Rock ‘n’ Chomp: House of Blues

Outside the House of Blues. (Jonathan Finley)
Went to see American Werewolf Academy, the King Bucks, The Backsliders and Boys Named Sue Saturday at Dan Aykroyd’s shrine to commerce and “blues” and I gotta tell ya: It was an experience in vittles, incense and two totally different sound guys.

As far as dining, the service was really outstanding, which is good since the food is mediocre. My burger was solid, but not impressive. The sweet potato fries were fine, but not great. My main squeeze tackled a buffalo chicken platter and it, too, was fine. His fries were seasoned well, but unfortunately sat steaming in a paper tray under the chicken. The grease was deftly caught, but in doing so the fries were sogged out.

During our meal, we noticed Shanghai 5’s Reid Robinson doing a fine job running sound for the restaurant’s stage. Aside from it being a bit loud with the crowd thinned, it was mixed well and even Sade covers were pampered by the board. Unfortunately, the incense wafting from below started its lung infiltration and our bread pudding enjoyment was crippled. (The entrees may be meh, but the bread pudding with Jack Daniels sauce is pretty damn 'licious. Get one to go when you head out from a show.)

We hit the main room to find a muddy low-end haunting most of the bands. Perhaps Robinson and the guy downstairs (I’ll call him “Basement”) should swap places. People eating and talking would be less likely to care about low-ends and hearing an intricate bass line than musicians and fans there to only see a rock show. AWA rocked out to at least one pack of dancing teens, who just had to meet them after the show, the Bucks were on point with old honky-tonk standards, the Backsliders doled out sultriness and punk-riddled blues and the Sues partied in Adidas sweat suits with a farewell pedal steel set by Ward Williams. At first I thought it an awkward line-up, but it flowed pretty perfectly…a contrast to the wafts of suffocating Nag Champa. -- Merritt Martin

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