Saturday, November 1, 2008

Cruiserweight CD Release Show at Emo's

Halloween in Austin is always a good time. Downtown gets more crowded and crazier than usual. People come from all over Texas to see all the crazy costumes and especially for the Halloween parties happening all over town. This year for Halloween, I was at Emo’s for a pretty big and important Cruiserweight concert.

Other than being Halloween, last night for Cruiserweight was the CD release show. Last night’s show, (which included Zlam Dunk, Driver F, Mondo Pr!mo and The Pink Spiders) was also drummer Yogi Maxwell’s farewell show. You read that right and the flyer tells no lies. Yogi is not going to be playing shows with them anymore….so they claim. After all, he is a Maxwell and knows all the songs. We will see how long that lasts.

Now I know this is the part where I usually talk about the other bands that played and what I thought, but tonight was all about Cruiserweight. This year, starting with Free Week at Emo’s back in January, I always caught them by accident really. In other words, I was at shows in which they played but was not there for them but rather for other bands that headlined. In addition to Free Week, I saw them play with Driver F at their CD release show at Stubb’s, and then again at Emo’s for the Dynamite Boy Reunion show in April. Finally, with the release of their new album, it was their turn to headline and for a blog feature.

When I arrived at Emo’s The Pink Spiders were in the middle of their set. I saw lead singer Stella Maxwell and her brother/guitarist Urny Maxwell in costume. Stella was dressed as a sexy Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz while Urny was in his little Tin Man hat. For a while there, before they took the stage, I thought that was their only costume. As I and everyone else at Emo’s found out, they had other costume’s on hand for their set.

After setting up, the first Cruiserweight member to take the stage was Urny, all dressed up in his black t-shirt and Slash wig. He even had the big black hat. After he came out, playing the Welcome to the Jungle riff that starts the song, the other members came out in full Guns n Roses costume. During that same time I was wondering how they were going to pull a GnR set with only four members. That questioned was answered when I saw a guy dressed as Izzy come out to play with them. I could be wrong, but I believe it one of the guys from Dynamite Boy.

After a minute or so of teasing the crowd with the Welcome to the Jungle riff, the rest of the band broke into full song and Stella came out as an awesome Axel Rose. She had Axel down to the core, in her long red haired wig, red skin tight pants, shades and black t shirt. She even took on his persona, cussing at everyone and calling the other bands “pussy bands”. I loved it. No other local band in any genre I have seen has as much personality as Cruiserweight. I know a few that come close, but not like Cruiserweight. They also covered Sweet Child of Mine and went backstage to change for their regular set.

After all was said and done with the GnR bit, Stella was back in her Dorothy costume ready to go with a pumped out crowd. They brought their usual high energy and entertaining sets, performing new tracks off of Big Bold Letters as well as old favorites. There was also their older hit singles like Yellow Lights, Goodbye Daily Sadness and Cautionary Tale. Good songs do not get old, as myself and everyone there still enjoy them. The most fun part of every Cruiserweight set I have been to is Stella’s dance battle with whomever is bold enough to challenge her.

Last night Cruiserweight was on their game. It was the best performance I have seen from them in years. Being that they are going on tour starting this week, that polish should carry over to the rest of their tour dates. If you are outside of Austin and are reading this, do go check out Cruiserweight live (minus Yogi now) but practice your moves first.

As far as the album goes, see what I have to say about it on CD Fuse where I do my exclusive album and video reviews. Speaking of videos, word is that Danger Films was the film crew last night taping everything for a live DVD. I can’t wait to see that when it comes out. In the meantime, I got some low grade point and shoot footage of Cruiserweight’s GnR bit. Check it out: