A few Wednesdays back I headed out for some dinner. Saw a free show at Local 506. I missed out on the opener, Gambling the Muse, who I'd seen previously at Troika, and really enjoyed. But saw Salt to Bitters.
Salt to Bitters is a band that seems to be dedicated to the practice of consuming, imbibing, vomiting, recovering from, apologizing for and celebrating alcohol. The flyer for the show portrayed a body hugging the can presumably puking, the pertinents for the show printed over her back. Foreshadowing for the night.
Tony T. Raver, lead singer is baby-faced, with a weathered look, his guitar looks haggard, beaten. You can almost look at the guitar and know how the music will sound. The music gets started, and it's boozy, wild. Tony is all over the stage, careens wildly, spitting and slamming his pick into the strings. His hair is in his face, and he's stumbling, but in control. Maybe. The drummer is Jenny Tonic, bassist from Jimmy and the Teasers, and she's just plain hot. The rhythms careen as well, with a regular irregularity, jerky stops, that makes you feel like you just might fall over if you try to dance to them, like one too many shots of tequila. There's a violin too. That seemed a bit disconnect, but it lent the perfect hint of whine to the raving emo lyrics. And the violinist was energetic, and moving.
The song content was about love, lost love. Booze, drinking. Sex. Morning after. Great friends, and how they're drunk. It's acoustipunky bar brawl music, makes you feel like swaggering and making inappropriate comments to strangers.
And that's what happened. Just before the cops came. Drunk and disorderly conduct encouraged, next thing you know, the audience is fighting. Apparently the alcoholic disinhibition lead to an over-step of a comment, then the female recipient of the comment hauled off and punched the commenter in the face. Well, when you're drunk, and just got hit by a woman, what's the recourse? You call the police of course. I dunno, did the music make him do it? The glory of the sauce. And that was the end of that.
It was all vertiginous and bombastic. Next time I think I have to drink more to really let loose. I like it though. I was left feeling a little anxious and worried about something I couldn't quite put my finger on. Maybe the music just triggered a little of that swerving, slightly deviant, violent side that I typically suppress.