Show Review: Times New Viking, King Tuff, Spencey Dude and The Doodles at Rickshaw Stop, 6/14/11

by J. Lawrence King on June 18, 2011

The headliner at the Rickshaw Stop on Tuesday night was supposedly Times New Viking, the Ohio based shoegaze band touring in support of their latest release Dancer Equired, but nobody informed the audience because the majority of them were there to see the denim jacketed, Crass t-shirt wearing King Tuff blaze through his 11 song set of mind altered sixties garage rock without give one fuck about those critical darlings Times New Viking who were there to close out the night.

The show kicked off with a set by the inspired and bawdy trio, Spencey Dude and the Doodles, a local band whose sound is something like NOFX for the lo-fi crowd, bouncing boy/girl harmonies through an array of static and hiss with their perfectly raunchy lyrics. The audience immediately woke up for songs like “Girl Crazy” which highlighted Spencey’s penchant for loud guitars and catchy hooks.

King Tuff followed Spencey and it was clear who the crowd had gathered that night to see. Front man and man dude, Kyle Thomas, came on stage decked out with flowing long hair, and backwards baseball cap and a grin on his face that screamed, “Hey! I was into Metallica way before anyone else…so it’s cool.” This was a crowd that understood Thomas, his look and most importantly his sound. From the first note of “Dancing on You” to the final beat of “Sun Medallion,” it was evident that Thomas belonged on a bigger stage. He careened through spiraling guitar solos (the good kind) and belted his way through this 11 song set and though there were 4 other members of his band, the attention never left Thomas. He was singer, lead guitarist and all around center of attention.

When the house music came back on after the band had left the stage it was evident what kind of impression King Tuff had left on the entire crowd. The DJ immediately began spinning Raw Power from beginning to end.

This is the level of energy that Times New Viking was expected to live up to as they came on stage. Unfortunately Times New Viking isn’t a band know for energetic live shows. They began their set with “Middle Class Drags,” an older song from their noisier days and then proceeded to barrel into a 20 song set that left the audience bored and apathetic. They mixed in older songs with the more pop savvy songs from their new album Dancer Equired but they were never able to gather much steam to maintain the energy level created by King Tuff. Songs like “Every Falling in Love” and “More Rumours” got the crowd moving. But so much of the set was comprised of older songs that didn’t fit well with the newer songs that most of the crowd found the set unnecessarily long and tedious. Often times they tried to break up the monotony of the set by talking about Ohio sports teams or even once asking if Tim Lincecum had showed up to the show because he put him on the guest list. Unfortunately none of this worked on the San Francisco audience which didn’t seem to care. In the end, Times New Viking suffered from having to follow such an intense and energetic act as King Tuff and then not knowing when to end their own set.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

chandler June 27, 2011 at 2:57 pm

I dunno. Poser with a thousand dollar guitar, was my take. King Tuff’s got all the poses, but TNV have a sense of melody, and actually seem to care about the rock. And care about set-building.

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