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Black Rebel Motorcycle Club:
Live at the Fine Line Music Cafe, Minneapolis, MN


Written by: Corey Tate

The boys are back. In what was a great example of how to play a live gig, BRMC came through Minneapolis to play the Fine Line Music Café. What they delivered was a deft set of music that came from a variety of angles, from their newly aquired acoustic stylings to the great electric guitar-driven rock/punk/noir that they have always given us.

The band played for over an hour and a half and never got stale. No small feat for anyone who has found themselves yawning or bored during even a small 50 minute set. The band knows how to take the audience through the quietest of songs without making us all yawn.

They also know when to turn things up. In the middle of the set, they cranked through amped-up versions of Whatever Happened To My Rock 'N' Roll, Love Burns, and White Palms. These songs were loud, energetic, and full of life. Definitely a high point of the show, as the audience had the biggest response to these songs. The new material was also met very receptively, which is saying a lot, as the album has only been out for a few weeks now and most people in the audience probably have not been completely saturated with it yet. Songs like the single Aint No Easy Way were recognized by the audience right away, but others were greeted with good reception and a positive reaction that the crowd approved.

What the band did most consistently was turn their music on an edge, always invoking enough tension so as to make familiar songs sound new, and new songs sound interesting. They have this ability to create a sense of immediacy through sound, always demanding your attention. There was a lot of energy, and the band was a big enough catalyst to create a set of music that was interesting, fresh, dark, lively, different. Everything we’ve come to hope for from BRMC. Like I said, the boys are back.

Opening act Mark Gardner was a member of former Madchester outfit Ride, who you may remember as one of the bands in 90’s explosion of alternative music. They were droning psychedelic brit-pop, but Mark Gardner has traded all of that for acoustic strumming – part folk, part pure acoustic, part something unidentifiable. As a three piece, they wandered through a mild set of songs that sounded good but very similar to one another. The group was well paracticed but still seemed to be finding their identity.

RATING: ***** 4 out of 5 stars

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