"I hear people," said Trigger Itch's Andy Cenarrusa. "Come on up and let me see you!"
Six people moved onto Neurolux's dance floor for the set that followed. When Cerberus Rex--the headliner at the Tuesday, Aug. 27 show--played next, only 18 people were watching. Despite the modest audience, locals Cerberus Rex, Trigger Itch and Sun Cat Brothers all delivered focused, powerful performances.
The Radio Boise Tuesday concert marked the beginning of a brief Northwest tour for Cerberus Rex. After playing shows in Moscow, Idaho; Seattle, Wash.; and Portland, Ore., the hard-rocking trio was scheduled to open for Hell at The Shredder on Sunday, Sept. 1.
Though small, the crowd at Neurolux gave the bands enthusiastic support. Audience members included Tristan Andreas and Grant Olsen from Phantahex; Visual Arts Collective owner Sam Stimpert; Speedy Gray, who plays in Like A Rocket with Cerberus Rex's Z.V. House; and Jason Burke, who used to play in Trigger Itch.
Sun Cat Brothers' set featured some goofy humor between songs.
"We're Laverne and Shirley," band member Baked Patatoe told the crowd midway through. However, the trio didn't fool around when it came to the music. Buzzing guitar and guttural vocals combined with lumbering rhythms to provide a solid start to the night. At different times, the band's material evoked '80s metal and '90s grunge.
Trigger Itch followed Sun Cat Brothers with a down-and-dirty mix of punk and metal that called to mind early Motorhead. Shouted vocals and blistering lead guitar rode atop relentless rhythms and abrupt tempo shifts. The quartet had considerable chops, which it wisely avoided overplaying.
When Cerberus Rex took the stage, the sound was so massive that the floor shook--a few onlookers had to cover their ears. The band's attack had suffered from the loss of guitarist Pat Perkins at the Thrones show back in May, but the weaving interplay of the remaining members filled that sonic gap nicely.
Throughout, Josh Galloway's howled vocals and Z.V. House's stinging solos were both impressively fierce. The secret weapon may have been Jake Hite, though, whose fluid, muscular drumming helped keep the monolithic riffs from growing monotonous.
"That's some good shit right there," an audience member shouted at the stage. A blunt critique, but not inaccurate.