Sunday, January 1, 2012

CONCERT REVIEW: Rio Turbo & Dude X 2 (The Cactus Club, Milwaukee)

New Year's Eve is always something of a crapshoot. Few other nights are saddled with such expectation, with such an obligation to be fun and, more importantly, memorable, and while logically we know that this anticipation only fuels disappointment, it's still hard resist. We've all had dull New Years, but most of us also harbor memories of those rare instances when the holiday delivered on its promise, where libations and laughter just seem to flow a little easier, where you can actually feel like you're moving into a brighter future, even if in the morning you realize it was just strong drink and loud music. Stepping out the door, we know we probably won't capture that communal, celebratory feeling of transition and renewal, but, hey, it's happened before, so it can happen again, right?

A good chunk of the anxiety associated with having a good New Year's Eve is deciding where to go, and if the Cactus Club turned out to be the wrong choice, on its face, it seemed to have a lot going for it, namely a performance by Rio Turbo, whose sleazy party raps are ideal for a boozy night out. The crowd awaiting his 11:00 show was hideously scarce, and while I've personally seen Turbo make more out of less, forging that connection seemed to be tricky tonight. People continued to filter in, but even a handful of slick new tracks (or his vivacious backup dancers, the Turbettes) couldn't really fill all that negative space covering the dance floor.

If he came off somewhat underwhelming tonight, though, it had less to do with Rio Turbo's act than the promoters failure to drum up a good crowd. The failure of Dude X 2 on the other hand is more attributable to the fact that, honestly, they're just kind of terrible. In many ways Turbo and Dude X 2 are the very different sides of the same coin. Both traffic in big beats and an in-your-face humor, but where the former has a good ear for well crafted tracks and an Andy Kaufman-esque ability to bait the audience, the latter brings only affected offensiveness and, apparently, an out of date copy of FruityLoops. They seem to have about one genuinely funny line for every 20 they spout, but since they sounded so atrocious, you were likely to miss it altogether. By this point in the night, the club had filled up noticeably, but the contrast between the crowded bar and the sparsely populated area in front of the stage was unmistakable, and I couldn't help getting the feeling that the only ones hanging in there were their close friends, party promoters trying to inspire interest and masochists like myself.

Still, though things as they turned out made for a pretty forgettable New Year's Eve, they didn't add up to that bad night either, after all, going from one calendar year to the next is a completely arbitrary moment to mark in the cosmic sense, but if it provides an excuse to have a drink, meet friends and make a bit merry then you ultimately can't go wrong. Hell, there were even sandwiches, and if there's anything we can reasonably expect from 2012, it's a bit of good music, a bit of bad music and, if we're lucky, the occasional sandwich.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...