Blind purchases can lead to treasures and discoveries. Also, it can lead to a miserable Warped Tour 2011 with bands I just can’t stand listening to, like Gym Class Heroes and Devil Wears Prada. Of course, Less than Jake sits number two under NOFX on my all-time favorites to save that day, but I had to get to their set time with no reentry. While roaming around, and flipping off the Devil Wears Prada stage, I stumbled upon this band setting up with a standup bass. They had more facial hair combined than these days, but went to town in one hundred and twelve degrees at four in the afternoon. It was fantastic and won me over in an instant. That band was Larry and His Flask. The same band I would help “Fill the Flask” for to get their last album produced. That same band I came out to see headline tonight at the Yucca Tap Room.
Of course, I still had to get to their set, but lucky for me there was a hell of a lot better music to lead up starting with the Blood Feud Family Singers. These guys play a mix of up tempo and slower bluegrass, but mostly all covering down trodden topics. For example, one of the songs was for the one in an open relationship that really doesn’t want it to be an open relationship. They do most of their set with smiles across that stage. Daryl does an amazing job singing some well written lyrics. The Blood Feud Family Singers are another one of the gems of our local scene that I advocate more people go check out.
After them was a band that I had never listened to or seen before, but I knew quite a few friends that praised Flatfoot 56. Within the first song, I could see why the praises were sung about this band. They are a fast paced, Celtic punk band out of Chicago. That has to be one of the tallest lead vocalists, in Tobin, that I’ve seen perform. It was like watching Randy Johnson stand on the Yucca Tap Room stage, but without a mullet. They come out with bagpipes, switch to a mandolin, and alternate some the rest of the set. I don’t know if there was a moment any of them truly stood still. Their drummer, Justin, looked like the happiest person on that stage through the entire set. Going in blind, and with some expectations, Flatfoot 56 blew away the bar I set going in.
Last, but certainly not least, was the “Punkgrass” group that saved the day back in 2011, Larry and His Flask. I’ve only missed them once since discovering them, and that was due to finances. They put on one of the most energetic, kinetic and all around fun sets of any band I’ve watched. Tonight was no less different, though took a few songs for this audience to truly get moving. I know I found myself moving and dancing by “Pandemonium.” There was a marriage proposal that occurred later in the set, with the more unique girlfriend proposing to the boyfriend on stage too.
If you have never seen Larry and His Flask, they do not label themselves a genre. I would relate them most to a punk band playing bluegrass. This is due to the fast paced nature and lyrical content covering politics and life. Ian does an amazing job on lead vocals. Jamin, on drums, does it standing and joins in on vocals. Their joint rapport with the crowd between songs adds to the enjoyment. That entire band has one of the best stage presences I’ve seen. One of the best examples is out how Jeshua moves everywhere on and off the stage with the giant bass. These guys are amazing, and I can’t recommend them more. The entire show ended on such a high energy note, it was hard to get to bed by the time I got home.