BOSS HOG, with DELTA 72,at Lee's Palace, May 13. Tickets: $15. Attendance: 500 (sold out). Rating: NNN
If Delta 72's Gregg Foreman didn't know about apathetic Toronto audiences before he hit town, he got a rude awakening Saturday at Lee's. Two songs into the Philly crew's soul demolition plot, the rooster-headed shouter climbed on top of the speaker tower and attempted to lead the full house in a hand-clap.
The polite patter of applause bouncing back left Foreman stunned. As drummer Jason Kourkounis laughed after the gig, maybe they should get a woman in a bikini in the band to help focus attention. Hell, it worked for the glorified Garbage knockoffs of headliner Boss Hog.
Indeed, what's always separated Boss Hog from the other ahty New York scuzz rock outfits aiming to be more than the soundtrack for exceedingly hip dorm rooms isn't guitarist Jon Spencer's deeply held affinity with the blues but Cristina Martinez's tits.
Yes, Martinez is beautiful, and yes, she and Spencer both have powerful stage presences. But at the end of the day, the dudes piled up front at Lee's were getting off on something else altogether, and Martinez, a smart cookie about these things if ever there was one, was only too happy to comply.
Which is not to suggest that Boss Hog let the energy level slip. Spraying the room with greasy grooves, Martinez and Spencer -- though palpably lacking the sexual energy of old -- did their dirty business and slipped away, leaving us with a fine but not spectacular Saturday night on the town. No more, no less.