Amigo The Devil / Boozewa / Katacombs @ Bijou Theatre, Knoxville, 9th May 2022
Monday May 9th, 2022. A day my wife and I have been looking forward to for some time. With each square crossed off the calendar the excitement grew. I swiped my badge clocked out of work and to Bijou Theater in Knoxville TN we go. We are finally getting to see Amigo The Devil live! It’s going to be an epic night.
Side note: If you have read any previous live reviews, first of all thank you, and second you know we are stopping at Krystal Burgers on the way. Now off to the show!
Katacombs opened and if you’re unfamiliar with her then you need to familiarize yourself now. My wife played me her song Blue Beard (which is great by the way) and we were excited to catch the live version as well as a full set. However, construction on the highway is more important than us getting to a show apparently and half an hour of traffic made us late. We did get a spot right in front, luckily, but as we walked in, she finished her set. I learned Katacombs, aka Katerina Kiranos, is Danny Kiranos (Amigo the Devil) sister so there’s a very good chance we will catch her perform soon.
We did get a spot right in front, luckily, but as we walked in, she finished her set…
A quick trip to the merch stand, and a brief walk through the beautiful venue and we made it to our seats… yes seats… ooohh fancy. The lights dimmed and the trio named Boozewa took the stage. We haven’t heard of them before and I, oddly enough, didn’t do extensive research on them prior to the show. But, five seconds in my wife and I exchanged looks and we were instant fans. Guitarist Rylan Caspar played a downright nasty fuzzed riff through his sparkly purple Jazzmaster. Bassist Jessica Baker and drummer/vocalist Mike Cummings chimed in and this exquisite theatre, reminiscent of the Ford Theater, was rattled to its foundation.
I try not to take my phone out a lot at shows, however, I do like to record a little to listen back on. In this case I’m really glad I did because I captured most of Maybe I’m A Bird. Now, I’ve obsessively searched for everything Boozewa post show and I’ve been unsuccessful finding this song. I’m hoping this means a new album. In the mean time I rewatched the recording. Cummings killed it on the drums and his vocals reminded me of the Melvins, specifically on A Senile Animal.
I overheard a fan talking to Jessica describing her bass sound as Rush pre-Neil Peart era. He was very specific with great detail and having not listened to much Rush, I’d have to assume he’s right. Either way, her bass tone was amazing. Caspar further increased my love for Jazzmasters, which we briefly discussed after the show. He has some very sick and memorable riffs, and the fuzz is dialed into perfection. Check this band out! Some notable songs from the show were Farm Witch, Deb, Dumpcut, Maybe I’m A Bird, and IMO. You really can’t go wrong no matter where you start though.
Guitarist Rylan Caspar played a downright nasty fuzzed riff through his sparkly purple Jazzmaster…
After such high praise for Boozewa, you would have thought we were there to see them. The reason we went was coming up next and it was hard to imagine the show would get better. Amigo The Devil took to the stage backed by a full band. For anyone familiar with Amigo The Devil, you know most of his shows are solo, so a full band experience is quite a treat. And a treat it was.
Kiranos steps up to the mic, banjo in hand, thanks the crowd for coming out and apologizes for any newcomers who don’t know what to expect. With a chuckle, the opening riff to Dahmer Does Hollywood fills the venue. A song about a serial killer perfectly rips off that bandaid for those newcomers and is one hell of an opener. The bouncing bass of If I’m Crazy begins and the crowd increasingly gets excited. Danny’s voice pierces through the crowd and echoes back leaving chills behind. Quiet As A Rat, Different Anymore, and The Recluse follow and I’m not glossing over these songs because they were epic but this will be one long review if I don’t.
Danny’s voice pierces through the crowd and echoes back leaving chills behind…
Hungover In Jonestown is next. I again take my phone out and hit record because I know this will be amazing. Halfway through Danny asks for help singing and the crowd already knows what to do. We can be heard over the loud band who then go silent letting the crowd sing. ‘La la la la la la, life is a joke, and death is the punchline’, I love that shit.
The band takes a short break and Danny does some solo acoustic songs, starting with I Hope Your Husband Dies. The crowd sings along and Danny mentions that at least one husband is very uncomfortable in the crowd. The song is followed by two short songs one called Astronaut (I love that song) and one about his dog. He tells some stories and jokes with the crowd in between. Cocaine And Abel is next and out comes my phone again, sorry. The crowd choose the next song titled The Weight and Perfect Wife ends the solo acoustic section as the band joins in halfway through the song.
Hell And You is third to last and again the crowd takes over singing. It’s been one of the greatest shows I’ve ever seen up until this point and these last two songs may have pushed it to the best. Edmund Temper is the final song before the encore, and I honestly haven’t listened to the song much prior. The opening banjo riff with an echoing delay was amazing. As the band joins, in particular the drums were so powerful it sent shock waves through the venue.
It’s been one of the greatest shows I’ve ever seen up until this point and these last two songs may have pushed it to the best…
The show, no, experience, comes to an end with Murder At Bingo Hall. It’s a fun song and only Amigo The Devil could make hundreds of people scream ‘bingo’ and it is awesome, however, the truly mind-blowing part was when the music silences and he says ‘The room got quiet, everyone’s breath was still, and it gave us the feeling in our chest, that tightness that only loosing everything will’. Every single person, and I mean everyone, was absolutely silent, hanging on to every word that Danny said. Not a single cough or heckle. I’ve never experienced anything like that, it was insane. ‘And the game begins…now’, the music steadily intensifies for the perfect end. Mind blown.
I know I wrote a lot and could write so much more but with all those words, it’s hard to write the emotions. May 9th has been crossed off the calendar which I would normally be sad about, but it’s actually one day closer to August 22nd when Amigo The Devil co-headlines with Murder By Death in Asheville. Oh yeah… we’re going!!
Scribed by: Josh Schneider