Come On Falcon/Bustle In Your Hedgerow/Danjaboots, Tribeca Rock Club- 12/ 7
NYC ROLL-TOP: Come On Falcon
It is said (too often) about the '60s/Phish festivals/political conventions that if you can remember it, you weren't really there. That clich- modified slightly — could be used to describe the Benevento/Russo Duo's occasional performances as Come On Falcon, when drummer Sir Joe Russo and keyboardist Marco Benevento strap on an acoustic guitar and upright bass to perform hair metal covers and, presumably, score. It might be best to say that if you can remember seeing Come On Falcon, you probably shouldn't have been there to begin with.
Thankfully, their most recent outing — at the 1 am end of a Russo-headlined closing party for Manhattan's not-quite-venerable-but-beloved-(sorta) Tribeca Rock Club — gave the audience plenty of time to get prepared. The night had begun with Danjaboots, Russo's country-folk duo with RANA guitarist-about-town Scott Metzger. Opening with the post-Lebowski staple of Bob Dylan’s "The Man In Me," Russo adding falsetto, the pair turned in a set that combined obvious singalongs (Ween’s "Piss Up A Rope" and RANA staple "Carbombed Again"), with what might soon to prove to be obvious singalongs (Metzger’s hilarious "Go Home Hippie," which, it seems, most hippies seem to really like). The latter was even affixed with a cute lil techno jam. Aw.
Bustle in Your Hedgerow — Russo, Metzger (on electric), Benevento, and Ween bassist Dave Dreiwitz — is another one of the half-dozen configurations the musicians occasionally appear in, which also includes Laverneus Cool, Hell Is For Children, the Flying Circus, and the Insane Luchadors. The Bustle formula (and, indeed, raison d’e) is to charge the crowd up with industrial-grade renditions of hot Led Zeppelin licks, and then capitalize on the momentum with a series of obliterating blues-rock assaults from Metzger, fat basslines from Dreiwitz, drum solos from Russo, and propulsive fusion jams colored by Benevento’s analog keyboards. If the momentum shows any signs of slowing, start playing Zep again, repeat.
For their part, the quartet led off with "What Is and What Should Never Be," but the songs played weren't nearly as interesting as what happened during them, fueled by a mostly communal bottle of Maker's Mark — Benevento's knob-tweaking ("Four Sticks"), abstract digressions and thunderous reprises ("Ramble On"), Bonzo Bonham-mimicking hand-drumming ("Moby Dick"), and slyly slinky grooves ("Trampled Underfoot"). Like all good tribute acts, they adhered to the theory that it's better to blow out the audience by playing at twice the volume necessary rather than wow them with intimacy — a strategy which, of course, renders "twice the volume necessary" absolutely necessary.
The strategy was completely successful, at least if one can judge by the minor crowd exodus that occurred as soon as Dreiwitz and Metzger abandoned the stage to Russo and Benevento, ostensibly a more successful act than their side-project. Performing a stripped-down rendition of "Becky," from their still-recent Best Reason To Buy The Sun, the two soon transmogrified into Come On Falcon. Russo sang The Bangles. Or something. I remember the tacos being very good, and the hangover being very bad. If one does remember seeing Come On Falcon, he probably shouldn’t admit it, either.
Jesse Jarnow lives in Brooklyn and blogs at wunderkammern27.com