Saturday, June 21, 2008

Maxfest with The Pugilists, Goat Radio and The Javelinas; June 21, 2008; Zad's Roadhouse, Milwaukee

Sometimes things just don’t turn out like you plan them. We were looking forward to an outdoor fest where the bands we wanted to see were playing early enough that we would be home by a decent hour. We arrived at 7 pm at Zad’s (a curious fusion of two neighboring bars, both of which I was sure I had been in before, neither of which I remembered the name of) in plenty of time for Goat Radio’s 8 pm set. Problem was, a few early brief but thorough cloudbursts had delayed things, and first band the Javelinas, who should have been finishing up, hadn’t even started.

This was unfortunate since I was rather hoping to miss their set. It isn’t that they are a bad band, or even the fact that they play generic inoffensive rock, it’s just that the lead singer’s showy stage presence gets on my nerves. It isn’t so bad when he has a guitar in his hands, but once he puts that down he spends a lot of time pretending to be an alt-country Mick Jagger. After their set the rain started again, delaying things even further. They managed to squeeze in one more set outside, but the last two bands scheduled out were moved in, with what added up to a two hour delay. Goat Radio played a short but entertaining set, all the hits you know, and then made room for the Pugilists.

The terrifically named Pugilists are what we in Madison call Jack and Don’s “other band,” even though the Milwaukee-based e-mail Jack sent out called it the reverse. The switchover time was mercifully short due to the overlap of members, and it wasn’t long before they were rocking us power pop style. I wish I had a more vivid memory of their set, but it was late and I guess I was tired. I remember liking it (how could I not with Jack in the band) but no specifics stuck with me. Hopefully they will get to Madison one of these days and I’ll get another chance to see them.

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