|Axxel G. Reese of The Gears in Seattle. (All Andy photos)|
A few years ago on Christmas vacation, Cat and I pulled into the legendary Doll Hut in Anaheim, a place we'd never entered before but heard countless cool stories about. As we sat at the bar in the then empty club sipping our beers, we imagined the wonderful chaos that transpired within those walls with blistering music at the forefront.
I spotted a Gears sticker near my seat, matted onto the worn-in wooden bar. I scraped it off and slapped it onto the inside of my wallet, perhaps as a note to ourselves that we'd someday see the seminal hard-rockin', pogo-inciting punk unit from northeast Los Angeles, class of 1978.
That time finally came, my friends, last Saturday night at the Funhouse in Seattle. After 30-plus years of attending gigs in southern California and beyond, but never catching The Gears, they were now in our presence and it was worth the wait.
We weren't the only ones who were stoked to have the foursome in town and blaring away in front of us. When the band kicked off with "Down in the Basement" and thumped into "Uncle Lanny's Farm" and early classics "Baby Runaround" and "Teenage Brain," the crowd up front pogoed, skanked and grooved along with the tunes -- happily and drunkenly knocking into each other, with some people tossing beer cans and ice cubes into the air.
Manic singer Axxel G. Reese joined in the fray at one point, slamming about in the crowd before diving back onto the stage to finish the set. The Gears tore through 17 songs, which featured fiery performances from original members Reese and Kidd Spike on guitar, along with Sean Shift on drums and Mike Manifold on bass.
Just a handful of the vintage (and still fresh sounding) tunes the band tackled were "Let's Go to the Beach," "Trudie Trudie," "Hard Rock," "Elks Lodge Blues" and many more.
As The Gears supplied the last chords of the evening, the crowd was still ablaze and wanting more. Perhaps the band will visit us again someday, but until then, we can all say we saw one hell of a show to ring in the new year.
|... And the crowd went wild|