I hadn't really planned on being out this cold, cold, night in Chippewa Falls. The temperature had gone from thirty-seven degrees down to nine over the course of a couple of hours in the afternoon. I get even more hermit like in the cold, and The Wife can't dress in the style in which she has become accustomed. Therefore we tend to stay inside. But my arms-length friend, Paul the barber, said I really needed to see Frantic Antics when I ran into him the night before. I wouldn't trust him to cut my hair, but he has a pretty good handle on the local music scene.
The bar had only a small crowd. I expect due to the cold weather, although the football playoffs could have had something to do with it as well. Also, the band isn't really known yet, having only been around booking gigs for the past couple of months. So, no real following yet. With the small crowd it's tough on the bar owners to warm their places up on these cold nights too. They count on a bunch of sweaty dance floor bodies radiating heat. When those bodies are not there, and the below zero wind whips through any time both the front and back doors are open at the same time, it makes for a cold show. Music fans missed out this night by staying home.
Allen Kreuger with Frantic Antics at Every BuddysI would have to say the band Frantic Antics earns my high praise. The show wasn't perfect. Not perfect by any means. When they were bad, they were bad. Like high school jam-band bad. There was a cover of Kryptonite that was, ahem …memorable, for instance. And a couple of others that had some trouble spots. It seemed like on some songs their drummer was slow or not able to follow the beat. But, I am no kind of musician. I just sit out in the audience and bitch about it when these talented people do the musical equivalent to stubbing a toe. So maybe the problem is really elsewhere, but from my laymen's perspective thats where it is. I also wished at times lead singer Hanna Brewer had a little stronger vocals. I feel like she had it in her but was holding back a bit. …Also quite possible that it was a mixing problem at the venue so I withhold final judgment. In a band this young though all of these things can be worked out. More practice time, more stage time …and maybe a metronome.
I was going to write this review around the band's age and never bring it up. I didn't want to make the story about age because I feel like they deserved that level of professional accord. I didn't want it to become about their youth instead of their talent. And, yet is the youth thing that I think really bears mentioning. This band is made up of 15-18 year olds based out of Bloomer. They have been playing together since about August. Picking up fairly regular gigs because they put on a great show. (Check out their Facebook page, Notes section for a complete calendar). Yeah, sure they had a couple of trouble spots but I think they are a great bar band, playing an exciting song list of covers. I really liked their musical selection. They played what I would say was 90% well known covers. I don't think they played any original songs, but there was one song I didn't recognize at all and it might have been an original but it equally could have been an obscure cover. The biggest thing was the wide range of music, from Hendrix to Chuck Berry to Rage. Very cool. I would think, as their word of Frantic Antics being a quality night out becomes known they will start to pull a crowd of followers.
It was an amusing moment for me when (I think it was) guitar player, Brandon Burkart deadpanned "This next song is an angry son of a bitch." Then launched into an amazing performance of a cover, _Killing in the Name_ by Rage Against The Machine. I caught it as one of the video clips, though on the floor of Every Buddy's there isn't really enough light to see much of what is going on. At least you get the sound. Allen Kreuger gave us a nice solo performance of the night with Jimi Hendrix song Voodoo Chile. Lots of good guitar solos by Brandon. They did a great job on _Heading up to Boston_ by Dropkick Murphys. There were several other songs where Hanna and Emma harmonized wonderfully. Others where the blending of the two voices between Hanna and Chris or Brandon would harmonize very well. She has a deeper voice and can do a great job covering those songs where the originals they are covering are done by some high voiced guy. By trading off vocals with one of the guys in the band for the harder edged stuff, it made for a great cover.
Hanna Brewer lead vocals in the band Frantic AnticsMy friend Steven drifted in to the bar long enough to complement lead singer Hanna Brewer on her hair dip. Vibrant teal on blonde. Steven was impressed, he is as big a fan of technicolor hair as I am. I would have to agree it was very nice indeed. However, you know how you don't really notice something until someone says something about it. Then once done it is the only thing you can see? It was that way after The Wife leaned over and made a comment about the number of hair adjustments Hanna was required to make. The slightest head movement (and what rock star doesn't do that?) required a hair adjustment. It was beyond countable. The adjustments per minute number would be fairly large. It was made particularly profound because just the night before I had just seen chick singer, Stacy Hamilton lead singer for Marked 4 Deletion. She spent most of the night looking like Cousin It, but that was far less annoying. Hanna, don't be a hair band, but buy one! …god, I crack myself up sometimes. :-)
So put Frantic Antics on your must see list. A few little problems don't sink a great, high energy, show. I hope they will be coming to a bar near you in the future. If you are close by Chippewa Falls, you can check them out at Missy's bar in Hallie on February 2nd. Or, back at Every Buddy's Bar & Grill in Chippewa Falls on March 30th.