Live Review: The Static Jacks with Cherry Tree at DC9, Washington DC – 2nd October 2013

By on Monday, 7th October 2013 at 2:00 pm

If you’ve been a devoted reader of TGTF for the last 4 years, you probably have noticed that I really don’t follow American bands. It’s not that I haven’t tried to listen to and to take to them – believe me, I try and constantly, it’s not that I’m a snob and only listen to British bands – but very few seem to make the cut. I sensed something very special in the Static Jacks the first time they came to Washington, 3 summers ago, opening for Sunderland’s Futureheads.

At the time, they were underage and were sporting Xs on their hands, and then they actually had to beg the audience for a place to stay that night because they had no place to go. (Some girl and her parents offered their house to them, which I have to say was a very nice gesture, considering I’m sure they had no idea prior to that night who the band were.) I mentioned this exact night to the Static Jacks when I caught up with them after their show at DC9 last night. It seems like that happened a lifetime ago, now that they’re stars in their own right, with their stellar second album on Old Friends Records, ‘In Blue’, was released last week.

Cherry Tree live 1

The opening band were locals Cherry Tree, who barely interacted with the audience. Admittedly, there weren’t all that many people at the club when they started to play, so maybe that caused them some anxiety. I actually didn’t even know they were from Washington until I looked them up on Facebook. I will stress again to new fledgling bands, you have got to talk to the punters, tell them where you’re from and if at all possible, try and engage them so if they like your music, they’ll remember who you are.

Cherry Tree live 2

They’re a rock three-piece of power, and the best comparison I can make to them is a less accomplished Led Zeppelin. It’s a little strange that their singer / bass player plays a pretty tiny bass (think of a Macca-like Hofner, just not a Hofner), but the guitarist is clearly a virtuoso, and they take advantage of this, giving him ample opportunity for solos. As their set wound down, the more bluesy they went, the more enjoyable I found them.

The Static Jacks 2013 live 1

As I said in this review last week for ‘In Blue’, the Static Jacks have a lot to be proud of from this brand new release. So understandably, they wanted to bring out these new tracks Wednesday night and show them off to us. I knew I’d be waking up the next morning with a froggy voice once epic singles ‘I’ll Come Back’ and ‘Wallflowers’ were trotted out one after another early on in their headline set. Oh my. There is something to be said about shouting, “happiness is all the rage!” and “I can’t get enough of this!” back at Ian Devaney, and for once, there was an uberfan with dreadlocks (who I believe was the drummer of Cherry Tree!) behind us who was going more mental at this show than I was. (He was also the same one who successfully ‘negotiated’ an encore for us later.) The heaviness of ‘Ninety Salt’ contrasted well with the feel good New Wave-y sound of ‘Decoder Ring’ and proved their versatility as both musicians and songwriters.

The Static Jacks 2013 live 2

Nearly every song off ‘In Blue’ was offered up on this night, and the songs all sounded huge. The Static Jacks are riding on a huge wave of confidence coming off the album release, and it translates to an exciting, super fun experience. They’re young guys and they’re clearly having a lot of fun performing. Devaney is very endearing funny with the crowd, dropping jokes left and right, as is drummer Nick Brennan, who my gig mate spied stealing guitarist Michael Sue-Poi’s Bud Light halfway in the middle of the set. Brennan also provided comic relief in the form of asking us, “has anyone gotten glasses at the age of 25 and found now they finally see?” (I think you had to have been there, and maybe also a long-time glasses wearer like myself, but I found the quip hilarious. And all this time I thought his Buddy Holly-esque thick black-rimmed glasses were a Harry Potter-type fashion statement.)

The Static Jacks 2013 live 3

Had the ending of the night been my favourite track from ‘In Blue’, ‘People Don’t Forget’, I would have been pleased. But no. After aforementioned dreadlocked dude shouted for everyone to demand an encore, Brennan joked, “you’re in luck. We know exactly one more song.” Laughter. ‘My Parents Lied’, from the band’s 2011 debut album ‘If You’re Young’, capped the evening – and the end of their autumn American tour – off in style. Thanks very much, Static Jacks. We’ll be very pleased to see you back in our town soon. Come back anytime.

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One Response

2:03 pm
7th October 2013

Live Review: The Static Jacks @thestaticjacks with Cherry Tree at DC9 @dc9nightclub, Washington DC – 2nd October 2013

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

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