SUPERSUCKERS with TIJUANA BIBLES at Lee's Palace, April 20. Tickets: $20. Attendance: 400. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
I can't remember who first asked this question - it may have been Hulk Hogan or Shakespeare - but when dealing with the Supersuckers , you might wonder, "What's in a name?" because the Supersuckers definitely do not super-suck.
In fact, after seeing them rock the pants off Lee's Palace , I think they should consider revising their name to, maybe, the Super-Great Live Band. But more on that in a sec.
Local openers the Tijuana Bibles had the rather unpleasant task of warming up a crowd not nearly drunk enough to be warmed up. Hitting the stage at 9:30 on a work night ain't no picnic, but the Mexican-wrestling-masked surf-punk-pop band did their best by playing a fun but altogether brief set. On their own terms, they sure looked like they could keep the party going strong.
But you could tell by all the cute rockabilly girls and the tough-looking tattooed dudes standing around that everyone was there for the main event, and by the crowd's reaction when lead man Eddie Spaghetti sauntered onstage with acoustic guitar in hand, it was pretty obvious that everyone was there to rock.
Unfortunately, that wasn't the first order of business for Spaghetti, who after opening sans band with Johnny Cash's Cocaine Blues - not surprisingly inciting a whole chorus of whoopin' and hollerin' - laid into a solid half-hour of strictly acoustic material culled from his solo work and a few covers.
In a room full of rowdy fans, it was no small feat that Spaghetti managed to hold his own playing solo for as long as he did. The man's got presence, and he was genuinely interesting to listen to as he strummed away.
But you can only take so much of that before you start craving the rock, so with excellent timing, the rest of the band made their way onstage to kick things into gear. Sounding like Social Distortion's Southern cousins, the Suckers ripped through an hour and a half of crowd-pleasers like Heavy Heart and Rock 'N' Roll Records (Ain't Selling This Year), while the bluesy shuffle of Creepy Jackalope Eye kept things fresh.
The Supersuckers are proof that fast, loud, no-bullshit rock 'n' roll is always gonna be a good time. Shit, even the guy with the crutches was waving them around in the air .