October 11, 2008
Who says you can’t rock hard after 50? The Who, The Stones, RUSH, and The Dead all do it. It seems that rock is timeless and Robert Pollard (Guided By Voices) is no exception to that rule. Calling it quits some 20 years after Guided By Voices’ inception, Pollard is back on the road with his new band.
The new project, called Boston Spaceships, consists of Pollard, Chris Slusarenko (GBV), and John Mohen (Decemberists); the band’s touring line-up also includes Jason Narducy on bass and Tommy Keene on guitar.
BS stormed into the HiTone to promote their new CD, Brown Submarine, whose title would lead one to believe it’s a release filled with raunchy lyrics and sexual innuendos. It is – and performing the tunes live gave Pollard the opportunity to turn up the raunchy lyrics and antics on stage.
High kicks and the F-bombs were dropped throughout the evening as Pollard and the band emptied a dish tub full of iced down Miller Lite and Tequila. Recalling the rowdy days of GBV, smoking and drinking are encouraged. Thank goodness some things never change. The more Pollard hit the bottle the better he sang.
Pollard opened strong with the overly punky “Psych Threat” complete with 16 second scream finish. This caused a bit of all-in-good-fun shoving both on and off the stage. Next on the list was “To The Path!” off his solo album Robert Pollard Is Off to Business. That seemed to be the course set for the evening.
Both old and new material were featured during this exceptionally energetic performance. In true British Invasion fashion, which the new album seems to lean toward, as the evening progressed, so did the drinking and beer slinging/spitting (initiated by the band of course).
After a two-hour set filled with indie, Lo-fi, lyrically catchy, punk, pop, every one had called it quits.
Pollard was nice enough to hang out after the show, speak with fans, and sign a few CDs. When asked why he chose smaller venues like the HiTone Café for this tour he said, “I enjoy being close to the fans and going places I’ve never been.”