Bessy unprepared for Bottleneck gig

Friday, September 5, 2003

Maybe it was the lack of appropriate rehearsal time or the jitters of being in front of an unfamiliar crowd, but Dressy Bessy seemed a bit musically undressed at its Bottleneck show on Wednesday night. The Mile High City band stopped and started several numbers over, then apologized that life on the road had taken its toll on practice time.

It's too bad, because when the quartet actually made it all the way through a song, it resulted in some enjoyable pop-punk riffs, with pleasantly throaty vocals provided by lead singer/guitarist Tammy Ealom. Even with the mental lapses, it was obvious the band members were comfortable with each other. Perhaps though, they were TOO comfortable, because eye-contact and collaborative interaction between the four was often lacking.

Each member played their parts and sang the vocals without really conveying the appreciation they have for each other's musical talents. They also did not seem to take much pride or pleasure in the few times they veered from the pop format to embark on some instrumental detours. Rather than showcasing these as strong points, they seemed an afterthought to the verse/chorus/verse/chorus routine.

"Dressy Bessy," however, followed a cardinal rule of concerts: save the best for last. The highlight of the evening, the fast-paced "Better Luck" from its self-titled third album, brought out the vivacity of the singer.

It also featured standout solo riffs by drummer Darren Albert and former Apples in Stereo guitarist John Hill. For the first time since taking the stage, this tune showed the potential of a band inspired by its own music.

Upon thanking the modest-sized crowd after the finale, Dressy Bessy announced that it hoped to return to The Bottleneck, possibly as early as October. The Denver indie act clearly has the musical potential to mount a good show, and maybe after a month of constant touring, the group will be better prepared to take the stage.