The Quick and Easy Boys, The Goodfoot Lounge, Portland, OR 12/30/10
The Quick and Easy Boys played their annual New Year’s Eve show in Eugene this year. But there’s no way they would leave the hometown Portland crowd hanging. Originally scheduled to play Mt Tabor Theater on New Year’s Day proper, something must have come up and they wedged themselves into an “opening slot” for Devin Phillips at the Goodfoot on New Year’s Eve Eve. But as far as I was concerned, I was forking over my 7 bucks to see just the Quick and Easy Boys as I had to go to work the next morning. And for 7 bucks I got more than my money’s worth – almost an hour and forty five minutes of danceable good times with one of Portland’s favorite bands.
We showed up pretty early, knowing the place was going to get packed, grabbed a beverage from the bar, and set up camp in the front row. The trio hit the stage a little after 10:00pm and played straight through until just after 11:30pm – a power set from this power trio. The small venue was still filling up as the Boys opened up the evening with a rollicking hard rockin’ blues number, Robert Johnson’s “Dust My Broom.” After their fingers were limber and a few more smiling (and somewhat drunk) faces showed up, they turned up the heat with a song off their newest album Red Light Rabbit, “Celebrate.” This tune talks about celebrating the seven days and getting down, which everyone in the room was definitely doing. The driving beat of drummer Mike Goetz had the band locked into a serious groove. I looked back to see the room was now basically packed, which would be surprising for a weeknight show for most bands, but not the Quick and Easy Boys. Honestly, I almost felt sorry for Devin Phillips and his band that had to “headline” after the Quick and Easy Boys’ set. I didn’t stay for their set due to work and I wonder how many people actually did.
The set rolled on and on as the band mixed it up with a nice variety of tunes. After the upbeat tempo of “Celebrate,” they slowed things down with an older funky tune called “Pig in the Pen.” But when things cooled off it was never for too long and next up was “Let Me Get Down,” which is a high energy affair sung by bass player Sean Badders. Sean is a big man and watching him sing in falsetto is always a treat. Not to mention some behind the head guitar soloing a la Hendrix from guitarist Jimmy Russell. At this point, the place was boiling over with a throbbing, dancing mass of humanity. And a few folks were obviously getting primed for New Year’s Eve by drinking and drinking…and drinking. A dude in the front row started bobbing up and down and walking right up to the monitors and even on stage with the band. He was teetering due to inebriation and several people helped pull him back when it looked like he would surely fall over on to the band’s equipment. It was obvious the band knew the guy, but also obvious that they were only mildly amused with his shenanigans. But when you’re playing a show the day before a New Year’s Eve weekend, I guess partying hardy is to be expected. In some way, it made the show feel quite festive!
The band then busted into their sing-along single off the new album called “Take Your Medicine.” This one has a serious hook in the chorus and upbeat tempo that makes the crowd dance while happily singing along. Next up was “Beam of Light” off their first album Good Decisions With Bad People that throws down serious dance party funk while lifting the crowd up and getting them high. And the band kept pumping out tune after tune, keeping it fresh and spicy with Quick and Easy Boys originals like “Boots On” and also throwing in a few choice covers like John Lennon’s “Whatever Gets You Through the Night” and The James Gang’s “Funk 49.” And as the set came to an end the energy and imbibing only increased to a point where someone kicked a glass and broke it, spilling beverage all over another guy’s suede coat. With broken glass, furious dancing, and a small confrontation beginning in the front row, I took it as my queue to recede to the back of the room for the last tune or two. Rock show!! All in all it was a high-energy affair perfect to kick off the New Year’s Eve weekend. One thing seems clear, the Quick and Easy Boys have just about outgrown the tiny Goodfoot and for good reason. These guys are on top of their game!