I bought my Starcrawler ticket the second I learned about them playing Madison.
I was shocked (and pleased) to see that tickets were only $20. Huh? Starcrawler has been around a while and just released a major label album.
“Starcrawler – She Said”
I arrived that night at 5 minutes before doors opened and was walking through the parking lot towards the door when coming at me the opposite direction was the entire band. I laughed and said “you’re going the wrong way” to which someone replied “we’ll be back”.
At the door of the High Noon I was # 3 in line. There were 2 guys waiting ahead of me. Then along came Bridget (I think her name was) whom I had waited outside with for the X/Psychedelic Furs show. They let us in and we formed a stage front squad. I was dead center.
Then came the waiting. Since the crowd was pretty light at that point, I hit the merch table and bought the 1 and only shirt they had in my size. The pink tux shirt.
This shirt reminded me of the tuxedo shirt I got with my tux rental for my junior high prom which I wore proudly for a long while afterwards.
Then I got a drink to nurse and headed back to the stage.
When wristwatch came out, 2 of the members were wearing wigs and the lead singer/guitarist… who was like only an extended arm away from me… said something like “Hi. We’re the Ramones” and then started up what was a fantastic though too short rock and roll ride.
For those of you not familiar with Bobby or The Hussy, here they are on PBS no less from 2020.
This was Wristwatch however, and it was soon clear that they were here to blast some rock.
Bobby’s wig only made it through the first song.
The bass player, the same I believe from the PBS show was thumping hard and the guitar on my left was doing some serious rock and roll poses through out.
The music was awesome and I was right there at Bobby ground zero. He was a bundle of energy and just thrashing it out.
At one point he lost his pick and it literally fell right in front of me. Bobby fished a new one from his pocket. I left it for a few songs, but when it was clear he was not going to retrieve it, I picked it up. I know it’s silly, but I couldn’t help it. I still have the pick I got from Couch Flambeau’s Jay Tiller years and years ago. Now it has a friend!
Wristwatch was jamming hard when something went wrong and suddenly there was a break while Bobby was fixing a broken string. The dude was bleeding. He cut his hand. He apologized for taking the time to fix it, but it was like only a minute. Respectful and ironic considering what came later.
This was when I was able to get a shot of the drummer who was hidden from me most of the show since I was dead center and Bobby was between us.
With string fixed they started up the shredding again. He was still bleeding though! Check out his guitar’s bottom edge. Talking about playing through the pain!
The show was great and I was SO close. Note Bobby’s Type O-Negative t-shirt.
There was an announcement of vinyl for sale in the back and that Starcrawler was coming up. I knew I was going to have to get a Wristwatch vinyl!
I had been peeking at the set list and was pretty sure I was hearing the last song when things really escalated and Bobby leaped from the stage and rolled around and spun on the floor while still playing! It was bonkers. I thought I was filming, but only got this shot.
He went at it man! I switched to video and caught a bit of the rest of the floor show and then him getting back on stage and continuing this there.
The energy was off the charts and ended with some string breaking (one of which he had just fixed earlier) and then some feedback play before bringing the set to a close. It was wild.
Here is the video I was able to get.
It was a punctuation point on the show which was really great. I was glad to be down front for it and as they were packing up I asked Bobby if I could get the set list. He handed it to me.
I’m assuming that is a picture of tanzanite, it’s hand written on the back, but not sure the significance.
To complete the Wristwatch story… After the show I visited the merch table for Wristwatch wanting a copy of the vinyl. Bobby was there and was bummed to tell me that there were no more copies left there. Then he considered for a second and told me he had a stash at home and sent me a text to reply with my address and told me he would mail it to me! That is above and beyond man. Great showman and nice guy. Great show Bobby, if you ever read this! Blew me away.
As I write this, I wondered if there was a way for folks to get their own copy. I found Wristwatch on BANDCAMP! Looks like it’s sold out already, so I am getting super lucky!
and check this review, short but sweet from someone I think knows his stuff: “Cool Band”
– HENRY ROLLINS
He plays “Size” from the album on his show. Bravo!
Check out “The Hussy” on Bandcamp too, but be prepared to see SOLD OUT on most of the vinyl. No surprise. I just bought “Looming” on vinyl before that sells out too! Go get yours.
Damn I love Bandcamp. Anyway…
Then came Starcrawler.
If you are familiar with Starcrawler, then you know Henri. He always seems to be frickin loving it. Smile on his face and energy like it’s his first show. This show was no different. He was the first out on stage and the place went nuts.
His sound is so smooth and as much the voice of the band as Arrow’s. And look at that equipment behind him. I bet some of that is his original stuff. Nothing fancy for him but pedals. The rest of the band then came on.
I was getting hit by the microphone cord from Arrow’s craziness. Lol.
I guess you can be too close.
The band ripped into “Goodtime Girl” and then played a new album cut “Roadkill”. The sound of the new album is more polished and I wasn’t sure about it as I listened to it on the way in to see the show, but hearing it live definitely was good and gave me a different perspective.
Tim refused to smile, but his bass chops were thumping me hard. Henri was all over the stage.
When they played “I Love L.A.” there was general mayhem as that is the song that I think Starcrawler is known for. The crowd was belting it out behind me.
Arrow continued to smack me with the mic cord and would step on the stage monitor I was leaning on. Again, maybe too close.
Despite Arrow’s wild stage maneuvers I was struck with how Henri would whip through all the different styles and play it all with a crunchy rock chops while still really really seeming to enjoy the hell out of it.
Arrow did her best to rival his energy. It was definitely center and right for performance and left side for quiet steady holding the line musically.
They played their song from the film Pet Cemetery and that was another crowd favorite. There were songs on their set list (I could read it taped to the stage) that they didn’t play and may have been there as a joke (?) like I Shot The Sheriff and Stand By Your Man and Dancing Queen. The guy next to me got the stage copy and let me take a picture.
Otherwise they played a lot of the new album. It was great.
Henri seemed to be slipping around a bit and at one point someone came up and put gaffing tape on the bottom of his shoes. You can see just a tiny bit of pink tape sticking up from his left boot.
Incredibly, another pick went flying and landed in front of me! I grabbed it.
Now Jay’s pick has 2 friends.
Here is a clip of what it’s like to be down front at a Starcrawler show. Choose wisely.
Then for a bit the Cash acoustic came out for “Better Place”.
Then back to the electric.
Then Henri did his traditional crowd walk. He went off the stage to my left. I couldn’t see him above the heads, but suddenly he was right in front of me. I got 2 pictures (neither of which came out) but one as he retraced his steps along his guitar cord back to the stage. He also went off stage to my right. The crowd was very respectful.
Once back onstage they played a bit more, then left the stage for a brief moment and then came back and played an encore. Henri played this other guitar. Flashy.
Then another guy got up and jammed with him. Not sure who that was.
and then it was over.
I waited for a while in the merch table line to get Henri who was there to sign my CD I had brought with.
and then my visit to the Wristwatch merch table as noted above. It was a great night of music and I was glad I went, though I had an hour and a half drive home.
Wristwatch and Starcrawler bravo!
Check out these pics I grabbed from Bobby Hussy’s Instagram and Story.
First, a shot of Starcrawler with the back of my head between Arrow and Tim the bass player in front of the guy with glasses. You can’t see my face, but that is my bald spot.
Then Bobby used the picture I shot of him on his back onstage and thanked me in it.
WAY COOL !