Live! Graceland Mafia w/ Moonlight
Cruisers & Hellbound Hayride
Galaxy Concert Theater
5 August 2005
by Gary Schwind
This is the second time I have seen Graceland
Mafia and I have to say this seemed like a much more fitting venue for
them than the previous place. Melvis and the band take the stage, a la
The King, to the theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey. The band has
undergone some wardrobe changes since I last saw them. Jimbo (guitar) and
Jon (bass) now sport ties on stage and Melvis has added a cape.
Luckily, though, there were no changes
to their high-energy performance. UJ "The Woodchopper" drives the band
with outstanding drumming and is joined in the very solid rhythm section
by Jon. Jimbo is excellent on guitar, and Melvis, well, he's The King.
The Graceland Mafia opened with "Burnin
Love" and really set the tone. These guys play with a lot of energy and
they sounded great, even better than the previous show I witnessed. The
Mafia plowed through a fairly quick set, which included "Demon Lover,"
"Mr. Injustice" and a couple new songs. Frankie from Frankie's Broken Toy
joined Melvis for "All U Got" and the closer, "Stepping Stone."
Is Elvis alive? To be honest, I don't know.
But Melvis is alive and well as The King of the Graceland Mafia. Another
thing I know for sure is that I would not have minded at all if these guys
got to play a few more songs.
The Graceland Mafia was followed by Moonlight
Cruisers, who took the stage to the theme from A Fistful of Dollars.
All four members wore serapes; two complimented the serape with a sombrero,
two with a cowboy hat.
After they played an instrumental intro,
they all removed their serapes and headwear and got down to business. The
singer held a rubber chicken in his hand as he performed the second song.
Then, with the chicken in one hand, he reached for the gun in his waistband,
put it to his mouth and
drank from it. Yes, that's right. The singer of
Moonlight Cruisers had a flask that looked like a gun.
Moonlight Cruisers played traditional rockabilly
and also infused some sort of samba sounds into one of their songs. On
one song, the singer sounded exactly like Chuck from Frantic Flintstones.
In their closing song, the lead singer lay on his back, the bassist lay
his bass down and the guitarist stood atop the bass playing his axe behind
his head and shoulders.
These guys were a pleasant surprise because
I knew nothing about them going into this show. The bassist plays an upright
bass about as well as anyone I've seen. The guitarist and drummer were
pretty remarkable too. They played a high-energy set that displayed their
considerable talents. I would see this band again for sure.
Hellbound Hayride followed Moonlight Cruisers
and although they sounded good, they didn't have the energy of the previous
two bands. The played "Hot Rod Soul," "Pit Stop Honey" and "Five Feet of
Snow," among others. The guitarist was really good and the other members
of the band were OK, but Hellbound Hayride definitely lacked the energy
that Graceland Mafia and Moonlight Cruisers displayed.
Due to circumstances beyond my control,
I didn't stay for Billy Zoom, however with the Graceland Mafia and Moonlight
Cruisers, I have two more bands that I'll check out when I have the opportunity.
a friend about this review