Last night Yussuf Jerusalem stopped by The American Legion for an evening of blasted eardrums, chain smoking and bands playing in near total darkness. The line-up featured some heavy hitters from Miami's version of the garage explosion.
Before we get to the actual show, it's worth emphasizing once more what an exciting venue The Legion is. So much space to hang, the backyard is huge and right on the water, the drinks are cheap, the acoustics are right-on. This place is perfect and it's existence will be a continued experiment to see if Miami can sustain "nice things" that aren't clubs (not that there's anything wrong with those, but outside of Churchill's we don't have a whole lot of options that feature live music as the primary attraction).
This Heart Electric got the crowd warmed up with pop histrionics and Melted Sunglasses kicked off the evening's garage buffet. Word from the members was their set consisted of primarily (or maybe entirely) new material. Their style was strikingly heavy, a blend of chunky 70s-style proto-punk and knuckle-dragging bar rock swagger. The latter influence was particularly effective as rendered through the bassist's rock and roll sex falsetto, often paired in call-and-response fashion with the guitarist's more straightforward shouts and hollers.
After a few minutes of cacophonous, crowd-amping warm-up/tuning the singer of Jacuzzi Boys started their set with a bold declaration: "I'm fucking ripped and hope all of you are too." What followed was an appropriately raucous set complete with what looked to be a bonafide pogo pit. A lot of nu-garage bands are described as "post-Velvets" but the Jacuzzi Boys are decidedly post-Stooge. And we're talking Funhouse, none of that "Iggy and..." bullshit (OK, Raw Power is a good record, but the soft focus Bowie production drains the nasty oomph that made the first two LPs actually raw ) High energy, dirty buzzsaw riffs and raunchy solos, the Jacuzzi Boys, on the heals of a new LP on Florida's Dying, killed it.
Yussuf Jerusalem, the second rock and roll band from France to make it to Miami this fall, played a relatively straightforward rock set that every now and then dipped into bizarre and exciting interludes of heavy (almost metal/hardcore?) pummeling.