I had a great time seeing music last night at Four Quarters Brewing. It had been ages since I’ve caught up with Black Rabbit and had not seen them with their new drummer Trevor Jewett. It’s always a bit scary when a favorite band looses an amazing drummer like Jane Boxall Percussion, but I had faith and happily headed to the show.
I arrived around 6:30 and hung out and chatted with the band for a bit and tried the brewery’s ginger Saison that had been aged in gin barrels. It was pretty good but came in a small glass. I was about to get another beer as the band got ready to start, but the line was long so I opted for the music instead. That turned out well.
The brewery is a ways down West Canal St in Winooski. The small stage sits right outside the front door of the tasting room and the courtyard has a few tables. Fortunately, they had umbrellas, since it was a rainy day. Luckily, there was only a couple of minutes where it really came down and that was before the band started. A light mist was falling for much of the show, but that was easy enough to deal with.
I stood in front of Black Rabbit as they began with a rocking version of Mark My Words. They played a pretty good version and Marc Scarano had a really cool JFK whisper. They followed with a great older song, Neighborhood, and the band started to lock in. The band are a trio with guitar/vocals, bass and drums. They play loud fast garage rock with their own unique pace and styling. The songs are fast and joyous and good and loud. A couple of the younger kids at the show through it was too loud at the beginning, but were won over by the end. There were a couple of dozen people coming and going and many of them hung out for the music. Rabbit really locked in as they moved into Nikki Says. Darlene Scarano‘s bass has some great lines and Trevor’s drumming kept the pace perfectly and he threw in plenty of fills to keep the listener interested. I was happily impressed as the band moved into a rocking version of the Invisibles. It’s Cold doesn’t usually come out in summer but seemed mildly appropriate yesterday. Rejected was fun and rocked hard, then they went back to the first EP for 89. I love that song. Up next they rocked the Black Cat and Marc had some nice guitar runs in the end section. Sayonara followed and Trevor did a nice job on the fiddly bits in the breakdown section. I was happy. Up next, Marc put down the regular Gibson and picked up the Flying V. Songs like Tarpaulin and Neutrino were great and the latter was a nod to the great Papa Neutrino. Up next was a new unnamed song. I loved it and it rocked hard and I think Marc has at least two more new ones on their way. They capped set one with a fun version of Rotten Egg.
I wandered inside and got a Sundog IPA . It was tasty but definitely one to slow sip. I made it a third of the way into the beer when the band began set 2. It was surprisingly stressful to hold a delicate glass while standing on pavement with lots of kids running around fast and close. I put some effort into drinking it quick. The second set featured more Rabbit songs like The Original Original and Tibbar Tibbar but also featured some fun covers. I could barely believe my ears when they pulled out So You Want To Be A Rock And Roll Star and played it as a glorious punk song. It was just magnificent, both in conception and execution. They followed with an optimistic Blue Sky which was kind of cool to hear outside on a gray day. Up next was a great cover of Chinese Rock. They dug deeper into the Red Flannel Hash album with BS Passes, Double Line and Too Good. They went back to Lipstick And Dynamite for a smoking version of Carnage, then ended the night with a trio of covers. Husker Du’s What’s Going On was really cool. New Rose rocked hard and the closed the night with a rousing Teenagers From Mars.
After they wrapped up I said a couple of quick goodbyes and took the long walk home. It had been a while since I had seen a good punk band to get me going and I was elated to catch so many Rabbit songs. I think they played 30 songs over the course of two hours. It was everything I could have hoped for.
The walk home was easy but was made a little brighter when I saw my first fireflies of the year. Even if it’s a little cold and gray, summer is here and bands like Black Rabbit are filling it with rocking music.