with Marquis throughout—the evening was an intimate party that the band had invited us to. The 20-year-old songs were as vibrant and vital as they are on album, perhaps even more so due to Cole Marquis’ subtly reinterpreted guitar tones that made for very satisfying blasts of reverbed-out guitar solos.
Playing through just about every song the band ever recorded, plus a couple of new songs, 28th Day’s 18-song reunion was over in a blink.
Highlights for the crowd were the super-pop hits “25 Pills” and “Pages Turn,” which had everyone singing and swaying along. But in the end it was the moody and gritty “Dead Sinner” ("I’m goin’ down a dead sinner / I’m gonna die a dead sinner") and the rockin’ “Burnsite” that stuck with me for the gray, rainy days that followed and, with this being the last of the last shows, I hope will stick with me for all the rainy days to come.