Tuesday, 25 March 2014

18/10/2007 Metro Riots & Johnny Panic @ the 100 Club

SubjectMetro Riots & Johnny Panic @ the 100 Club

As the headline band had been recieving some Rock Show airplay on Xfm recently and also just had a session broadcast on the station I was expecting the 100 Club to be quite full tonight. Wrong.  The club seemed nearly empty when I arrived. Johnny Panic were the opening act, and I expected them to draw a reasonable crowd on their own as I have seen them play to a packed Barfly and they have released a great album since then. I remember seeing them play to a handful of people at the Dublin Castle several years ago, and now they seem to have almost slipped back to that level again.  I'm not sure how this has happened as they are an excellent band with a strong identity of their own, backed up by some really great songs.
Although they are very much a rock band, with influences including the Sex Pistols, Guns 'N' Roses, and The Clash (although they sound like none of these bands) they seem to have been marketed almost as a pop band, maybe because they are a good looking band which makes them attractive to teenage girls. Maybe this has worked against them and the more hardcore music fans have drifted away a bit thinking the band lack 'rock' credibility as there tend to be a lot of young girls at their gigs - suggesting they are more of a 'pop/punk' band? Musically they are certainly nothing of the sort, and lyrically they are fiercely intelligent with challenging and thought provoking songs - a million miles away from most 'pop' or 'punk' bands these days.
Oh, and they have some really good tunes too. I certainly enjoyed this show more than when I saw them at Dingwalls a few months as they played more songs from their debut album 'The Violent Dazzling' - I haven't heard the newer songs enough to really get into them yet.
Fortunately the place fills up a bit as the band play, but I think they suffered from being on so early, and quite possibly with a published stage time of 8.00 some of their fans stayed away as they didn't think they could get there that early. It's a shame as the band put on an excellent show tonight and deserved better.

I was only expecting two acts on the bill tonight - both bands that have been working for several years to establish themselves and that I was looking forward to seeing again. So I was quite surprised to find another band I've never even heard of sandwiched inbetween them. At first I thought half of Metro Riots hadn't turned up when just two people got onto the stage and started playing - this turned out to be The Sea. Like the White Stripes or Winnebago Deal, guitar and drums is all you get. They manage to not sound like either of those bands, although they are lighter than the latter band and are more indie/rock sounding. I really think they would be much more impressive if they added a bass player and maybe a second guitarist to fill out the sound.
They don't seem to have any particularly memorable songs although they certainly play well enough - the drummer is terrific. I don't really see how they justify their place on the bill after Johnny Panic though? 

It's a couple of years or so since I last saw Metro Riots - at the TMF festival I think. I've also seen them once or twice at the Dublin Castle and Metro or somewhere and been quite impressed. With their first album now out and a fair bit of recent exposure on Xfm I was expecting to see a noticably improved band.
The new stuff of theirs I've heard on the radio sounds dirtier and heavier, but this doesn't come across in the 100 Club tonight at all. If anything, they seem aless exciting band than the Metro Riots I have seen in the past. Maybe they are just having an off night, but they certainly don't set the place on fire.
The club has filled up a bit by the time they take to the stage, but it's still not much more than half full - not what I was expecting for a band who've had the amount of exposure they've had recently. They weren't bad or anything, but just seemed a bit lacklustre for a headline band at this well known venue.

I'd been looking forward to this gig, but the night turned into a bit of an anti-climax and in my opinion all three bands were in the wrong spot on the bill - Johnny Panic were certainly the best band of the night and deserved to have been headlining.

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