The 80th Annual Bike Week officially kicked off in Daytona last week, and so did the many live shows it brings along with it every year. Although I made it out to Dirty Harry’s Pub & Package this past Saturday, March 6, I must come clean before I get started on my ‘official’ critique of the show; I might have been there past the barricades the whole night, but not only did I not have my main photographer (who also happens to be my lovely wife, Brooke), but I was also lacking a professional camera on hand with me. Hence the reason for just one (very mediocre) live shot here in place of a full photo gallery.
But as the old saying goes, the show must go on (in this case, with or without good pics), so I’ll do my best to describe Saturday night’s show in full detail. Local rocker Jasmine Cain is someone I’ve been following for some time now, but had still not had a chance to see live yet. After finally witnessing one of her sets firsthand, I can finally see what all the fuss is about.
Cain actually opened her set with a number of originals (one that sticks out specifically was “1995”) before going into a host of covers. Some not-so-surprising, like Heart’s “Barricuda” or Pat Benetar’s “Heartbreaker.” But it’s when Cain dug a little deeper that things really got interesting. Cain and her band then took on the likes of Ozzy Osbourne’s “Bark at the Moon,” Megadeth’s “Symphony of Destruction,” White Zombie’s “Thunder Kiss ’65,” Metallica’s “Enter Sandman,” and Skid Row’s “Monkey Business,” and with total ease. Cain even ended her shift on a high note by jumping off the stage and briefly crowd surfing.
By the time Afterlife took the stage, the temperature outside had clearly dropped, and rain began to steadily creep in. However, the well-intoxicated crowd did not seem to mind one bit by this point. Before I analyze the band’s set, I will weigh the pros; the musicians were all extremely talented (especially their lead guitarist with his noticeable handicap) at what they did, and the songs they played were nearly identical to the originals. But it was the majority of the songs/bands they chose to cover that I just don’t care for much (and to be fair, I understand having to ‘play for your crowd’). Most of the material the group entertained were the type of overplayed rock songs I tend to immediately change the channel as soon as they come across the radio. And their singer may have been good at handling the likes of Godsmack or Alice In Chains (which each appeared to be his specialties), but a lot of the material from time to time seemed out of his vocal range.
And I would honestly be completely content if I never had to hear another cover band take on such forgettable tracks as Nickelback’s “Figured You Out” or Limp Bizkit’s “Break Stuff” ever again, but that’s just what Afterlife offered. And not only that, they also committed one of the biggest ‘no-no’s’ in my book of rock; performing some of the same songs as the other band on the bill. This was not only done once or twice, but THREE times when they covered the same tracks by Ozzy Osbourne, White Zombie, and Megadeth that Cain previously had. Maybe the conversation of who was playing what that night never took place, but it probably should have.
The crowd of course didn’t mind at all though, as long as they were given more of what they are used to. It seemed like the later the night went on (Afterlife actually played two full sets), the more unbearable the attendees became (there were even several drunken patrons who saw me on the other side of the barricade that actually asked if I could get them on the stage, or if I would relay a ‘song request’ to the band, as if that were how it actually works!). But the biggest shocker of them all came at the very last song of the night; a rendition of Drowning Pool’s “Bodies” caused the audience to rage in such a frenzy, said barricades were dangerously close to being knocked down by, well, bodies. I don’t think I was ever more relieved for a show to be over by that point, and left grateful to still be in one piece.