So, we were back to The Black Forest in downtown Eugene to catch Saturday night’s live performances from Three Guys That Paint, Dave and Confused, and one of our favorite local bands, the Eastman Band. It felt like coming home, with Jason and Cassie giving us their best behind the bar, and Schuyler running sound.
Three Guys That Paint (Eric Erickson / lead vocals, guitar; Bryan Rowe / bass; Derek Weber / drums)
They had probably 20 (at least) fans and friends at the club to support them, with cheers and whistles throughout the set. This local Eugene band had a lot of energy, with good drums from Derek and Bryan’s bass guitar work providing a solid foundation for the trio. Eric’s lead vocals were nice and he does some decent lead/rhythm guitar, but the back up vocals were… well, they were enthusiastic but adequate at best. I wish I could say something better for this group – they weren’t bad, performing nice mainstream rock, but nothing outstanding at least for this set. I didn’t hear anything that hadn’t been done before (and better). And their cover of Eddie Money’s “Take Me Home Tonight” was less than superb.
As noted by TCC’s photographer, Jeanice Marvel, Eric kept drifting away from the mic, losing the end of the verses. But she also mentioned that they definitely had a great rapport with the patrons. I’ll keep my final opinion on these guys held on reserve, pending subsequent performances in the future. If you like solid rock-n-roll, these guys are definitely on that page! You can find their updated song clips, info and upcoming shows on their myspace page here: http://www.myspace.com/threeguysthatpaint
Dave and Confused (David Hottenstine / guitar, vocals; Sam McKone / bass; Michael Broadus / drums)
I loved the metal guitar work of this San Francisco-based trio! Unfortunately, David’s lead vocals were adequate, with many of the songs in this set based on one or two notes throughout. Otherwise, this is a really good hard rock band. Michael’s drum work was absolutely solid, and Sam on bass just stomped. And as much as I love the Black Forest, and Schuyler seems to be a very knowledgeable sound man, but in these tiny venues, the house PA does NOT need to be as loud as they seem to like to run them. Sending patrons running out the door to save their hearing does not sell drinks…
In any event, you can definitely see the CA roots of this band – think Beach Boys bass riffs with Metallica screaming guitar riffs and thrashing drums runs. I really liked the music they did in this extremely short (four songs?!) set, but was not all that impressed by the vocals. I still could have heard a few more songs from these guys tho – check them out here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dave-Confused/108591778828#!/pages/Dave-Confused/108591778828?sk=info and http://www.hotsweatyloudfast.com/
Eastman Band (John Eastman – lead/rhythm guitar, vocals; Jimmy Cuelar – base, vocals; Terry Brewer – drums)
I have to admit, we were there primarily to see these guys (again!!) – and after sitting through the first two bands, it was a relief to hear them perform. Despite severe technical difficulties with the house PA running the computer-synth, and everything WAY TOO LOUD, the band rocked the house down! Our first opportunity to see an actual full set performed, the fact that two of the guys from Three Guys That Paint listened avidly to the first two songs, nodding to each other says it all. I just cannot find anything I don’t like about this band. They are amazing musicians – I love John’s signature harmonic lead guitar riffs, and his lead vocals are outstanding. Jimmy drives the bass like it was a second lead guitar, and Terry is a demon on drums.
Notwithstanding the fact that it was late by the time they started, the club still had a lot of folks there who definitely enjoyed the show. They opened with their popular “Facebook Friend,” followed by hard rock numbers “It’s Been Awhile,” “Wasn’t Looking,” “Paybacks (Are a Bitch),” and “Riding High.” Then Jimmy caught me by surprise, pointing directly at our table and shouting, “This next one is by your request!” It was their amazing ballad, “Tell Me Now” that I just adore – and they nailed it (despite the synthesizer/house PA communication problems). They finished up with “Get Out (Of My Room),” “Neighborhood,” and closed with “Girls Like You.”
Well, they tried to close with that. We managed to talk them into an encore performance of “Blood Suckin’ Bastards” and then they gave us a sneak peak at a song they are currently working on, temporarily titled “Our Crew” which features mini-portraits of their road crew (who yelled and pointed to each other when they were named in the song – it was hysterical!), showing the band’s sincere appreciation for the guys that they literally could not go anywhere without.
If you have never seen this band perform live you absolutely must – they’ll be at Goodfellas this Friday, July 8 in Springfield (and yes, we’ll be there again!!) and have more shows coming up – check their facebook and ReverbNation pages for details, song clips, bio, and to keep track of them!