The psychobilly scene is a scene that I’ve always wanted to get into. What is psychobilly you might ask? Well, it’s a mix of a little bit of everything. It’s elements of country, folk, Americana wrapped up and sealed with a bow of punk and sassy attitudes. It’s one of those hybrid genres that sounds absolutely ridiculous but, if a band does it right, it can be truly amazing. Unfortunately, with such a love for my metal family and my nostalgic pop-punk music, I haven’t had a chance to get into the scene or even go to a psychobilly show. Thankfully, that changed last night.
Although I was a little late to the show due to playing role of super awesome babysitting cousin, I was able to catch majority of The Toxenes’ set and I absolutely loved what I heard and saw. The Toxenes are a local female trio with great energy, attitude, and music. Their music was a bit more on the “garage-rockabilly” end of things than the rest of the bands but it helped them stand out and truly matched the attitude that came off through the lyrics. Although only a three piece and a bit of a hollow sound (which, again completely fit everything about them), these guys were not short on the energy or the attitude. Even headlining act The Creepshow gave them a shoutout saying that The Toxenes were easily the best local band they’ve played with so far on this tour.
After their set and a quick break to re-set up on stage, it was time for Gallows Bound. Within the first couple of notes, these guys had stolen my heart. This six piece set brought an Americana brand of rockabilly to the stage and I was hooked. They had a mix of regular instruments with the more traditional banjo and mandolin. The music was upbeat and the connection between band members was impossible to ignore. They all had giant smiles on their face as they got a little country while staying a little punk. The uniqueness of the music kept me interested and wanting more.
With each song, there seemed to be a bit of an exclamation point of some genre of music. It could be country, punk, rock, indie-pop… it didn’t matter and, in the end, it all worked together and made for a perfect set as far as the music was concerned. Unfortunately, it seemed like their set was plagued by technical difficulties. The sound guy shouted an apology back to the band after a song that ended in feedback and just explained that it was the spirits in the place. What a nice lead into Gallows Bound’s next song about ghosts and other weird and creepy things.
Hailing from Toronto, Canada, The Creepshow was the headliner of the night and rightfully so. All of the bands that played last night had energy and passion but The Creepshow was the first band that seemed to get the crowd moving and, rightfully so. These guys seem to be a bit legendary in the psychobilly scene. Sure, they’ve had their share of line-up changes but even with those, this band has stayed solid since their beginning in 20005. They have toured the world with some truly great bands like Anti Flag and Dropkick Murphys so being able to see them at my favorite hangout down the street from my apartment was truly an honor.
Whereas The Toxenes brought a bit of a grungy garage feeling to the night and Gallows Bound brought the amazing Americana flavor, The Creepshow hit the crowd with a brand of music that seemed to be a bit more straightforward psychobilly than the rest of the night. The members of the band were mesmerizing to watch. Kristian, the keyboardist, seemed to have an issue with standing still and watching Sean on the upright bass was truly amazing because, let’s be honest, how can you not love an upright bass? Singer Kenda “Twisted” Legaspi seduced the crowd with her badass attitude and polite manners. When asking the crowd to put a fist in the air, she quickly followed the demand with a “Please!”.
Last night was unlike many of the shows I go to but in the best way. It was a scene that I have always wanted to experience and, now after seeing three great bands from the genre, I am so ready to dive a bit deeper into the psychobilly scene.
Venue: Uptown VFW
Sausage Fest Meter- 7 out of 10
Average Age of the Crowd- 28
Crowd Surfers- 0
Broken Bones- 0
Celebrity Sightings- None
Overall Score-8 out of 10
Show on Deck- You Blew It!/ As It Is/ Free Throw