SHOW REVIEW: John the Savage @ Cactus Club, 05.09.08

That video’s actually from John the Savage’s Mad Planet performance back in November. You know– the one they released on the limited-edition DVD/CD package they’re selling here, and at all their shows. (“The one with the rad screen-printed cover,” says the art nerd in me…)

I had to show you something, since my evening started way earlier than expected, and never once let up long enough for me to run home and grab a camera. But even with my camera, I still couldn’t capture the sheer magnitude of John the Savage’s awesomeness.

For those of you who’ve never had the pleasure of being “Savaged,” know this: they’re a supergroup of sorts, made up of members of a handful of different bands (all mentioned conveniently on their MySpace page). About half of the band can claim “multi-instrumentalist” on their resume, and will showcase said skills during the course of one live show. During the course of their shows, you’ll hear more musical styles than you would listening to all three discs of The Clash’s Sandanista.

(Sidenote: Considering the direction Joe Strummer went with The Mescaleros, I’m pretty sure he’d frickin’ love John the Savage. )

In the less-than-a-year John the Savage have been playing out (their live debut came at last Summer’s Bay View Bash), they’ve yet to release a proper album. But somehow, their audience knows every word to every song, and have no problem singing along at the show.

I realized this Friday night, as I, too, was locked amidst the chain of concert-goers, arms around each other, beers aloft, shouting along with the band during “Sinking Ship.” There’s just something undeniably infectious about this band, something you need to experience for yourself to truly understand.

At the end of the night, after hearing nearly every song of theirs I’ve come to know and love (plus one new, super-funky one), my friend and I decided there’s really nothing else like this going on right now. In Milwaukee, and in general. And I’m pretty sure that’s only going to lead to them becoming bigger, and more popular. So, enjoy these small-venue shows while you can.

To hear song clips, watch video, order their limited-edition live CD/DVD, or find out where one of their upcoming shows is taking place, visit their MySpace page here.

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One Response to “SHOW REVIEW: John the Savage @ Cactus Club, 05.09.08”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    I had the pleasure of being in a band with Andrew W.K. Hartzell, who drums for John The Savage, for three years or so, and I am so glad to see him in such a vibrant, unique, ridiculously fun collective like this. I was there Saturday, singing along with what I knew and haphazardly playing tambourine. I can’t wait for an official record and I am constantly floored by the band’s songwriting and energy. I love you, andypants.
    – Jim Hanke.

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