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Rapid Review: Drugstore Valentine Live

On Friday night, I traveled south to Cincinnati to see Drugstore Valentine.

Friday's show was at TopCats bar on Vine Street, right near the University of Cincinnati. It's been about 40 hours since the show, and I still can't get the stamp off my hand -- it's possible the bouncer was using tattoo ink to brand all those who dare enter.

Drugstore Valentine played first, and there just were not that many people in the bar. In fact, it was a bit sad. I think the lack of audience put every member of DSV in a bad mood, and this affected their performance. As per the usual, DSV opened with "Welcome to the Show" and played "Lies" and "Backstage Bombshells." They also played the Rolling Stones song "Jumpin' Jack Flash," which surprised me. Toward the end of the set, Kenny jumped on the bar and kicked over beer bottles while guitarist Mike Murdoch and the band performed the uplifting "Life's a Bitch" for the dancing ladies in the front row.

I think the band was dealing with some personal issues on Friday night, so major props for pushing through and delivering a high-energy show. By the end of the work week, I feel like I've been hit by a Mack truck so I'm amazed at anyone who can put in 50 hours for the man then jump around on stage until the wee hours of the morning.

If you live around southern Ohio and would like to see Drugstore Valentine perform, they play again at TopCats on July 21.


Reader Comments (4)

Good review Allyson. I have yet to hear anything from them, but I will.
July 8, 2007 | Unregistered CommenteraXe mAn
Probably the best. most accurate review ever! This is the reason you are such a great friend and journalist, you are impartial and you never stray from being true to what you see. We did have a rough night, some of it was my fault. You are correct on the personal issues front! But I do apologize to you and everyone in attendance if you were at all dissapointed. Luv ya Allyson!
July 8, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterKenny Ozz
I once saw a local Baltimore band called Black Friday. They were a neo-hippy band in 1988 and played the show sandwiched between three punk bands. The show was out in the country at Western Maryland College and every area punk rocker must've been there along with the local skinhead contingent. When Black Friday played, only about a dozen of us stuck around to see. The occasional skinhead walked back in to yell some derisive comments at the band. It was less than ideal conditions. Nonetheless, they played like their lives depended on it. I remember reading an interview in the local City Paper with them a few months later and they mentioned the gig as one of their worst experiences. I spoke to the singer after the show and told him that I thought they were incredible. They didn't realize it, but rising above that adversity made a good local band one of the best I'd ever seen. To this day, hundreds of shows later, I remember how good they were. The point is that a good band should be able to overcome a lame crowd if they play for the music. I've seen it a lot of times from abnds at various levels and it never ceases to amaze and impress me.

Kenny, I have to respect your honesty about the gig. Things won't always be perfect and sometimes it's tough to pull off what I described above. Hopefully your next gig will work out better. It's hard enough to deal with a non-responsive crowd, so you have to leave personal issues at the door. Being honest should help though. The problems would run a lot deeper if you pretended they didn't exist. Good luck.
July 8, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterbobvinyl
I agree. Props to DSV for being able to do what they do, despite their personal issues. Given the small crowd, I was impressed with the band's energy level. One thing you can say for DSV, they always do their best to put on a great show for those who come out to see them.
July 9, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

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