There’s a lot to like about the Low Czars even after the departure of main man Aaron Scholz. Scholz played guitar and keyboards and sang probably more than half the songs. The rest were sung by the surprisingly sweet-voiced Bob Koch. Scholz’s departure made room for guitarist/vocalist Kyle Motor of Madison’s best power pop band the Motorz. It also opened the door for a guest vocalist Adam Zar (coincidentally the band was first formed to play at his wedding) who brings another voice to the multitalented band.
Previously the band stuck mostly to obscure 60’s and 70’s garage rock and pop, I’d only recognize a handful of songs out of two sets. I tend to think that band wouldn’t have been caught dead doing Kiss’s “Detroit Rock City,” but with Zar on vocals that is exactly what they do. And it is a glorious version. Hands down my favorite moment of the night in a set full of great music. They followed that up with Badfinger’s classic “Baby Blue” calling it “another Badger Bowl moment,” a winking nod to the classic rock bands that play the bowling alley. Those songs certainly aren’t obscure, and man were they a ton of fun.
Of course none of it would work without the ridiculously talented musicians that make up the Low Czars. In addition to Zar, Koch and Motor, there’s Peter Fatka on guitar and backing vocals, and the terrific rhythm section of James Leaver on bass and Larry Brown on drums. While they typically play every four to six months or so, it had been longer than that since I had seen them. I will try not to make that mistake again.