I could have kicked myself for walking in the Polish National Alliance Hall just as Jeecy and the Jungle finished their set. They were one of the bands I was looking forward to seeing most at Blowout. Virtually every person I bumped into from Metro Times was raving about how well they played. Their records bring me back to the greats of Detroit Motown.
Self-described party-rock band The Beggars are fun live. They paid tribute to Davy Jones with their version of The Monkees “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone.” Charismatic singer Steven Davis pointed his bright orange microphone at the crowd while they sang and danced along.
Dustin Leslie of Dutch Pink seduced the crowd with his raspy soul-infused voice. He alternated between keys and guitar. A full band, including two powerful backup singers, backed his rock ballads.
I caught a bit of pop-rock songstress Amy Gore & Her Valentines, which drew in a decent crowd. At one point she voiced on the mic: “alright, when I ask how you’re doing tonight
you’re going to say ‘fuck you’ back.” The crowd obliged.
Betty Cooper was up to par with their sweet and simple indie-pop songs.
Famed '90s garage-rock band The Hentchmen always puts on a good show. There is no bullshitting on the mic, just well-played organ-infused garage-rock. They were a Blowout highlight.
Kim Fowley’s Psychedelic Dogs packed the PNA. You may know Kim Fowley as the legendary starmaker eccentric who gave us The Runaways (he was played by Michael Shannon in the film), and wrote songs for Alice Cooper, KISS, The Byrds and more. He performed along with Matt Smith (Outrageous Cherry), Johnny Nash (Electric Six), Troy Gregory (The Dirtbombs), Bootsey X and Ben Van Camp (The Crooks). There were instrumentals solos, punch lines and songs applauding Michigan and Detroit. “You guys are the heartbeat of American rock n’ roll,” Fowley said on stage. “Don’t forget it.”
I was planning on heading to New Dodge Lounge to see experimental electro-pop duo Phantasmagoria, where they headlined. I’ve seen Phantasmagoria play numerous times, and they never cease to impress me.
However, I was told to stay put at the PNA after rumors were circulating that The Black Keys would play a surprise performance. Were the rumors true? Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys was indeed spotted, but there was no secret show. Regardless, the fact the Auerbach came out to see some great Detroit bands is awesome.
If you’ve never seen The Dirtbombs live, you’re missing out on Detroit rock history. They may be one of the best live bands you’ll ever see. The garage-rock legends packed the PNA with faithful fans that danced and sang along to every lyric. Go-go dancers (or possible crowd members) danced alongside badass frontman and guitar god Mick Collins. When it seemed like the magic was over, the crowd chanted: “play more songs.” Their demands were met when The Dirtbombs were back with an encore. They rocked their last song while breaking down their set. First, one of the dual drummers left, then a guitarist, until it was down to a kickass guitar solo from Ko Melina. Lastly, we were left to the beat of one drum that was played off-stage near the crowd. And yet, every piece of this musical equation connected perfectly.