Saturday, April 10, 2010

ACRN birthday -- pretty much awesome

On a cool April Friday night, Lobsters young and old descended upon the Union for a night of cake-induced debauchery, balloons and well, obviously, good music. Lots and lots of good music.
ACRN's 39th Birthday Show began with a bang with the boys of Andrew W.K. cover band Who Knows? (hailing from Athens High School). Who Knows? took to the stage in front of a mixed crowd of both high schoolers and OU student s, and they certainly got the crowd into a raucous mood, inciting singalongs and even a near-mosh pit. Adding to the intrigue was the presence of a plethora of balloons tossed into the crowd, which bounced about like beach balls at a Nickelback concert. (By the way: if you can correctly name the movie I just so wittingly referred to, send me an email at and I will high five you the next time I see you.)
A portion of the crowd dissipated following the end of Who Knows?'s set (apparently ACTs were the next day), though a sizable crowd remained for prog-jazz quartet Five Deadly Venoms, while a few latecomers straggled in. They were the lone band I had seen before (Lobsterfest 2K9, wut wut!) and, as with before, did not disappoint. Flipping between vocal tunes and instrumentals, the band employed the use of a saxophone -- which was played captivatingly by also-guitarist Ben Ashman.
The tunes subsided for a while as a glorious lobster cake was presented for all to see onstage. And as anyone who's spent way too much time on the internet knows, when presented with delicious cake, you must eat it. And so we did. And it was delicious.
In my cake-induced stupor, I was caught off guard when the next act, In Silent Movies, went on. Thus I could finally check them off as one of those local acts that I keep hearing about but never actually see. I'm glad I finally made it out to see 'em. This trio probably has one of the better chances of any in the area to turn heads on a larger, more national stage. I hate to make a Muse reference here because the style of music is most definitely not one and the same, but dammit, I haven't heard three guys make this much noise since Muse. Their banter was perfect as well. "Women and Children First" and "Deep Sea Diver" were certain standouts.
The evening reached the beginning of its end, with the Cutter Family closing out the party. By that point, many of the attendees had departed for the evening. It was almost somewhat amusing that the apex in terms of turnout had showed up for the first band, whereas the low point was for the final act. Nevertheless, the Cutter Family put on a blistering show, with rapid punk numbers and songs about, as the frontman put it, drinking and being alone. Ah, the good life.

The time came for closin' up, and so those of us who remained at the show to its close headed on out, back into the cold, I for my usual ritual of Ali Baba's Gyros after a Union show. All in all, it was a diverse show, full of many different sounds and many different people. Thanks to the Union for having us, and happy 39th, Rock Lobster! Way to do it with style.

-Kevin Rutherford, Senior Critic

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