March 2, 2004
40 Watt Club - Athens, GA


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After ditching the Maroon 5 show down the street before the final curtain fell, I ran over to catch Detroit’s Von Bondies do their thing. The scene at the libidinous Theatre couldn’t have been more different than the cool distance of the standard arms-crossed appreciation of the 40 Watt fans. The only exceptions may have been a couple of approximately middle aged guys in the front row wearing suits who spent the evening flailing and flinging themselves around to the sound. The other lively one was drummer Don Blum who did his share of flailing and seemed to inspire the convulsive actions of the suits. Otherwise, the Von Bondies did their best to maintain aloofness. Bassist Carrie Smith and guitarist Marcie Bolen flanked lead singer Jason Stollsteimer and only rarely glanced upward. The two just plowed into their instruments like they didn’t even know there was an audience. Stollsteimer himself was clearly aware of the audience, though. He seemed to be fighting to maintain the balance between the energetic drummer and almost listless girls on either side of him. He cut loose on “Broken Man” and “C’Mon, C’Mon” but generally kept a stoic intensity. After a rather short and workmanlike set, the band came back and sliced through “Rock And Roll Nurse” with an otherwise unheard abandon. My only complaint? Too bad the rest of the show didn’t burst like the encore.

Chris McKay /


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