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Black Rebel Motorcycle Club Gets Sinful, Lustful, Serious at Grand Central Miami

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Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

Grand Central Miami

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Better Than: That old Marlon Brando biker movie, The Wild One, from which Black Rebel Motorcycle Club took its name.

Interestingly the rival biker gang in that 1953 black and white flick were called The Beetles. This makes a strange kind of sense as Black Rebel Motorcycle Club are as far from Beatlesque as a rock n roll band can be. You'd have to go back to the Fab Four's Hamburg leather jacket days to find any resemblance with this California trio's moody atmospherics. But that just covers the BRMC's fashion sense. More proper forefathers would be the cool dreaminess of The Jesus and Mary Chain or My Bloody Valentine, and perhaps you could call Muse to be BRMC's overdramatic cousin.

See also: BRMC's Robert Levon Been Talks Rock 'n' Roll, His Father's Death, and Fronting the Call

On some other end of the musical spectrum was the opener, Restavrant.

This L.A. duo took the stage with the cockiness that only a beautiful woman or a great band can have. The drummer double fisted beers while singer/guitarist Troy Murrah spewed straight-faced wisecracks, as if he were auditioning for a post-ironic vaudeville show.

"We're here to warm you up." he said. And things did get warm as Murrah strummed the guitar and Tyler Whiteside banged his drums with the speed of an epileptic seizure. There was a junkyard feel to the set and it wasn't just Murrah's Texan twang. Whiteside's drum kit consisted of a Home Depot bucket, broken license plates, and tire rims. Irony came when he had trouble with his snare drum delaying the set and Murrah groaned to the audience, "The only real drum on that kit is what broke?"

As loose as Restavrant was, that's how tight Black Rebel Motorcycle Club were. All business in that the BRMC guys didn't even address the audience until ten songs into their set. And that was just so singer/bassist Robert Levon Been could ask the crowd to quiet down, because he wanted to play a solo acoustic song.

The most devoted fans shushed out their peers. But you couldn't blame the drunken rowdy few for making a racket, for the previous ten songs would not let you get a word in as BRMC pounded the room with a shoegazing cloudy intensity. Of particular note was the frenzied energy of "Let the Day Begin," and the tambourine and harmonica rich "Ain't No Easy Way."

One day, a smart movie director will find a scene in a biker bar where Black Rebel Motorcycle Club will erupt from a jukebox. This could come off as completely unrealistic, since stereotypical bikers might call this music a politically incorrect term for female genitalia (you know, pussy), but it'll definitely create the proper cinematic mood.

Sinister, lustful, and serious, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club showed Tuesday night that they are just as committed to rebelliously acting out as that thespian outlaw, Marlon Brando.

Critic's Notebook

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club's Setlist:

-"Hate the Taste"

-"Beat The Devil's Tattoo"

-"Let The Day Begin"

-"Rival"

-"Rifles"

-"Ain't No Easy Way"

-"Berlin"

-"American X"

-"Screaming Gun"

-"Conscience Killer"

-"Firewalker"

-"Lullaby"

-"Shade of Blue"

-"Six Barrel Shotgun"

-"Spread Your Love"

Encore

-"Shuffle Your Feet"

-"Sell It"

-- David Rolland

Follow Crossfade on Facebook and Twitter @Crossfade_SFL.

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