Bad Veins seem to love Tampa almost as much as Tampa loves them. Unfortunately, shows that fall on holidays (in this case an official one — Easter — and an unofficial one — 4/20) can make for spotty attendance, and the turn-out for their Crowbar date was far less than it likely would've been at any other Sunday evening show.
One of my very favorite local bands, GreyMarket, opened the evening. Their set mixed in cuts from the new album, which were rather well received, much to the twosome's surprise. Another Bay area outfit, Heavy Metals, performed next and delivered some really fun psychedelic surf rock that sounds best when blasted super lou. Luckily it was.
Bad Veins hit the stage with no less gusto than if they were playing to a packed house. The duo had also brought along their own light rig again, and this time it even worked. The strobes at their backs and the small bulbs in mason jars glowing around the stage created a mini-electrical storm when they cut the house lights for "If Then."
I really adore the new drummer, Jake Bonta. Ok, he's not that new any more, but this is only my second time seeing him with primary Benjamin Davis, and their on-stage chemistry is fantastic. They an into a little trouble with "Chasing," understandable as it was the third time they'd tried playing it live, ever, and they finished it with just guitar and audience. While waiting for the laptop to reboot, Benjamin sagely remarked, "That's the problem with rock n' roll today — you have to reboot computers." While they waited, Jake played 'name that beat' with the crowd and a fan immediately shouted out a guess to the first beat, which was "every fallout boy song ever."
Some highlights included a really spirited version of "Nursery Rhymes," and Benjamin's did a solo version of "Doubt." And since they faced some technical glitches and time restrictions, they skipped the pretense of an encore and just kept playing, closing the set and show with "The Mess We've Made." Just typing that out makes me need to hear that song. Right. Now. And that sticky pop, addictive quality to their music is why I will always find a way to make it out to a Bad Veins show, holiday or no.