Concert Review: Kehoe Nation at Soundwave Studios, Oakland, California

May 8, 2009

Soon-to-be-legendary Bay Area madman Brian Kehoe threw down at Soundwave Studios in Oakland last night with an incarnation of his Kehoe Nation.

For the uninitiated, this guy is a monster player who can combine rock, country, bluegrass, polka, opera, metal, and punk—all with a hilarious sense of humor. Imagine if Curly from the Three Stooges took lessons from Yngwie while being abused by Chet Atkins’ German nanny somewhere deep in hillbillyland and you’ll have a glimpse of one facet of Kehoe’s evil genius. He tore through a 90-minute set, armed with a pair of G&L ASATs plugged into a prototype of the Fender Vibrolux reissue, ably backed up by Wes Anderson on drums, stand-up guy Amir Zitro on stand-up bass, Phil Bennett on keys, and Al Lucchesi on a super-hip percussion setup that included tympani, triangle, vibro-slap, bongos, and a marching bass drum. The breakneck tempos never got out of control and Kehoe somehow managed to shred, blaze, pluck, and cluck right along with the crazed two-beat grooves. Great tones, clever tunes, and a rock-solid rhythm section added up to a show that kicked every available ass in the place. Damn!

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