Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Urge Overkill May 3, Richard’s on Richards
I’m one of those grumpy people who didn’t get on board with the Pixies reunion. If I had to succumb to early '90s nostalgia, then a show by the 2/3 reunited Urge Overkill would do it, mostly because I never saw them during their eight months of glory. Besides, their low-key emergence from the “where are they now?” file had a sketchy underdog appeal that I felt like supporting.

Openers The Last Vegas wore Kiss and Motley Crue shirts and did their best to rock properly. Too bad they were mired in Goddo-like mediocrity, playing an overlong set of originals that I wished had been covers. The muddy sound didn’t help their cause.

Urge’s set didn’t sound much better, but at least they had the songs. As I expected, most of the tunes were pulled from the Geffen albums. The band consisted of Nash and King fronting a rhythm section that included the drummer from The Last Vegas. Although some of the songs’ finer points got lost in the ruckus, it was easy to get caught up in the good-natured Cheap Trickery on display. King worked hard, sweating through his suit while Nash kept cool in a white tank top/satin trousers ensemble, completing the dishevelled bar-band glam look with a silver Paul Stanley guitar.

Urge deserved more hits than they had...or if not more hits, then different hits. I’m still annoyed that most people remember the band because of that lame Neil Diamond cover. They dispensed with it during the first encore, then brought the show to a power-pop saturation point with “Crack Babies,” “Sister Havana,” and (finally!) “Stalker.” That's all I needed to leave happy.

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