The Coltranes With R. Clown, Doses, Leisure World At The Hi Hat, Friday July 20th 2018
The Coltranes? I hardly knew them, I actually didn’t know them at all, but they apparently played their last show last night at the Hi Hat, leaving a smell of fresh blood inside the venue… this is what they posted on their Facebook page a few hours before the gig:
‘LAST SHOW EVER. THE LAST NIGHT OF YOUR LIFE. OUR FINAL RECORD WILL BE AVAILABLE HERE AND WHATEVER IS LEFT OVER IS GOING IN THE FUCKIN FIRE. LET’S WRAP UP THIS HELLISH DECADE OF COLTRANES BULLSHIT WITH A FUCKIN SHOOT-OUT. GIT UR TICKETS NOW. DBDA.’
I got the notice and went to the Hi Hat to experience this first and last night with the Coltranes, and I am still wondering why they are calling it quit. The club was packed with die-hard fans and I am certain it is till fuming from all this fury and insane energy the band and the crowd unleashed together in a very memorable show. If it was their last one, well, they went away like rockstars, with a giant boom and no regrets.
The night was long and there were 3 other bands opening for the Coltranes, warming up the place for the upcoming debauchery, with their own twist on punk and hardcore. The first band, R. Clown was actually more circus than hardcore, with 3 rodeo clowns wearing red noses and playing a sort of Devo-inspired punk with repetitive grooves and an UFO keyboard. They also produced violent outbursts with the regularity of a synth toy and the dry distortion of a hard rock guitar, mixed with a Beastie Boys swag and humor.
Doses was another story, a hardcore duo amped to the max, in constant assault mode, playing plenty of scary info/taking heads/noise tapes, mixed with an ultra loud aggression and a strident distortion interrupted by sirens, alarms, politically charged discourses, supporter trumpets, dog barking… They were an entire crowd at 2, with an incessant fusillade in their amp and a chainsaw in their guitar, fighting an invisible war inside the Hi Hat.
Leisure World sounded more classic punk in comparison, although they brought 12 good minutes of constant aggression with a fast-grabbing-beer frontman who was screaming at the violent fast mosh pit that they had installed. The guitars screamed, the assaults built up and the singer trashed more beer cans than a Robert Pollard dream… but before I got used to them, their set was over.
When the Coltranes took the stage, the crowd was already sweaty and beer-soaked, but it was just the beginning as the band launched a punk party as if there was no tomorrow, and there was indeed no tomorrow for them if this was their last show. The Coltranes’music had hardcore riffs, a fast pace but multi influences, with a charismatic frontman and singer Spencer Heath, whose screams often equaled Bad Brains’ H.R.,… no joking. He was as terrifying as he was funny, wearing a trench-coat (that he didn’t keep for very long) and leather gloves, and constantly haranguing the crowd form left to right with a manic attitude, a menacing stare and a death wish. he was crashing beer cans with his left hand while playing with the mic stand with the other one, and in full character, he was insulting the crowd, and screaming at us like a new reincarnation of Tony Clifton. He even asked a guy to give him his jacket (and the guy executed) before throwing it away to the crowd with a funny rage. ’This is the part when I sing Todd Rundgren’, Spencer Heath said, and starting ‘Can We Still Be Friends’, just before another hardcore assault, a series of ferocious stage diving and an unrestrained rhythm. One thing is certain, the Coltranes are/were/are a local legend, all these people were singing the lyrics of all the songs and while doing blood-thirsty headbanging at each the corner of the stage…
Surrounded by Samuel Palacios on bass, Evan Pierce on drums, and JJ Weber on guitar, Spencer Heath performed with a legendary bravado and a restless aggressiveness, he was holding the crowd in the palm of his gloved hands while the music got into heavier and bluesier riffs toward the end of the set. The sing-alongs were so heartfelt and sincere that I am still wondering who the hell these Coltranes are/were… I barely know you, but was it really your last show?