Monday, March 9, 2020

Heart Bones Played The Saint with Real Dominic, Dentist, and Lowlight, 3/7/20

Heart Bones at The Saint

Hot Dish

I wrote some things about Heart Bones' debut LP, Hot Dish, here a few days ago. It was the first album review sort of thing I've done here in quite a while. Ever since it came out, Hot Dish has been a goto album for me; so I was understandably excited by the prospect of having any involvement with Heart Bones' show at The Saint. Chris Dickman and I booked the locals and spent the last few months extolling the virtues of Heart Bones to anyone who would listen to us. And, damn, Asbury showed up. It was a packed Saturday at The Saint from the moment that Dentist took the stage to kick things off.

It's been about a month since Dentist played locally as a full band. The early crowd was large and enthusiastic. The band have recently holed up to work on some new songs. They brought three of those out on Saturday. My initial impressions are that Dentist continue to get better and better. It's hard for me to put into words, but the new songs reveal a clear evolution of the band's songwriting and sound while keeping all of those things that we love about Dentist. I'm looking forward to being able to sit down with the new tracks and give them a proper listen.

New York's Real Dominic was next. Dom Rabalais puts on a show that incorporates burlesque, metal, club music, projected visuals, multiple costume changes, dance, athleticism, and a giant sword. For, maybe, the first few seconds, the crowd didn't know what was going on. After that, they didn't care and just got swept up in the freakiness. Real Dominic had an accomplice who was taking video of all the proceedings, they passed me the camera as Dom called them onstage; and I used it to shoot a workout routine that consisted of Real Dominic doing calisthenics and pushups with another human being on their back.

Heart Bones had the 10pm slot. In keeping with the band's 80s aesthetic, Sean Tillmann and Sabrina Ellis took the stage in Members Only Jackets. The pair's chemistry was evident from the get-go. They cycled through dance moves that had the appearance of being both choreographed and utterly spontaneous. They laughed with each other throughout the set and, at one point, got the whole crowd moo-ing in unison. Tillmann took out his phone and took a video from the stage to send a hello back home to the band members' significant others.

The energy of the already infectious Hot Dish tracks ratchets up to 11 during the live performance. "Open Relations," "Claws '87," "Beg for It," "Little Dancer," "This Time It's Different," and everything else from the record had the crowd moving and sweating right along with the band. A cover of The Jets' "Crush on You" was a blast as well. I've said it before, but Tillmann and Ellis are two of the most "all-in" performers you'll ever see. That creates a connection with the crowd that few other acts can achieve. More than one person told me after the set (and this is 100% true) that Heart Bones are their new favorite band. I was still getting texts saying the same thing the next day. So there you go.

After a short break, local heroes Lowlight came on to take us into the wee hours of Sunday morning with a late set. They sounded absolutely epic. They grabbed the crowd, nearly spent from a few hours with the gas pedal stomped firmly to the floor, and shook them awake for one, final push. People left with the strains of "Horsefoot" or "Bones" still ringing in their ears and probably even forgot they'd be losing a precious hour of sleep to daylight savings time.

Nights like Saturday give me the energy to keep going, not only here at the blog but also just day-to-day. A pair of touring bands coming through and willing the Asbury crowd over to their side. Two of the absolute powerhouse local acts from town. Our friends at The Saint and Little Dickman. All at a packed house. It doesn't get any better.

All of the pictures from the evening are up in the Flickr galleries.

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