When I learned that the first band I was going to see this night was named "Slak Jaw" I immediately thought to myself: ‘Oh, a bunch of hillbillies!’ Then I saw the lead singer come out on stage to tune his guitar wearing a sport coat and slacks. He looked like a man I would see walking the 16th Street Mall coming from an office job on his way to the local watering hole. I decided to give these guys a chance.
I was glad I did.
Then out comes a man with braided pigtails, jeans and a ragged t-shirt, setting up a washtub base. A FUCKING WASHTUB BASS! I immediately thought of the Jim Henson movie Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas in which the main character destroys his mother’s washtub to make an instrument that inevitably won a talent contest. If you’ve never seen it…watch it!
The first song this band performed was called "Lemon Pie". The song is catchy...very catchy and my favorite of the set. This band has a different aura to them. I got the feeling as I was watching these men perform they had probably gotten bad reactions in the past from a more conservative crowd…but this is Denver. I would say this city is more open-minded that most. This band was comfortable in this environment and it came through in the performance. The crowd was receptive and the band fed off it.
The drummer never sat down. I feel this is another example of the energy this band produces. And this energy was contagious. The crowd was uplifted and cheered after every song. I was stomping my foot to every beat. This band was engaged with the audience from the get go; very appreciative of the positive crowd response. The vocalist is very proficient in his musicianship…the bassist could not care less what others think of him…all you had to do was look at him and internally you would chuckle. The man strummed a mean washtub bass!
I failed to hear any mistakes.
To all you indie fans out there I say watch out for this band…they don’t give a shit what you think, they just play their original music and have a hell of a good time doing it.
Slak Jaw? Slak yeah!
Photography by Tiffiny