Wednesday, October 9, 2002
There's a line in The Mooney Suzuki song "In a Young Man's Mind" that asserts, "In a young man's mind it's a simple world/There's a little room for music and the rest is girls."
Although the proportions were reversed Monday at the band's show at The Bottleneck, the sentiment was perfect.
After all-male groups Conner and Washdown opened the show, the all-female Sahara Hotnights took the stage. Focusing mainly on songs from its newest album, "Jennie Bomb," Sweden's newest musical import overwhelmed the crowd with its high energy, lo-fi mix of glam and punk. Singer-guitarist Maria Andersson proved she could hold her own against almost any other front musician in terms of stage presence and intensity, and the rest of the band played wonderfully during the quick, tight set.
Speaking of charismatic frontmen, The Mooney Suzuki's Sammy James Jr. energized the Bottleneck crowd with numerous calls for audience assistance and participation in the way of handclaps and louder cheering.
The requests would have come across as pretentious had the four New Yorkers not backed the solicitation up with their take on the recent revival of garage and punk rock. With a more soulful sound than The Strokes or The Hives, the headliners ran through 13 lively songs, including crowd favorites "Electric Sweat" and "Oh Sweet Susanna."
Before "It's Not Easy," the final song of the set, James said that many people had come to the band, asking it to save rock 'n' roll. The singer explained that the group couldn't do that, though, because it had never lost rock 'n' roll. After Monday's blistering show, it was apparent he was telling the truth.