Dance Hall Crashers Deliver

Yes, they are good.

Addicted To Noise Copy Editor and Santa Cruz

correspondent

Ian Evans reports: So, I walk in to see the opening band for the Dance

Hall

Crashers and No Doubt here in Santa Cruz at the Catalyst last Thursday,

and I swear to God

this band Waterdog could be a Green Day tribute band. The lead singer has the

same pose, wears his guitar the same, even sings like Billie. His banter with

the audience consisted of mentioning that Green BAY was just beaten by Dallas

last week. I hope that ii was all sort of an in-joke to see how similar a band

could be to Green Day without many people noticing. I have my doubts.

But I

digress. The reason I went to the show is the Dance Hall Crashers, who have

been in my CD player (well, their CD at least) since September (when I got

their CD). The Crashers put on a great set that showcased their catchy songs

and the stunning (I'm serious) harmonies of lead singers Elyse Rogers and

Karina Denike. With a healthy mixture of songs from their current release,

Lockjaw as well as their first album, 1989-1992, which is, as one

of them said, "impossible to find," they kept the energy up despite the fact

that most of the audience wasn't really dancing.

The group was breaking in

a new guitarist (named Phil or something), and he often seemed a bit tentative

compared to the rest of them, but I suppose this is nothing new. Since the

Dance Hall Crashers started back in the late 1980s, there have been a slew of

line-up changes. But bassist Mikey Weiss and drummer Gavin Hammon anchored

the set with energy

to spare. "Buried Alive," off of Lockjaw, was a standout, as was "DHC"

from their debut. I only wished they could have played longer, but there seemed

to be more people there for No Doubt than for the Dance Hall Crashers.

I

hadn't listened to much of No Doubt before seeing them tonight, other than that

song that's always on the radio. This Anaheim group, fronted by Gwen Stefani

(who, by the way, has one of the stranger voices out there in alterna-land) put

on a great visual show, and they certainly know how to play their instruments,

but their song-writing didn't do much for me. It was nice to see some horns

(trumpet and trombone), but after the first twenty minutes, most of the songs

seemed similar, and the quick changes in tempo and style didn't help for those

who wanted to dance. Still, the audience seemed to be enjoying themselves, and

for the most-part I did as

well.