Lyrics Born, Paradise Rock Club, October 31, 2007
The show by Lyrics Born and his crew at the Paradise a week ago Wednesday reminded one that a great band can deliver no matter what the audience is like — or how many people there are. Even with a 9:15 start time (leaving plenty of time for late-evening Halloween parties), the room looked only half full. Worse, the listless crowd — with almost no one in costume — could have been waiting for a bus.
That didn’t seem to bother the band. Lyrics Born, a/k/a Tom Shimura, and his collective tackled such favorites as “Stop Complaining,” “I Changed My Mind,” and “Bad Dreams” with a passionate, dance-floor intensity that blew their recorded counterparts to bits. Every song had an extended jam, something that could have gotten old real quick if not for the virtuosity of the performers. Lyrics Born spat out his staccato verses with a frenetic, confident ease. His singer (and wife), Joyo Velarde, boasted a strong, soulful voice and a dominant stage presence worthy of a star solo career. (Her MySpace page mentions a debut album in the works for early 2008.) And though bassist Uriah Duffy — who in his off time plays bass for Whitesnake — had already proved himself in a round of solos, he saved the best for last. For a monster version of “Do That There,” he emerged in a scowling hillbilly mask, complete with scraggly hair and a cap that said “BITE ME.” Never mind that the mask appeared to obscure his vision — he freely slapped his bass with spot-on technique to the loudest applause of the night. Even a listless crowd had to acknowledge it had just seen something.
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