Sunday, February 11, 2007

Stellastarr* at Safari Sam's

At the last minute, I decided to venture up to the Hotel Cafe to check out Tom Morello(Rage Against The Machine) performing under the moniker of The Nightwatchmen. Apparently 250 other people got the same idea and the line was huge. The comedy continued when the doormen mentioned that the guest list was 120 for a venue that holds 200 max. Things were looking bleak. I decided to avoid any more tomfoolery of getting in and rolling over to Safari Sam's to check out Stellastarr*. My luck changed as I drove into the parking lot and a space magically opened up. I missed Monsters Are Waiting but realized I would see them again tomorrow and I have seen them many times before open for She Wants Revenge. Stellastarr* came on within 10 minutes and opened with "Warchild". One of the things I enjoy about Stellastarr* is their judicious use of guitar lines with delay. The guitar interplay between Shawn Christensen and Michael Jurin is extremely effective and ultimately very catchy. Amanda holds down the low end with some loopy and crawling basslines. Amanda also earns points for playing bass without using a pick and her angelic background vocals. Arthur Kremer also throws in some interesting fills and even tosses in some 80's metal drumstick twirls for entertainment. "Sweet Troubled Soul" was played and the crowd reacted with great enthusiasm. Their set consisted of a lot of the 1st album "Jenny", "My Coco", "In The Walls", "No Weather", sprinkles from the 2nd "Stay Entertained", "On My Own" and some new stuff with "Coming Down" standing out as a great new song. I hope Stellastarr* gets signed to a better label since being dropped by RCA records. Most fans are divided on which album they like better. I tend to lean towards the 2nd album with "Love and Longing" being a perfect example of their use of delay. Shawn's setup included a Fender Telecaster running thru a Fender Twin Reverb with a pedal setup of a Boss Digital Delay, Boss Digital Reverb, and a Boss Hyper Metal. Micheal's setup was a Fender Jaguar thru a Vox AC 30 running with an MXR Phase 90, A Boss Multieffect pedal and a Digitech multieffect pedal. I guess I will check out The Nightwatchmen at Coachella.

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