As a gift to the good people of San Diego, the reunited fIREHOSE crammed a Belly Up set between their two Coachella weekend appearances.
The band walked onstage with little fanfare to set up some last-minute gear before launching into skate-rock anthem "Brave Captain." Pockets of fans became apparent in the room. They were the ones shaking as if they were fish out of water, surviving solely on the pulsating grooves provided by the legendary rhythm section of Mike Watt and George Hurley. I managed to clear out a safe zone for my manic movements, while my colleague Todd's uncontrollable "dance" techniques drew the ire of younger M. Ward fans who cleared out a lunatic space for him to get his crazy on.
The 'Hose moved chronologically through their catalog, starting with the SST years and ending with the major-label material. Early highlights included the hyper "In My Mind" and vintage Ragin' Full On stand-out "Chemical Wire." "Down with the Bass" garnered the most enthusiastic crowd reaction of the set. My favorite had to be "Powerful Hankerin'," an oddball track from the group's final album that features spoken-word sections by Watt. The song rocked on the album but really springs to life onstage. The band obviously loves playing it because they chose to close out the set with it.
- Concert: fIREHOSE
- Venue: Belly Up
- Date: April 16
- Seats: Lunatic space