BUCKCHERRY with PROGRAM THE DEAD at Lee's Palace, February 19. Tickets: $18. Attendance: XX. Rating: NN Rating: NN
A while back I met a guy at a party all decked out like he worshipped Mötley Crüe, who kept on talking about moving to L.A. to start a band or something. Then I wondered: do people still buy into this L.A. cocaine-and-whiskey-fuelled rock 'n' roll bullshit?
Well, after witnessing the poseur train wreck that was Buckcherry , I guess that, yeah, there's still a steady parade of the delusional out there who grew up believing the hype and MTV and praying to the gods of rock that one day, one totally righteous day, they too could do rails of coke at the Viper Room with Nikki Sixx, Axl and the ghost of River Phoenix.
The show was so jammed full of wannabe rock star wankery that for a minute it felt like we'd all been plopped down in some tacky-ass, early-90s cock-metal video shoot.
Opening band Program the Dead played a typical raunchy set of by-the-book hard rock with a dash of punk. But after lead man Matt Koruba asked a sedentary crowd, "How many of you like eating pussy?" it got pretty obvious that their show was gonna be less than enlightening. Though the band kept the energy up throughout, it's too bad their songs didn't have the balls to match their zeal.
So do Buckcherry wish they were big ole arena rock stars? It sure fucking looked that way during the senselessly long sound check that had five roadies milling around onstage. Sorry, but no one needs five roadies for a club show - it just ends up looking like empty pomp and circumstance.
Live, Buckcherry aren't exactly a tour de force. Sure, they play their instruments pretty well, but the band appears to care more about how many pathetic rock-star poses they can get away with before the crowd catches on that their songs aren't really very good.
Between singer Josh Todd 's audacious Aerosmith rip-offs and their endless stream of clichés, they've managed to convince themselves that they're some kind of larger-than-life rock gods. Sorry, but when the highlight of your show is a cheap hard-rock version of the intro to Shaft called Crazy Bitch that segues into a sing-along chorus, "Hey, you're a crazy bitch, but you fuck so good I'm on top of it," then it's time to revise.
There wasn't even a shred of irony in what these guys were doing. The dream for them has obviously been sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll, baby. But you can't get the sex and the drugs down proper unless you can bring some half-decent rock.
That didn't happen.