Dirty Sweet @ White Eagle Saloon 12/7/07

Um, yeah so who’s the big slacker now? That would be me. Lots of stuff has been going on this week, with work and I didn’t anticipate how much it would affect the site. Sorry for the lack of posting lately. Hopefully, we can get stuff sorted out.

Regardless, last Friday I trekked down to White Eagle Saloon, which is a cool place to watch live music. It’s got this old-timey Wild West type of vibe and a little corner stage tucked in the back. Dirty Sweet has gotten our nod for best newcomer this year, narrowly beating out Los Campesinos!, and they brought with them their down and dirty brand of rock’n’roll to this gem of a bar.


The San Diego five-piece (Ryan Koontz on vocals, Nathan Beale on guitar and vocals, Shaun Cornell on bass, Mark Murino on rhythm guit and Chris Mendez-Vanacore on drums) brought the goods, delivering a two-hour set jam packed with almost 20 songs. Their energy practically bowled over the hundred or so in the audience, many of them family and friends. I overheard one person remark that the band reminded him of “that band from the Almost Famous movie,” and he wouldn’t be wrong to compare Dirty Sweet to Stillwater, even though Stillwater was a fictional band.

The duds, the swagger, the guitar licks, even the charismatic front man and mysterious lead guitar player fit. I couldn’t recommend checking them out enough, since it’s almost guaranteed to be a night of hip-shakin’, tamborine thumpin’, arms raisin’ music. Needless to say, it was a fun night of music.

They played a loud and heavy set and I was surprised how much of a heavy metal influence shows up in their music, not to say that it outweighs the blues, but it caught me off guard. They also showed off their versatility with a nasty James Brown cover, “You’re Gonna Miss Me.”

The strangest thing is that I was sitting at a table waiting for the show and it happened to be the same table friends of the band were sitting at, so I was inadvertantly “hanging” with the band before the show and with all their swagger and retro look I was expecting them to be very Gallagher Brothers-esque, but they seemed like generally nice guys.? You know it’s not every day that some band gets up and claps, cheers for the lame opening acts, but these guys seemed to generally appreciate the music and what not.? It was a bit odd to see a band before they make it big and come away with a nice impression of them as people.? I’d be curious to see what happens to these guys in about ten years.

Take the jump for some more photos of the evening.