Friday Night: Garland Jeffreys at the Continental Club
Oh, Houston, what were you thinking? After Rocks Off has touted your attributes, your beauty, your understated sense of cool to many a foreigner, why would you not show up for Garland Jeffreys? Most of you were probably at home resting up for Sunday's geezer-fest with Van Halen, I suppose.
But hats off to the 80 or 90 people, including Houston Texan Connor Barwin and his small party, who showed up at the Continental Club for a rarer than rare show -- Jeffreys reckoned he was last here in 1991, although his father is buried here -- visit from one of rock's unwavering, unapologetic greats.
Be that as it may, Jeffreys brought a crack band and shove-it-down-their-throat attitude to the affair Friday night that saw him burn -- blaze might be the better term -- through rock anthems that will be around long after Justin Bieber is an insecticidal blood-and-guts blob on the windshield of history.
It's rather funny that the New York City rocker gets to Europe more often than he gets to Texas. Start Googling Mr. Jeffreys; there's way more Euro press on him than U.S. press, and it all glows with praise, admiration, and respect: "A faultless performance" (Le Figaro); "A corker!" (The Sun); "Superb" (Libération); "'The Contortionist' is the rock song of the year" (Frankfurter Algemeine); "This guy is dynamite" (London Sunday Times); "4.5 stars" (Rolling Stone Germany).
Photos by Jason Wolter
And Jeffreys' old nugget "Wild In the Streets" was just used in the Max Payne 3 game.
Rolling into the Bayou City from Austin Friday night, Jeffreys got right down to business with little fanfare, breaking hard into Springsteen-ish, Velvet Underground-y rockers "I'm Alive" and "Coney Island Winter" from last year's The King of In Between, swaggering through them like a boxer feeling his way through the opening round, remembering what being hit is like.
It didn't hurt that Jeffreys was backed by four aces: Austin-via-Brooklyn guitar whiz Billy Masters, fireplug bulldog Brooklyn drum-pounder Tom Curiano, ace bassist Dave Monsey, and guitarist/keyboardist Mark Addison. They built a rock and roll chariot for Jeffreys to drive as fast as he wanted.