The Hussy/Wheels on Fire/The Honeyslides/Nestor; June 7, 2010; High Noon Saloon
If you had told me that would be a girl in every band tonight and that I would like them all, I would have told you that was crazy talk. It’s not that I dislike all girl singers; it’s just that more often than not that is the case. I already knew how much I enjoyed Heather, the Hussy’s hard hitting drummer who also mans the kit for the Honeyslides, but I had no idea how much I would like Wheels on Fire’s bouncy keyboard player and Nestor’s gorgeous-voiced lead singer.
In fact, based on their name I expected local band Nestor to be terrible. Unfair I know, but often you can judge a band by its name. I’d never heard of them before, and only one of their members looked even vaguely familiar, but they were surprisingly good and obviously practiced. The voice fronting the band was the key, there weren’t a lot of vocals but they were hypnotic and hard-hitting at the same time. I look forward to seeing them again. Hopefully this isn’t a one and done band. The Honeyslides had become more a legend than a band in my mind. They’d played their first gig toward the end of last year on an almost identical bill that substituted the Hemlines for Nestor, but only a handful since, none of which I had managed to attend. They weren’t necessarily a revelation, but it was some genuine, hook-filled power pop, a typical Matt Joyce band powered by Heather’s awe-inspiring drumming.
Wheels on Fire from Athens OH was the only out of town band on the bill, and I got the feeling that this show and last October’s similar bill had been set up just to support them, which after seeing them seems a very worthy cause. Their slick pop was instantly likeable and incessantly catchy. Handsome lead singer Michael Chaney had a magnetic stage presence, but it was keyboard player Susan Musser that really got my attention. In her rolled-up jeans and sneakers she seemed to be having the time of her life, out of the spotlight and totally intent on the music. She was awesome. The Hussy finished the night with another powerful leave-em-wanting-more short set. Heather’s furious pounding and charming willingness to belt the songs out with conviction even though she doesn’t have the best voice ever are the best part of the set, but it wouldn’t work without Bobby’s frantic guitar wailing and dueting voice. On paper it doesn’t seem like it would work, but on stage it most certainly does.
Wheels on Fire