Radioactivity, Birthday Suits, Butcher’s Union
Triple Rock Social Club
July 22, 2015
It’s nice to live in a city where some great out of town bands have friends. It means a band like Radioactivity, who has released two records in three years but are hardly what I’d call “active,” comes through town more often. Of course, nobody comes through town in December-March, so maybe it’s a null distinction.
Anyway, on this fine evening a week ago*, I arrived midway through a set from Butcher’s Union thanks to my bus never showing up. Anyway, the band was billed as members of Dillinger Four, Gay Witch Abortion, and Pink Mink. I expected side project and something weird. What I got was Paddy’s Greatest Hits: a mix of songs written and/or fronted by Paddy Costello of Dillinger Four, and older gems from other bands he’s played in like Cleveland Bound Death Sentence and Fuck Yeahs. Oh, and Billy Morrisette was in the band too so I shouldn’t give what’s his name all of the credit.
Obviously the songs sounded different with Costello and Christy Hunt handling vocals, but they’re rollicking tunes that are never played live—I’d say “except for D4,” but then I remembered how often they play. Hearing a female voice on Erik Funk’s usual parts was fun, if nothing else. Actually, that’s the operative word for the Butcher’s Union set. I wonder if it will happen again sometime.
Second to the stage were Birthday Suits, a long running electric duo who play driving rock that features a more full sound than most band’s twice their size. I’ve seen the band enough to call it a standard show, but what that means is that it was great, tightly played, and sweaty. I’d wager as many people were up front for Birthday Suits as for headliners Radioactivity.
And Radioactivity is what the night boils down to. On the cusp of their second LP, just released (though promised 2 years ago), it was a modest crowd but an enthusiastic one at that. The front row were all singing along and staring up front, without a camera or phone in sight. As for the performance, well, if you’ve seen other related bands (Marked Men, Mind Spiders, etc.), there is an expectation there: black shirts and haircuts you can set your watch to. Or, as another note I jotted down says, “What is there to say about the perfect band?”
Radioactivity are short and fast, always on key and so frantic it makes the heart pound listening to it. It was fast and sweaty, but maybe too fast. They only have two records so there’s not a lot of new material one can expect, but this was seriously short and sweet set, so while it raged for all of 20 minutes or so, it left wanting more…waiting for new material to make it last just a little bit longer.
*Sorry for the delay, but life was super busy (and fun) last week so it’s been hard to find extra time to sit down for this.
All photography by Loren Green.
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