Concert Review: Reno Divorce at Herman’s Hideaway
Posted on November 24, 2012
Last Friday Herman’s Hideaway in Denver celebrated their 30th birthday. That’s thirty years of bringing in the best and brightest in local and national music, and last Friday they brought in some of the best local punk acts to help them celebrate.
From the moment the doors opened the size of the crowd kept growing and growing. There was a respectable mix of metal heads, punk rockers, in betweeners, and people just out looking for a good time. While the metal heads were there to see and support the metal bands playing, most of the crowd seemed to be gearing up for what was sure to be a night of great punk rock from The Hate, Red Stinger, and Reno Divorce.
Red Stinger and The Hate are both punk rock bands but they have their own sounds which are very different from each other. Both bands drew crowds to the floor and both put on killer sets that got the crowd prepped and ready for Reno Divorce.
Being the first of the three punk bands to play that night Red Stinger hit the stage much earlier, and dare I say more sober, than they usually do. Playing earlier and more sober than they usually do may have worked against them though as their set was a little more rough than normal. But I’m not going to hold that against them because I have never seen a bad show from these guys, and rough or not Red Stinger is still one hell of an entertaining band. They set the punk tone for the night ripping out tunes like “Wrap City”, “Poop”, “Spinnin’”, and more, pulling a respectable crowd to front of the stage by the end of their set.
The Hate is a punk band born from the ashes of the short lived White Leather. Where White Leather had the intricate guitar riffs and solos that verged on metal The Hate is a more musically stripped down band. For the most part The Hate played straight up rock/punk rock that ventured into a punk/folk sound every so often. These guys are tight as hell and Dan is a great front man with an excellent voice tailor made for the kind of music they play.
Red Stinger may have set the tone for the night but it was The Hate’s job to keep the people interested and to keep the punk rock feel going, and of course they did just that.
The punk crowd didn’t dissipate as the night went on as is so often the case at most local shows. Most times the headlining band is playing to a fraction of the people that were there towards the beginning of the night and to have as many, if not more people there for the last band shows the magnetism and pull of the band. Reno Divorce hit the stage sometime around eleven thirty and the crowd inside Herman’s was still full and raring to go.
Reno Divorce lit into an adrenaline packed, testosterone filled set and didn’t look back. The crowd wasn’t shy about showing their love for Reno either, immediately setting a mosh pit in motion with no hesitation whatsoever. This was the moment everyone was waiting for and now that the guys in Reno were on stage and playing…….it was on.
From the first notes of the first song one thing was clear…..Reno Divorce is synonymous with nuts and bolts rock n roll. There is no bullshit here. What you see is what you get, and to be honest it doesn’t get much better than Reno Divorce live. Most of their songs are fast paced, catchy, emotionally charged, and real. When I say real, I mean blue collar, life experience real.
Without trying to be, the cats in Reno Divorce come off as some of the coolest people you will ever see on stage. With slicked back hair, blue jeans, black t-shirts and tattoos they are the epitome of cool…like punk rock Fonzie cool. That’s the closest I can come to explaining how cool these dudes are on stage, and for the full effect you just have to see these guys yourself.
Their music is full steam ahead punk rock mixed with rockabilly and a little country twang thrown in for good measure, but it’s Brent’s guitar playing and voice that go a long way towards giving Reno Divorce their signature sound. That is not, I repeat, not to take away from the other guys. All four guys work together as a cohesive unit and lay down some fucking rad music.
Reno is not your run of the mill punk band and as such Nick’s bass and Ruben’s drumming is anything but simple. These two are the backbone of this powerhouse quartet and they keep the timing and rhythm in check. Tye’s chunky, distorted guitar gives Reno’s music the “growl” factor and Brent’s Brian Setzer style playing brings out the rockabilly, 1950’s rock n roll sound in the band.
I lost count of how many songs they played that night, and don’t even ask me what the order of the set list was because I couldn’t tell ya. What I can tell you is it doesn’t matter how many songs they play or what the set list is because it’s all about having a good damn time! Reno entertains while kicking your ass with some down home, orange county style punk rock and I guarantee after seeing these guys play live you’re not going to forget their show any time soon.
While Reno Divorce may not be winning any awards for originality any time soon they do what they do with style, attitude and talent. Reno Divorce exposes the roots of punk/rock n roll, and is no frills, stripped down rock with a hint of humor, a whole lotta life and the quintessential punk rock sneer.
Last songs are not always last songs at a concert and such was the case this night as well. As Reno wrapped up what supposed to be the last song of the night the crowd started chanting, “Reno, Reno!” Of course the guys in Reno couldn’t leave everyone hanging so they played another five or maybe six songs. In any case they played well into the night and it was surprising to see so many people stick around till the very end, and even more surprising to see that many of the same people that were in the pit towards the beginning of the night were some of the last people out of the pit at the end of the night.
I guess Reno Divorce just has a way of getting your motor running, and once it starts it won’t stop until the guys in Reno do.
This is high octane, hot rod punk baby! It’s the flame bursting from the tailpipe of that sweet ass ‘57’ Chevy as it cruises down a desert highway at 120 mph, and if this shit doesn’t get your blood pumping then I’m sorry to say my friend, you’re probably already dead.
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