Starcrawler At the Monty Bar, Friday March 4th 2017
Starcrawler was playing a free show at the Monty Bar on Friday night, and even though I have seen these kids a few times before, I decided to run to the place late at night… they are definitely one of these bands on a mission to save punk rock right now, and they are so much fun to watch that it’s always a treat. Now, can punk rock really be saved? Can we reinvent, resurrect the fury and debauchery of the wild days of… let’s say the Stooges? I don’t know, but Starcrawler are here to convince you it could be a reality, and for once I am a believer.
The band consists of four teenagers, four underage kids in a bar, and first, there is Arrow de Wilde, constantly freaking out for your greatest pleasure, a fearless frontgirl whose stage antics – although there was no stage inside the bar – have no limits. If she is obviously the center of attraction, her sidekick guitarist Henri Cash is always ready to follow Arrow into her craziness, while driving the music of the show with multiple guitar changes. There are actually four of them, but the Monty Bar was such a dark place last night, that I could barely see drummer Austin Smith and bassist Tim Franco.
Like during their show at the Bootleg a few months ago, Arrow (who is the daughter of drummer Aaron Sperske and photographer Autumn de Wilde) arrived on stage wearing a hospital gown, losing it as if she were a psychiatry ward escapee, and in a constant assault mode, she harassed the crowd, pulled hair, bumped into a few people in an aggressive and fun manner, even spit out blood in our faces. Meanwhile, the band blasted their music, distorted and wildly gritty, sometimes becoming heavy and furious with shades of Black Sabbath, and thanks to Henri Cash’s mad skills, guitar driven like a T Rex dream.
The action was non-stop and the adrenaline level stayed high all-set long, so that you could barely follow them, when one was jumping on the drum set, the other one was rolling his or her back on the floor, or jumping on the bar for a mad guitar solo, Starcrawler is the reincarnation of rock and roll as it should be, loud and unapologetic, explosive and jumping in your face like your best punk/hard rock vinyl collection.
A few months ago, rock legend and music connoisseur Elton John span their debut single, ‘Ants’, on his Beats1 radio show, Rocket Hour, while the band is preparing to drop a debut album, co-produced by Black-Sabbath-lover Ryan Adams,… so they obviously are on a very promising start.
Half-set, Arrow removed her gown and continued her showgirl madness in glam Hanes briefs and tank top, acting more menacing than ever, trashing the place with the help of Henri. At a time when teens are into shitty EDM or superficial pop, these kids are reviving rock & roll in a vibrant arena rock manner, and more than every other band out there, they are making live shows fun again.