The Gizmos needed some recuperation after the traveling, practice and
show the night before, so we took it easy on Saturday morning and slowly arranged for everyone to get to Bloomington. I met a group of my family members in B-ton and relaxed with them a while before heading over to see the mania at Mutant Fest.
Got there in time for the Girls from Columbus, Ohio, a punk/new wave combo with guys on guitar, bass, drums and keys (adding some extra interest to the sound), along with a female singer/guitarist who could truly sing and a second singer/percussionist. Hard to really describe their sound, but dug them musically and visually and am bummed I didn't get around to getting their record. Absolutely worth checking out!
Next up were the legendary Panics, one of the original mid-west punk/new-wave bands, that performed with the Gizmos Mach II back in the day. Guitarist Ian Brewer, bassist Yara Cluver, drummer Michael Ost and manic singer John Barge appropriately mangled plenty of rock'n'roll like "C'mon Everybody", "Roadrunner" (the Modern Lovers tune), "All Day and All of the Night", "Substitute", "No Feelings" and garage classic "Night of the Sadist" (cool garage leads from Ian on this one) along with originals like "Tortured Artist", "I Wanna Kill My Mom", "Best Band" and "Drugs Are For Thugs". Ian could have been a bit louder, but the there was a great bass sound, pounding drums and Barge only stopped moving long enough to catch his breath and cool himself off by dumping water on his head! Super fun set!
The Hemingers did some trash/garage in sorta-matching outfits with no bassist but groovy, out-of-control covers of songs like "Little Green Men", Poison Ivy" and "Little GTO" as well as originals like "Fucking Your Daughters and Pissing on Your Lawns", which gives you an idea of their stage attitude.
The Chives were a four piece performing intense, high energy rock'n'roll - kinda reminding me of Ministry's "Jesus Built My Hot Rod" in the power department - with insistent beats and interestingly clever leads loaded with effects. Not exactly sing-along tunes, but different and quite hip.
Brothers Gross played with the Gizmos last year in Indianapolis and it was great seeing them again, even just as a two piece (despite contacting 4 [!] bass players, no one could make this gig). Unfortunately, guitarist Tim was having an off night for a reason I could never discern, but the crowd still dug their punk-influenced power -pop with lots of genetic harmonies. For their closer they brought up Krazee Ken Highland from the Gizmos to do spot-on versions of the Stooges "TV Eye" and "No Fun" - just like we used to do back in our basements in 1976!
I only caught a small portion of Detroit-based Timmy's Organism's Dead Boys-styled punk'n'roll, but they definitely gave a fine high energy performance! And Timmy made it downstairs in order to introduce the Gizmos!
The Gizmos set was another fun-filled bit of mayhem, with plenty of noise and chaos and lots of singing-along from the audience! Right after we concluded "We're Gonna Rumble" a fight broke out in the crowd but fairly quickly dissipated. For this evening Kyle from Brothers Gross sat in on the drums for "Pumpin' to Playboy" while Kelsey flailed at her Stratocaster and we even got Eric Weddle to appear on saxophone for "Hey Beat Mon" and "Final Solution". Fine times, indeed!
We didn't hang out long as the next day we were set to get to Magnetic South Studio as early as possible in order to record a new EP! That turned out to be about noon, but rock stars Sam, Kelsey and Craig, along with engineer John Dawson had everything set up, tuned up and ready to go by the time the rest of the Gizmos appeared. We blasted through 5 songs in less than four hours and everyone walked away happy with the results! Can't wait to spring it on the world!
Thank you, Indiana, for once again welcoming the Gizmos and supported the world's oldest teenage band! Hope to see eveyone again soon!