Very excited to have faves Cherry Glazerr performing at the Catalyst Club in Santa Cruz on a Monday in March. And lovely to share the experience with my kid. Also on the bill are Palehound, an excellent band in their own right.
The opening band is Half Stack. They were a 5-piece rock and roll band that put me in mind of Allman Brothers or Grateful Dead. Their sound was pretty good, and several of the songs had really interesting intros. But ultimately the music would go to really obvious places. They were not actively bad, but they didn’t do much for me. I purchased my second fake beer and roamed about the venue, ultimately finding my kid Vincent right up on the left corner of the stage. The sound was a little funky, but we were right up on the performers when Palehound took the stage.
This was my second time seeing Palehound. They headlined a show at the Catalyst in February of last year. Bassist Larz Brogan was right in front of us, and their bass cabinet was the most prominent thing in my soundscape. I was basically okay with that, as their driving, bouncy bass lines really propelled Palehound’s sounds. Unfortunately Ellen Kempner’s vocals and guitar playing were harder to make out, but I thoroughly enjoyed their set. With Jesse Weiss on drums rounding out the rhythm section, Palehound totally rocks. I one-hundred percent recommend you check Palehound out if you’re not familiar with them.
Palehound’s set ended and we stayed up by the stage to wait for Cherry Glazerr. The roadies brought out some giant cherry balloons and started inflating them. Drummer Tabor Allen came out to put the last touches on his kit and check the sound. It took unbelievably long for the Catalyst sound person to get the drum monitors the way Tabor wanted them (pretty intense reinforcement). This is the second time I’ve seen musicians get frustrated with Catalyst sound techs, so I’m starting to think the club needs to up their game. Finally happy with the drum sound, Tabor did a quick check of Clem’s guitar, and we were in the final countdown.
With the departure of Sasami Ashworth (keyboards) from Cherry Glazerr, this was a return to the power trio lineup for the band. There is Clementine Creevy on guitar and vox, Tabor Allen on drums, and Devin O’Brien on bass. They are playing really well together – musically on point, having fun, and bringing down the house with booming beats and electrifying riffs. Clem is wearing a slinky slip dress and Doc Martin’s and she’s on fire, stomping around the stage while she and her band mates bring down the house. The set list was a mix of old faves like Had Ten Dollaz, Teenage Girl, Grilled Cheese, and Nurse Ratchet as well as most of the new album Stuffed and Ready.
There is vulnerability in Cherry Glazerr’s songs, in numbers like Self Explained and Isolation. But mostly there is fierceness, pushing the barriers and lashing out against convention and sexism in songs like Daddi and Wasted Nun. Cherry Glazerr is really a celebration of all that it is to be a girl/woman/human in all its laughable, tragic and lustful glory. This show delivered 110% and was the most fun I’ve had in a while.