Tonight at Nietzsche’s – Rock n’ Roll(?) for the Arts Benefits Give for Greatness

By Seamus Gallivan

               How ‘bout it – a event called “Rock n’ Roll for the Arts” without any rock n’ roll on the bill.

               Tonight’s Give for Greatness benefit at Nietzsche’s (248 Allen St., 9:00p.m., $5) may not have any traditionally-defined rock n’ roll bands among the six acts set to perform, but it still oughta be a good time for a good cause.  

               Kicking off the proceedings at 9:00p.m. is the wacky rap funk of the Bloodthirsty Vegans, who will surely do their part to deliver the message that the gathering is dedicated to the 47 arts and cultural organizations cut off from county funding and thus inspiring the Artvoice-led Give for Greatness. Hopefully, unlike the Speakeasy Sundays concert series organized by The Good Neighborhood for the G4G, some folks who represent these organizations will actually attend.

               But I digress – next up at Nietzsche’s at 10:00p.m. are veterans of Speakeasy Sundays and a band at a crossroads in the gypsy busking quartet Reverend Soapbox & the Rabble Rousers, who’ve announced that tonight will be their last performance with mandolineer/vocalist Justin…Rouser. The future of the band is unknown, but considering how well they’ve gone over at our events and the future plans we have for them, followers of The Good Neighborhood will be among the first to know of the fate of the remaining, engaging trio.

Tonight might be the last hurrah for Reverend Soapbox

               The “Buffa-Dub” quartet the B-Side Dubs will follow at 11:00p.m., offering the first rock of any kid in rocksteady. They won’t be the only band on the bill doin’ the funky reggae…

               Whatever trance the Dubs drop the crowd into will be shaken loose by Logo City in the midnight hour, an emerging four-on-the-floor quartet formed by founding members of Lazlo Hollyfeld as a driving, more freeform solo-based yang to Lazlo’s more nuanced, cohesive yin. Keyboardist Scott Molloy uses the setting to set free his B-3 organ to pace the band along with funky drummer Ken Cult, while Lazlo bassist Chris Gangarossa pounds the lowline and their sitting guitarist hovers over like a box of chocolates – you never know if you’re gonna get original Lazlo six-string sage Jeff McLeod or emerging bandmate and Peanut Brittle Satellite anchor Zack Mikida.

               As the crowd catches its breath from Logo City, young turks Autopunch will slap some math-rock into their take on the party funk with a 1:00a.m. set, while the Merchants will attempt to overcome their elusive internet presence and late-night slot to make new friends – Artvoice’s preview of the show describes their approach as a “genuine, emotionally-charged sound that crosses the musical spectrum from delta blues to funk to hard punk.”

Autopunch looks stoic

               To paraphrase Billy Joel – next phase, new wave, dance craze, anyways, it’s still rock n’ roll to Nietzsche’s. Most importantly, it’s six bands giving their time and talents for a $5 donation to the greater good.

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