"AND THAT'S JUST THE F---KING COVER!" Screaming into his microphone as he beat the final notes out of his bass, The Palma Violets' Alexander "Chili" Jesson's introductory words gave the Philadelphia crowd a taste of what was to come. Playing this past Tuesday night at the newly reopened Boot and Saddle bar, the band stomped around the tiny stage with all the energy and noise of a jet engine. Playing for a little over an hour, they tore through their debut album, 180. Since the album's release in February, they have toured all over the world, winning over audiences with their live act, which is decidedly old school. Watching them perform, one gets a sense of what it must have felt like to see the Stones debut at the Crawdaddy Club back in 1962. Of course, the Stones did some great covers too, but their early original songs don't hold a candle to anything from 180. It is a fully realized debut album, equal parts raucous and arresting on virtually every level. At first glance, it might seem like all they have is youth, but anybody distracted by the snarl would be wrong to dismiss them. The riotous atmosphere they inspire in concert is not what it often is for many young bands who use bravado as a tool to distract you. And we all know the drill. They scream and shout and then you scream and shout louder, covering up the mistakes that can only be fixed in a recording studio. The Palma Violets on the other hand, can really play. Believe me when I tell you, that really was just the f---king cover.
October 10, 2013