Mark Harvey is the owner/operator of Nobody Records, Pumpkinland Studios and 13thTrack.com Halloween Radio.
In my world it tends to be Halloween much of the time. Strange most of the time. Busy all of the time. Join in on the fun, leave a comment and enjoy your stay...
So how's it goin'? Good I hope. So I went to go see Dot 3, Neosoreskin and Bad Dog Sit on Friday night at the Blank Club in San Jose and I had a great time. Let me rewind a tad...
Back on April 20th (420) I wrote a post about Dot 3 (here) as I prepared to go see Cypress Hill and celebrate the 11th anniversary of the release of Rain Station's "Stonedozer" CD (here) with Jay. As I said in that post I was a big fan of Dot 3 (still am) and thanks to some video footage I was able to check 'em out "live" when I got the hankerin'. I digitally encoded their LP years ago and their tracks pop up on the iPod now and again. Good times.
On September 30th I got a comment on my Dot 3 blog post from Mike Freitas, the drummer in Dot 3 thanking me for the kind words and support back when they were active and letting me know about their show on November 18th. Needless to say I immediately bought tickets. Soon after Mike's email I got an email from Kenny Schick, the guitarist in Dot 3 (Kenny also plays sax) who gave me an update on where the guys from the band are and some links to the music he's working on. We traded a couple emails and it was good to hear what Kenny's been working on. Check it out here.
From their Facebook invite:"After 2 decades, one of the most popular bay area bands of the 80's will reunite for this epic show. Also reuniting will be the amazing and zany Neosoreskin and the fun and furious Bad Dog Sit. The capacity of the club is only 300, so get tics before they sell out! sounds like folks will be coming in from all over the country for this one...."
Upon entering the club (and after grabbing a beer) I made my way over to the "table" and bought a copy of the Dot 3 "Special Reissue for 2011 Reunion Show". Even though I had digitally encoded their LP years ago I wanted it for collector purposes (and there were four more songs on it). Worth every penny!
First off was Bad Dog Sit. They were a fun party band. Check 'em out...(video from the 90's)...
Funny guys and a great set. It is always important to me to see the opening act since you never know what you're gonna miss. Glad I got to see these guys.
Next up was Neosoreskin - and they were fantastic. "Led by former Skankin' Pickle vocalist/bassist Mike Mattingly, the San Jose, California-based ska revival band Neosoreskin also included guitarist Gordon Gurley, saxophonists Ken Schick and Swampy Dave Ryle, trombonist Dave Watrous (who didn't make this show) and drummer Mike "1/2 Moon" Freitas."
Check out their music on iTunes (and support 'em by buying their music). Neosoreskin played a great set and their carnival style ska was awesome. Incredible stage presence! Kenny, Mike and Swampy (all in Dot 3) were fantastic and it was great seeing Mike "Mr. Clean" Mattingly tear it up again.
Then...the moment we were all waiting for! After 20 years Dot 3 was about to take the stage. I was absolutely thrilled to be there and was feeling a tad bit giddy.
They played an amazing set (set list to the left). Time has done wonders for these guys. The beats were heavier, the horn section was nothing short of stupendous - essentially they sounded better than I remembered (and I was a huge fan and thought they were flawless back in the day). How does that happen? Musicians mature and like a fine wine Dot 3 has aged impeccably. The crowd drank it up. They played a million dollar set. After each song I had a huge grin on my face.
These guys were back and better than ever. I can't say enough about them - Mark Renner's bass lines were slammin', Kenny Schick is a guitar GOD, Mike Freitas is one of the heaviest and most incredible drummers I've seen in a long time and then there's Christopher Sharron - another guitar GOD, the horn section was seriously one of the best I've heard (Dave "Swampy" Ryle on sax, Jim McKenzie on trumpet, Christ Mondt on trombone, Les Harris on sax, Jackie Watson on trumpet) and some nice added percussion from Mike Vondran. It was one of the finest lineups and best shows I've been to...ever...
After the show I wondered if this was a one time thing or if they'd be playing any more shows. A band as good as this one should keep it together. Sure, people grow up, move on, move away, but these guys were pure magic on stage.
Two guys were videotaping the show (check out the sound check of "Great Big Fish" here) and I sure hope someone was recording off the soundboard. If this is the last time Dot 3 plays together there needs to be a record of it.
I asked Christopher Sharron if I could take the set list (man, that takes me back - I have a huge collection of set lists from back in the day) and he obliged.
I do hope they play again.
The next day I popped the CD into my car and played it for my five year old son. Well, folks, we have a new Dot 3 fan. He kept asking me to play it over and over again. Later that night "99 Monkeys" came on the iPod and my son ran up to my wife and said, "Hey Mama...that's Dot 3...Daddy saw them last night...aren't they COOL?".
Yes, son...they ARE cool.
Thanks Dot 3 for a memorable evening and for keeping the beat alive for the next generation. I hope it doesn't take 20 more years for you guys to play again.