Salisbury Beach is one of my favorite places on the entire planet, and how could it not be? In 1973 I watched the Sidewinders (purportedly WITH Billy Squier) open for Aerosmith at the wonderful Frolics Ballroom, which is now so much sand “under the boardwalk,” the brand new boardwalk along the beach 44 years later in 2017. Salisbury has traded in the amusement park for nightclubbing, and that’s a good thing, though Uncle Eddie’s and Carousel could fall victim to the condo-mania happening at beachfronts, and – sadly – sooner than later. But thanks to my Facebook LIVE in 2017 this writer got to catch another two acts on tape forty-four years after witnessing the Sidewinders – featuring vocalist Andy Paley, and Aerosmith…the band which…if Steve Tyler married Joe Perry he would be Steve Perry and we would be talking about Journey.
Positive Negative Man bounced back from their uneven show in Central Square at Club Bohemia August 31 with a terrific set on the large stage that crackled with energy, great lighting and solid sound. It’s a wonderful atmosphere, pool tables in the back of the room, the ocean outside, and plenty of room for the audience. PNM played selections from their college radio friendly Broken CD as well as newer material, the guitar interplay between Eric Gibbs and vocalist/guitarist Mike Feeney magical at some points, especially with the swirling lights that made the beach club feel more like the Fillmore East. Drummer Dave Church has grown his hair a la Don Brewer in the early days of Grand Funk Railroad and it is a sight as the band chugs along back and forth between songs from bassist Peter Tomilloso and Feeney, both co-vocalists of the group. The sound takes grunge up a notch with swirling science-fiction guitar lines from Mike Feeney – after all his guitar teacher was Roger Miller of Mission of Burma, and the sonic assault is to M.O.B. what many groups in the 70s were on that compilation Sons of the Dolls (as in New York Dolls.) “Newport Beach” – the most recent CD Baby download single, was a departure with Church playing bongo or conga drums and the band mellowing it out for a few minutes, before blasting the audience back into oblivion. Very excellent to see a band rebound so dramatically.
Four Point Restraints competed on the same energy level, despite the stark differences with the band genres, the bands were most compatible. With their newest 7 song release, Vicious Circle, the Restraints kept to their core mission – and maybe it was the fact that they followed a group into the blitzkrieg approach – PNM – that they upped their game from a previous show that I was able to take in about a year ago. Vocalist Evan Gadowski controlled the large stage with Meagan Day’s bass, Mike Cashin’s drums and lead guitarist Will Barry providing the additional drive. Again the club’s superb lighting system played into the atmospheric conditions, Gadowski’s harmonica going nicely along with the pink/red vibrations and Barry’s guitar scraping/rumblings straight into some country rock. As stated, they followed a grunge/hard rock onslaught so their Flying Burrito Brothers approach needed the extra energy to keep the night’s theme going, but the ears did get somewhat of a break. Meagan and Cashman generate a bottom as if John Entwistle and Charlie Watts decided to have a side band. Very nice as guitarist Barry goes back to his intro musings along with Gadowski’s harmonica reprise. The audience liked it and the Facebook live, now up on Youtube, proves this writer’s memory intact on the event.
Gadowski’s songs have all sorts of intrigue so keeping an ear on the lyrics is mandatory. Though the new album delves into the darkness, the live set has all sorts of nuances that entertain and shifts moods intelligently. Ed Battles was the soundman and helps coordinate the shows. This was a good one.
Joe Viglione is the Chief Film Critic at TMRZoo.com. He has written thousands of reviews and biographies for AllMovie.com, Allmusic.com, Gatehouse Media, Al Aronowitz’s The Blacklisted Journal, and a variety of other media outlets. Joe also produces and hosts Visual Radio, a seventeen year old variety show on cable TV which has interviewed Jodie Foster, director/screenwriter David Koepp, Michael Moore, John Cena, comics/actors Margaret Cho, Gilbert Gottfried, Gallagher, musicians Mark Farner and Don Brewer of Grand Funk Railroad, Ian Hunter of Mott The Hoople, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, Felix Cavaliere of The Rascals, political commentator Bill Press and hundreds of other personalities.