Big Guns at Blowout Day 1

Holy crap, last night was good. It’s Blowout time, ladies and gentlemen. It’s the time of year when we get to wallow in Detroit’s gloriously diverse and consistently awesome music scene like pigs in poop, pounding down tune after tune, fearing no consequence. We get to be greedy, gluttonous even, and certainly debauched. The Blowout showcases all that is wonderful about this music city, and this year it gets to do so over two weekends, which means six incredible evenings packed to the lungs with the best music in the world. No other city could do the Blowout and have it be this good. It’s ours.

There’s chatter too – people are really talking about our thing and not just in Detroit. Our baby festival is growing up so fast. Aww, remember when Blowout was all messy and cute? Now it’s a bad ass.

Maybe it’s because we had that Blowout showcase at SXSW this year, but the buzz is tangible. To highlight the point, Tommy Boy Records founder Tom Silverman was there tonight, and he could be spotted recording the song that Passalacqua performed with the Sights on his phone. That dude has signed just about every rap act ever, and he’s excited about our boys. Hell yeah! And he wasn’t alone – Seymour Stein of Sire/Warner was here too. The man who signed Talking Heads and Madonna was kicking back at the Magic Stick, soaking up the Blowout. Mike Jbara of Warner Elektra Atlantic Corp. too. OK Detroit bands – the big boys are in the building. Don’t let us down.

Of course they didn’t. The whole point of tonight was to provide a kind of sampler plate to the whole festival, so bands that are playing full sets after tonight came out for 20 minutes each and showcased their respective talents. In the case of Amy Gore & Her Valentines, that means laying into about six hooky, kick ass power pop ’n’ roll tunes.

Lord Scrummage were fascinating, and quite possibly wasted. They can switch between chilled out dub and aggressive alt-pop in the blink of an eye. Cold Men Young/Passalacqua rhymed heavy and left it all on the stage, Loretta Lucas revealed that there is life after the Sisters Lucas and Mirror Twin, Bars of Gold were brutal in their own schitzo way, the Handgrenades blessed us with those sweet, sweet harmonies, Flint Eastwood did the 8-bit thing in their own punky way, James Linck nearly managed to make every woman in the room fall in love with him, and the Hounds Below slammed through their set with rare intensity. Downstairs, we caught a peek at the ever-great Walking Beat, Almost Free and Jet Rodriguez, and all were getting big reactions from a big crowd that was leaking onto the stairs.

The true heroes of the night were the Sights though, who brought up guest after guest, turning the set into a mega Detroit jam. The tune with Passalacqua was incredible, epic even.

Best thing is, that’s only Day one. Five more to go. Pace yourselves, kids.

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