Monday, July 24, 2023

Live Shows: Thelma and the Sleaze, Tysk Tysk Task, and The Fools Agenda, O'Brien's Pub, Allston, MA 7/19/23

Thelma and the Sleaze are one of those bands that I saw their name on a Facebook event, and just knew I had to hear them. Turns out their blend of sexed up southern rock, hard rock, and indie was even more fun than their name suggested. I immediately wanted to see them live, and when it was announced they were playing O'Brien's in Allston with Tysk Tysk Task opening, I obviously had to make it.

Thelma and the Sleaze's live show turned out to be even more fun than I expected. In fact, it's the most fun show I've been to in years. Their sound mixes the most fun genres (hard rock, country, southern rock, and even some disco) into just a party on stage. Singer Lauren "LG" Gilbert set the tone for the evening by declaring that everyone there had one thing in common: "We all love eating pussy and we all hate Trump." From there it was a night of songs (and onstage banter) about eating pussy, eating ass, and fuckin'. But, in a completely charming way. Oh, and lots of songs about cars, too.

Wednesday night was just a big, loud rock show with plenty of swagger and groove. Musicianship was completely top notch, particularly a fiery guitar player who was announced as Luscious. As fun as it was, Gilbert kept admonishing the crowd to loosen up and have fun (sorry, our Puritanical roots run deep), which is something I've heard about Boston plenty of times. (I've heard it started that we love music but hate dancing, which is apt.) The band used a cover of "Smell Yo Dick" as a call and response to get the crowd more engaged, which mostly worked. When Thelma and the Sleaze make it to Boston next time, we all need to promise to turn up and rock out a little harder.

A reworked line up of Tysk Tysk Task played second, and even though their album came out almost a year ago, Samantha Hartsel and crew keep playing around with the previously released songs. In particular, "On My Own" has been almost completely rearranged as a more pop leaning anthem with a completely rock ending. It's somehow made the song even more emotionally effective. Songs like "Contagion" and "Flies" continue to be live favorites and seemed to be packing an extra punch lately. Tysk Tysk Task broke out two new songs: "My Side" and "Trazodone." "My Side" showed off a slightly new sound for the trio, as it grooved harder than anything they've done as of yet.

The Fools Agenda opened the night with a solid set of southern rock inspired rock. The Black Crowes are the obvious band to compare them to, but The Fools Agenda rocked harder than we're used to from the Crowes, and southern rock in general. There was a surprisingly thrashy sound from them, which worked out great. I'm personally always a fan of bands letting some thrash metal loose during their set, so no complaints here.

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