Live Review: The Distillers, The Black Cat, 4/7/04

The Distillers’ lead singer Brody Dalle could kick your ass. Mine, too. Although she definitely should have wreaked havoc on the jerk beside me who kept yelling “Show me your tits!” at a performance Wednesday night, she didn’t need to kick anybody’s ass; the music did it for her. Dalle’s band, the Distillers, let loose an incendiary set at Black Cat.

Dalle is that girl your mother warned you about, the punk-rock Medea and a talented version of Courtney Love all wrapped up in one. Alongside members of Thursday, Interpol and the Darkness, she recently graced the cover of Spin Magazine, heralded as “the next big thing.”

Despite valiant efforts by openers the Lot Six and Icarus Line, they could not quite prepare the audience at the Black Cat for the onslaught of the Distillers. The band mainly played songs from its most recent album, Coral Fang.

The apex of the show was “Hall of Mirrors,” which provided both aggressiveness and vulnerability. The lowlight of the show was when vocalist Joe Cardamone insulted a majority of the crowd by sneering, “So this is a school night. Did you all finish your homework?” But, then again, I guess when a third of your audience consists of 13-year-olds who look as if they are really into Good Charlotte, such a remark is not so out of line.

During the single “Drain the Blood,” the band built up to a stunning crescendo, only to suddenly stop and then pick right back up without losing any steam. Dalle’s voice is one that sticks in your subconscious. It’s powerful when she shreds but even more compelling when the guitars drop back and she softly sings.

In a recent Hatchet interview, guitarist Tony Bradley said the Distillers are like any other band. His humility is refreshing, but he’s wrong. The Distillers are better than most other bands, and they proved it at Black Cat.

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