Supergrass @ The Roxy (Los Angeles, CA) 02.13.03
The last time I saw Supergrass I was among thousands drenched at a soggy field on a pre-9/11 summer day in Oxford, England. I stood miles away from my usual front and center home. What blew me away the most from that concert (besides Radiohead playing “Creep”) was wandering around forever and failing to find a garbage can. Eventually a native gently informed me: “Bins could hide bombs.” Cheers.
But seriously, how kick-ass is it to be a naïve American, but able to enjoy Supergrass in a small, comfortably packed, smoke-free club with crystal-clear sound on a mild L.A. night in February? The show was complete with a celebrity sighting: Rick Rubin, who produced the opening band Palo Alto?s new record. Palo Alto was pleasant, but Supergrass was taking names (and money. An autographed promo/tour poster was yours with purchase of their new CD, Life on Other Planets).
At 10:30 sharp, Supergrass, with the addition of Gaz’s brother, keyboardist Rob Coombes, to the familiar trio of Gaz on guitar and lead vocals, Danny Goffey on drums and bassist Mickey Quinn, opened with a string of tight, well-received material from the new album, including “Rush Hour Soul” and “Can?t Get Up.”
They soon shifted to the nuggets with “Mansize Rooster” from I Should Coco, sparking a sing-a-long with the crowd shouting “Why you look-in’ soo crazy? Why you look-in’ soo lonely, for love?” The choir continued with the timeless punk rock and innocent lyrics of “Lose It” ? “I won’t come home, ’cause you never hold my hand.”
The remainder of the evening was pure brilliance. Soaked in sweat, drummer shirtless, the band rocked on with the mesmerizing “Mary” from Supergrass. Gaz’s vocals on MTV2 favorite “Pumping On Your Stereo” were shamelessly spot-on Bowie. If you closed your eyes it could?ve been ?76 and the Station to Station tour. “Sun Hits the Sky” from In It For The Money was the epic, wailing guitar apex of the too-short 60 minute set.
Returning for encores, “Moving” was otherworldly, followed by a cover of Neil Young?s “The Loner,” quite fitting since Neil was the premier act at the Roxy 30 years ago. Crowning the evening with “Caught By the Fuzz,” the audience was all smiles. Supergrass reminded us why we love Great Britain; not only because they are (hopefully) our No. 1 ally, but for its fantastic rock ?n? roll.