Live at the Oriental Theater.
TEXT BY BEN CURNETT/ PHOTOS BY TIM HINELY
The best thing about Hot Snakes live is you get what you get. That might not sound like a huge deal, but in our modern times when bands have layers upon layers of influences worn on their sleeves, it’s completely refreshing to find a vein of pure, unadulterated rock and roll among the post-post-neo-whatever genre collage that is the internet of music. Hot Snakes brought their full barrage of amazingly in-you-face noise to Denver’s Oriental Theater on Thursday, and a good, loud time was had by all. Denver’s own Spells opened, maybe the perfect band to set the stage for the music to come.
Then John Reis and Rick Froberg led Hot Snakes through an absolutely pulse pounding, hour long set with songs from all four albums scattered throughout. Not incidentally, the band tours with drummers from both early Hot Snakes eras: Jason Kourkounis. 1999–2003, and Mario Rubalcaba, 2003–05. Both drummers rejoined the band in 2011. For the show Jason took the stage first and handed things off to Mario about half way through. Each guy played the songs they originally played on, with songs from both from 2018’s “Jericho Sirens.” Gar Wood wasn’t able to make the show but had an amazing stand-in in bassist Tommy Kitsos, who played with Wood, Koukonis, and Reis in The Night Marchers.
The band was loud and full throttle all night, taking just about breath-long breaks in between songs except for a quick story about the trip from the bar back to the theater after sound check (Lyft driver: “I’ve never heard of the Oriental, is it an old place?” Reis: “Of course it’s old. It’s called the fucking “Oriental.”) The entire set list fit together incredibly well, which speaks to that initial point: you get what you get. There are no huge shifts or explorations with Hot Snakes, but if you want the real stuff with no filler, they’re the band for you. Don’t miss their live show. Ever.
If Credit’s What Matters I’ll Take Credit
Gar Forgets His Insulin
Why Don’t it Sink In?
Six Wave Hold-Down
Death Camp Fantasy
I Need a Doctor
This Mystic Decade
Think About Carbs
Plenty for All