rbg1.jpgFirst off, I know it's beyond cliché, but before it's too late, go see a band at CBGBs. Put all the history, recent real estate battles and the rest of the bullshit aside, it's a really great place to see a show. The sound is loud, the crowd is right on top of the stage and a good band can put on a truly memorable set. It's not easy these days to find someone playing there that’s worth going out for, but if there ever is again, don't pass it up.

Secondly, if you ever get a chance to see the Riverboat Gamblers play a club show, drop what you're doing and make it your business to be there. The music is more than listenable, but nothing groundbreaking. Respectable, mainstream-sounding punk. The live show, however, is just about the most fun I've had at a concert this year. Singer Mike Weibe treated the rickety old club like his own personal jungle gym, climbing on top of every landing and hanging from every pipe, all with a broken and bandaged left wrist. He spent far more time in or on top of the crowd than he did on stage. Constantly he would lean all the way out into the pack, reaching his microphone out to the screaming kids in the back of the club while those under him happily kept him afloat. Others would spit and spray beer across the room while slamming into each other like human water balloons. It was an absolutely electric experience. If only there were more bands out there that could really do it like this. Surely there are plenty who try, and they're the ones who have made up the underwhelming lineups at CBGSs night in, night out for the last decade, which ultimately led to its demise. To pull it off right takes something special, however, and these boys absolutely had it last night.

I can get 50 shots of every run of the mill indie dude plucking away on his guitar for an hour, but the one time I get to see a band that truly needs to be seen to be believed, I forget my camera battery in the charger at home. Fortunately, Brooklyn Vegan was there and took some excellent shots. The one above is his, and there are lots more posted here. You can also stream their entire album at Myspace, tho hearing it is only a fraction of the experience. Be sure to check out some of the live you-tubed videos further down the page for a better taste of what they're all about.