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The Format, Steel Train, Jenoah, Reubens Accomplice 7-8-04 SHOW REVIEW


I suppose it was indicative of the night to be, when drummer Bobby Jones removed his shirt, exposing the tat on his right rib cage, and shifted a bit, then settled in for a blistering set as BOBBY BREAKDOWN, the Murrieta Valley High School (GO NIGHTHAWKS) locals opened for the WESTERN TREAD SHOW REVUE, featuring THE FORMAT, RUBENS ACCOMPLICE, STEEL TRAIN, and JENOAH, at MADLINS COFFEE HOUSE, all the place for great music and favored caffeine.
BOBBY BREAKDOWN, the talented young three piece, has a new demo CD which they debuted for their huge crowd of fans. The youngest of the five bands appearing that night did not disappoint with their youthful scream-MO tunes. With the full support of BB'S parental units and the graduation of Bobby J. and Matt Foglesong , the lead vocalist/guitar this past May, the summer seems bright. (only Johnny, on bass, returns to MVHS in the fall).
The boys opened with TRASH CAN, DUSTY HEART, DON'T BOTHER ME, and did their new song THE RIDE. Following a cranking drum solo at the end of one song, a member of the crowd was heard to say, "wow, I just did it in my pants." It would seem the young high schoolers, oops, X-high schoolers, have a future in music. I hope their guidance counselor agrees with me. (see CD review)

Unlike most new music shows at MADLINS, all the bands in the REVUE are signed to labels and this tour stop is to promote the bands' CDs.
REUBENS ACCOMPLICE, is touring to promote their CD titled, The Bull, The Balloon, and The Family. The four piece, ranging in age from 26-30 years, with Jeff on lead and Chris on rhythm guitars, John on drums and Ryan working both bass and keyboards, played a more mellow set of songs written by the team of songwriters and vocalists, Chris and Jeff, have had six years together crafting smooth alternate rock songs. Watching the Arizona band perform though, it was Ryan, wearing his 'stinkweed' T proudly, sporting a big frizzy, but not the biggest of the night, along with a gleam in the eye and a crooked smile, doing dual duty on bass/keyboards, that stood out from the other members in their button front shirts. Every song tells a story and every band a draw.
REUBENS ACCOMPLICE records on the Western Tread Records Label. (see CD revue)

A 'Revue' means different acts and so JENOAH took the stage to do cuts from their 'morning is when Jenoah wakes up' five song CD on Drive-thru Records. This band out of Redlands/Yuicapa, CA, which is northeast of Temecula by about an hour, started their tour on the East Coast about three months ago, after having hooked up together only just last May. The success of this band can be summed up in the tightness of fusion as Rob Halbert, rhythm guitar, Lucky Rodrigues, rhythm guitar/back-up vocals and wearing the biggest frizz under his Rasta hat, Zack Blizzard on drums, and Steven Martinez doubling down on bass and vocals, guys who like their scream-MO tight, as don't we all? Listening, I was reminded of the punk band DEAD SOLDIERS out of Planet Hemet who also have that 'stop on a dime' tightness. By the last song, YOU ARE, the boys in the band, ages 19-22, were all out of breath and sweaty, in short, they rocked and the night was as young as the bands (see CD review).

As sometimes happens with the last two bands on a tour, there amounts to a buzz over the 'opener band.' I saw this back in the day when BON JOVI was opening for .38 SPECIAL. As STEEL TRAIN began to set up, an electricity seemed to spark in the perfect night California air. The head of Security (Big Joe) clued me in to the fact that the face I recognized in the swelling crowd outside was indeed the lead gutarist for FINCH, Temecula's music success and some of the 'IN's' around town. By the time the five piece (ages 19-29) launched into what was to be a stand out set, all the FINCH members had slipped in on a studio break, taking part in the grand finale, audience participation, percussion jam that had MADLINS percolating to bongos, tambourines, bass, drums and bootays.
The multitalented band made up of Scott, doing chores on percussion/keyboards/vocals, who is an actor on NICKELODEAN and the voice of the BROADWAY CD version of Disney's THE LION KING, is the youngest member of the NEW YORK band at 19, with the oldest member being 29. Doing solid drum work is Matthias, from Germany, Matt on vocals and rhythm acoustic guitar, Jack doing vocals and playing lead electric licks like a true guitar hero, and on dancing bass, my man, Evan, who knows a good DEAD shirt when he sees it.
This Drive-thru Records band infested the crowd with funk, reggae, some jazz with a beat, and blues, then smoozed the house with a slow ballad and a BEATLES cover. Many bands have vocal duets or backup vocals, but ST is a band with such abundant vocal versatility and ability that they often trade off vocal stanzas within a song, quite a feat for a band less than two years old. The only fly in the ointment, sniff, was that there were no CDs available from this powerhouse band. This is a must see band. (

The Atlantic Records' band THE FORMAT, who just came over from Drive-thru Records proved they were no lightweights either. The crowd, which had gradually changed in fans, was familiar enough with the Phoenix, Arizona, band to sing the words to the opening acoustic/rocker song the six piece did. One redhead named 'Mary Jane', no toke, I mean joke, sat and talked outside for two band sets before she came inside to sing along behind a front row chorus of female FORMAT fans.
Barely fitting onto the now rectangle stage at MCH and ages 22-24 were Mike Schey, rhythm guitar, Don Raymond on bass, Adam Boyd, the mad drummer/backup vocals, Sam Means, acoustic rhythm/keyboards, Marko Buzard also on rhythm guitar, and Nate Ruess, the front man. Running off the energy left over from the previous night's show up in Anaheim, CA, these boys looked like they were having fun as they played high voltage songs about subjects like graduation (GIVE IT UP) and crowd pleasing rockers (THE FIRST SINGLE).
Not to be outdone and as a 'tip 'o the hat' THE FORMAT also did a BEATLES cover. But as we watched the wordplay antics between Adam, reminiscent of an early Mick Fleetwood, and Nate, sporting an authentic Mickey Mouse T, it was Mike who was wearing a Black History Pride T that made me smile and think that maybe somewhere up in Heaven, MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. was watching the show, and seeing a white guy wearing a Black History T, he would know that some of his Dream came true. (see CD review)

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