My favorite moment of the night occurred during opener Hans Condor's set. A terrific power trio hailing from Nashville, their riffing lo-fi arena rock had the crowd moving, and guitarist and singer Chazz Kaster, who looks a bit like a teen going as David Crosby for Halloween, wasn't afraid to leap from the stage and witness first hand what his band had detonated. At one point during a break down he mock-heroically surveyed the crowd, eventually pointing at a guy who was summarily given Kaster's guitar to play on the floor. At first he simply, sheepishly, held on to the Ibanez, but Kaster was having none of this. "You won the guitar! Play it! PLAY IT!!" he screamed. After a few bars of good-humored thrashing, the mood turned a bit dramatic as Kaster made a motion for the front of the crowd to clear out; he pointed to the guy and shouted "Ready? On four!" It felt as if no one, least of all the dude on the floor, knew what was happening, or what was meant to happen. Kaster counted to four and took a running leap from the stage as the guy threw the guitar in the air; Kaster caught it in mid-air and landed on his knees, shredding wildly, not missing a note. It was hilarious, awesome, and felt utterly unpredictable—if it's shtick, I don't care. It was a fantastic rock and roll moment. I hope they try it again tonight. And I hope it lands.
|Hans Condor at Beat Kitchen. Photo by John Mourlas