By Angela Blasi
On May 13th 2010 I had the distinct honor of visiting the Fillmore at Irving Plaza in anticipation of witnessing living legends the Buzzcocks. Billed with the solid musical trio The Dollyrots, this gig held the promise of delivering amazing music while simultaneously kicking my ass.
Upon arrival, I made my way upstairs into the lower level of the show room to find The Dollyrots had taken the stage and were already a song or two into their set. Watching inconspicuously from the side, I took note of the trio’s more reserved nature since the last time I had seen them with Bowling For Soup. Being on a bigger bill, I couldn’t blame them for feeling more serious about this gig than the last. Despite the magnitude of touring with The Buzzcocks, Kelly Ogden maintained true front woman status, leading the band through each high energy number with her humor and charisma while keeping a much older crowd attentive. Backed by the salient vocals of guitarist Luis Cabezas, the pair created the powerhouse of a voice that drove the band through each number. Throughout the night her quiet confidence bore through every moment, poignantly illustrating the origins of a song like “Because I’m Awesome.” Never taking themselves too seriously but always giving the crowd a blistering set devoid of imperfections or stumbling like classically trained musicians, The Dollyrots have yet to disappoint me. Not only do I appreciate the fun atmosphere they bring to a show, but also how in doing so they embody that true, ‘Music is amazing so let’s just play and fuck the details’ attitude. Playing highlights such as “Jackie Chan,” “Bad Reputation”(originally performed by Joan Jett and The Black Hearts) and the title track off their upcoming album “California Beach Boy,” the band commanded the stage and let the older fan base of the Buzzcocks know that just because they’re from a newer generation doesn’t mean they’ve forgotten how to rock from their roots.
After a brief intermission and set change the standing room only crowd was buzzing with excitement. Although the fan base was older than myself one could still feel the enthusiasm in the air, no different from that generated by the youthful crowds of punk’s start. For this North American tour, the band promised to play both their classic albums Another Music In a Different Kitchen and Love Bites in their entirety. Never a group to disappoint, they did just that. Seamlessly charging full throttle into each song, the Buzzcocks stood and delivered. The group wasted no time with mindless banter between songs but rather gave the crowd exactly what they came for: a feverish night of non-stop music. As they plowed into song after song with no break, it became clear that time has had no bearing on the output of this group. Each note played was executed with seasoned professionalism and just enough arrogance to make the audience take notice of the greatness sweating before them. The set was complete with individual moments for each band member, showcasing their musical prowess separately and eventually flowing back together to form the high energy sound that is the Buzzcocks. Even today, the snot-nosed lyrics, decreeing boredom, and the need for sex, drugs, and drink still keep up their edgy, youthful charm. Brilliant in their lyrical simplicity and tight with their full-bodied musical deliverance, one can see why this is truly the stuff legends are made of.