TAB the Band
and Some Other Band
(Be sure to read the entire review)
Webster Hall's Studio
December 6th, 2008
Written and Photographed by John Hashop
Tony Perry of Tab the Band
The following review is taken
verbatim from my Moleskin pocket tablet.
Hemingway used a Moleskin.
12:00 - I roll in at midnight even though it said
TAB was going on at 11:30. They are just warming
up on stage. I am getting good at timing these things.
12:05 – It's an indie film
premiere party and the young crowd is dressed up
in, what else, indie chic. Actually, this may be
the skinniest, youngest, palest audience I've been
part of in a while.
12:06 – I mean, everyone
is really young. Verging on Jonas Brothers young.
Note to self: do not buy a drink for any girl who
can't produce two government-issued IDs.
12:14 – A few warmup chords
from TAB and the girls rush the stage screaming.
Guitarist plunks out the theme from “Green
Acres” and there is more screaming. I think
that pretty much defines a homer crowd.
12:20 – OK, seriously someone
in the band's 9th grade sister has invited all her
friends. More screaming and the show hasn't even
12:23 – Film director thanks
everyone for coming out. Urges everyone to tell
their friends about the movie and to “get
12:27 – Set starts nearly
thirty minutes after I show up. Maybe I'm not as
good as I think about timing these things. Bass
immediately drowns out the frontman and all the
other instruments, including, believe or not, the
drums. This is a first for me. Have no idea if this
is a good song or not. Vocals absolutely nonexistent.
Seems fun though.
12:29 – Plastic airplane
in lead singer's hand. Not sure why. He starts zooming
it around, and the song devolves into mush.
12:31 – I realize I've left
all three pairs of earplugs at home. Again. I'm
going to have all of Pete Townshend's hearing problems
and not quite the body of work.
12:36 – I've tried unsuccessfully
for three songs to get a decent shot of the band,
but the stage is a dim, uneven red wash, lit like
a church basement production of No Exit. I realize
I ought to write a few notes about the, you know,
12:40 – Can't decide if
I like these guys or not. They are a lot of fun
to watch, and anyone bored with his or her cardio
routine might ask if they can sit in with the band
one night. Lot of jumping going on. Gotta be honest
– hard to make a judgment call on this. Vocals
have been overpowered all night. Can't understand
a single word. Solid musicians all around and they
play well together, though. Songs fairly quirky
and disjointed on the whole so not everyone's glass
12:45 – Everyone nearby
staring at me writing & shooting. If anyone
asks, I've decided to say I'm doing a feature for
the Russian edition of Rolling Stone. If
they ask why I'm taking notes in English? Google
12:52 – Lead singer wearing
space helmet now. Not sure why. Going to try to
get some more shots.
1:02 – No joy. Waited for
guitarist to bend down by his pedals – the
only decently lit part of the stage. Last song of
the night is their best one. Forty-five seconds
of reggae shift into a driving pop beat with lots
1:06 – Show over. I have
acquired maybe a single usable shot and a rather
poor grasp of what this band is all about. I'll
need to check out their studio stuff at home. TAB
seems to know what they are doing even if I, I confess,
can't see it. All in all, a blown night in New York.
1:19 – Dear God. Another
band is setting up. I think they are TAB. I was
all packed up and on my way out the door. I really
don't know what to say. I've just spent the last
hour trying to review a fairly unreviewable performance
and get some clean photos. “Idiotic”
is, I believe, the mot juste.
1:21 – I am finding it fairly
ironic right now that I write for New York “Cool”.
How awesome would it have been to have given a blah
review about the wrong band? I guess I need to find
out who those guys were. I guess I also need a drink.
A Helmeted Bryan Scary
1:24 -- They're called Bryan Scary
and the Tear Shredders (www.bryanscary.com).
Congratulations to them on winning a free non-review.
Adrian Perry of Tab the
1:35 – TAB is on. They rock.
1:48 – There is nothing
whimsical or hard-to-classify about TAB. Straight
up rock and roll, jagged guitars with maybe just
a hint of country-rock twang. Always nice to see
a frontman playing bass, by the way. I see a lot
of “alternative” acts, niche bands,
acoustic sets galore, and I have to say it's very
comforting to go see an unpretentious, flat-out
rock band. TAB throws down tightly-structured songs
with, if you can believe this, actual verses, prechoruses,
refrains, bridges and then a 16-bar solo two-thirds
I highly recommend checking them out. Their website
is as good a place as any to start.