Show review: Rusted Root at Saint Andrews Hall

WHO: Rusted Root, Infatuations
WHEN: Fri., August 21
WHERE: Saint Andrews Hall, Detroit

You may assume I’m going to go out of my way to be a total dick and tear this '90s one hit wonder of a band apart. Well, not exactly, you see, pre judgments would conclude that I was entering a fiery pit hell, all at the will of my dear sister and our mutual friend. Just think of me like one of those girls that is trying out a set of those terrifying period underwear, so you don’t have to.

First, entering the building was a challenge itself. The crowd was a sea of store-bought faded jeans, cargo shorts, and blonde highlights. The smell of Victoria's Secret body spray and weed was thick and annoying. We wandered over to the bar as the opening band, the Infatuations, started their set. I give this band credit for their neo-soul pop effort. Some of the crowd swayed and pretended to know the words of their cover of Temptations' "Papa was a Rolling Stone." The rest of the crowd continued to pound a $10 IPA something-or-other while talking loudly over the music.

Four cigarettes smoked outside later, and Rusted Root climbed on stage. The band seemed genuinely happy to be there playing for a very visibly high and drunk mom and pop crowd. Watching the lead singer was most amusing, Michael Glabicki is his name. I have a feeling he wished his name was Jeff Tweedy. He appeared on stage with sunglasses and a straw hat that both seemed glued in their rightful spot. One song after another his attitude didn’t budge. There was almost an air of snobbery every time his mouth opened with one of those Tyrannosaurus Rex meets Joan Baez yodeling vocals. Honestly, the music wasn’t horrible, to be extremely honest I wasn’t aware they had songs other than the smash hit “Send Me On My Way” but they brought what they could to the table and it was like eating at Outback Steakhouse, not fast food disgusting and even somewhat satisfying.

I’ll give the band four out of five hackeysacks for effort; they seem to know what people want to hear, and play it well. As the band prepared to end their night with the one song everyone in the room knew, you could almost see the band cringe like “Alright guys, lets just fucking do it already”. The crowd erupted into a frenzy at the grand finale and I watched middle aged folks let their freak crocs fly. Overall I give the whole experience a C- if it wasn’t for the most depressing visual of humans partying “like the good ole days” that included witnessing three women fall down and pass out, one woman get kicked out, a handful of verbal fights and a whole lot of spit in your face/glasses conversation.

All jokes aside, I watched the ladies I came with throw any fucks aside and dance like it was 1995 and that was the best part of this whole shindig. Part of me wishes I could have witnessed this band in their prime, while another part of me thinks I’d probably be doing something different in 1995. To the band: Keep on rockin' in the frayed jeans world; it's too late to change your name and market yourself to the Wilco/Dr. Dog crowd, so you might as well soak it in and beat those horses' bones until they're dust.

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