USELESS KEYS 02/03/11
The Satellite – Silver Lake, CA
Words/Photos by Reverend Justito/concertconfessions.com
I don’t make it out to Silver Lake very often. After all, it’s hard to look sweet and innocent in front of a judge when the charge is forced sodomy with a tall boy of PBR against an East Hollywood hipster. Fact is I only made it to 1717 Silver Lake Blvd once when it was called Spaceland; and the only reason why I went was to check out metal-friendly Dax Riggs. So what brought me out to “The Satellite” on a snow free Thursday night in Silver Lake? That would be Los Angeles locals USELESS KEYS who were looking to drop some new jams for anyone willing to listen.
The four piece band lead by Michael Bauer and Michael Regilio hit the stage about 10 minutes after 9 pm. As Bauer and Regilio began strumming the quirky opening notes to “Sea Bells” fans began running from the bar into main room. I knew the band had a new drummer (Jerry Roe for those keeping score at home); but by the time that the songs full out rock assault chorus had finished round one it was clear the man behind the kit is just what USELESS KEYS need to take it them to the next level.
Two brand new songs followed the mood setting “Sea Bells” opener. Assuming the titles on the set list I stole from Regilio post show are correct, the first new song goes by the name “Step by Step.” One word sums up my opinion on this song – LOUD! Holy smokes, I am not sure if it was the sound engineer at The Satellite or just how it was intended but with a decent of ear plugs in place my ears are still bleeding from this all-out sonic attack.
“Super Fast” followed and as I stood and watched I couldn’t help but feel as if I was experiencing Nirvana through a Big Muff pedal after shooting up Lance Armstrong in a dark French alley. I am pretty sure this is the shortest song in the USELESS KEYS catalogue. The under two minute jam is quick burst of pure-punk-pop magic that would make fans of the first wave of Alternative rock proud. Out of the three new songs played on this evening, “Super Fast” was hands down my favorite.
With only a seven song set (the group was the first of four bands to perform) the big guns were saved for last. With the recent additions of Roe and bassist Davin Givhan “Arizona State Highway” has truly gone to the next level. Add in some trippy lights and a smoke machine working twice as hard as it should, and the result is a massive moment worthy of your local sports arena.
I felt the highlight of the brief set was “Radiation Blues.” Over the past year, this has become my personal favorite USELESS KEYS number. Bauer’s vulnerable vocals are a perfect match for the melodic backdrop and will no doubt cause your neck hair to rise. Feeling the room the entire set, this was the moment where the band convinced most of the crowd to be into the music instead of being into one’s self.
After a quick thank you and mention of CD’s available in the back the 1717 Silver Lake Blvd vets closed the night with “White Noise.” It’s the jam to end all jams; it’s sexy, mysterious and will rock your fucking socks off. This is the reason I fell in love with the band 18 months ago at The Roxy. Mark my words, when it comes to USELESS KEYS, it’s not a matter of if as much as it’s a matter of when and this past Thursday night in Silver Lake is simply the next step in world domination.