8/1/2002

Heisenburg and friends entertain small crowd at suburban home

For some inexplicable reason, the owners of the venue were out of town. That didn't stop sixty rabid rans from filling up the basement of a small suburban home in Powder Springs and enjoying an evening of music with The Heisenburg Principle. Bryan Heisenburg, Puggsy Rhodes, Hezekiah Heisenburg, and Sophie Van Zandt Heisenburg played pared-down versions of songs from all across the long history of the band. Bryan played an electric bass guitar. His son, Hezekiah switched between acoustic and electric guitars on different songs. Puggsy played a small drum kit and sang vocals. Bryan's wife, Sophie, played violin for some of the songs, when she wasn't running the soundboard. Even the Heisenburg's 10 year-old daughter, Gomer, was put to work, running the merchandise table. Clearly, this is a band on a budget.

The band came out and immediately launched into three straight songs from the band's newest album, _Fear The Millennium._ With the horn-playing members of the band, Gimp Bizquick and Godz Diva, currently rehearsing with their high school marching band, the ska-influenced songs were missing the punch of the horns. Puggsy's ska drum beat minus the horns made the songs sound like, dare we say it, polka?

Fears that the band would bludgeon the crowd by plowing through the new album in the order of the album were allayed when the band dipped into some of their old material, playing two longer progressive pieces from their 70's albums. Hezekiah must have been taking some guitar lessons, because his interpretations of Chester Wiggins' guitar parts have greatly improved. The band then gave Sophie her chance to shine as they played their version of Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" from the _Reflections on Stravinsky_ album.

Heisenburg next briefly talked about the tribute album to Domo Arigato that he and Puggsy are currently working on. Bryan shared how much Arigato influenced him, particularly in the early '90s, and the crowd was treated to a sneak-preview of the album as the band played the title track from Culture Shock's _Green Golf Balls._ The influences became obvious as the band went straight into their own song, "File Not Found". The two keyboard-heavy songs sounded bizarre on nothing but guitars and drums, but Sophie did try her best replicate the sequenced sampled parts on her violin.

Bryan next unveiled to fans a new song, not even recorded yet. The Jack Kerouac influenced beat-poetry featured Bryan reading a poem, playing his bass guitar while Puggsy accompanied with a funky drum part. The start and stop rhythms, "cool, man", and "blow, man, blow!" cries gave the basement a San Francisco coffee-house feel. Next, fans were left a little weary after being pulled all across the emotional scale when the band performed the grunge influenced "Everyone Hates Me" and then immediately followed that up with their CCM hit from their days as David's Harp, "Happy! Happy! Joy! Joy!"

The band then embarked on a thirty-minute journey with the old classic "The Revelation of the Chord G major." One minute into the song, Bryan snapped the E string on his bass. He reached for his backup guitar, but was dismayed to find out it had been infested with termites and had disintegrated. With genius that only a musician can have, Bryan pulled the A string off also and played the song on the remaining two strings (though, Puggsy didn't appreciate having to sing the song an octave higher than normal.)

The crowd went wild at the conclusion, but Bryan announced there would be no encore since his guitar was missing two strings. The crowd was at a fever pitch and things may have gotten ugly (some even threatened to "burn the house down") until someone broke into the adjoining office and found a beat up old Squire P-Bass. Bryan used the guitar to play the hit "21st Century Man" from their newest album, a cover of "The Safety Dance", and then the band closed the night out with the heavily Beatles-influenced "Thirteen Months A Year" from their very first album.

Requests to play "Freebird" were ignored, despite repeated and insistent pleas from a certain writer. Well, the show would've been better with it. After all, what concert should go without "Freebird?" Not that anyone is bitter. This band stinks.

SETLIST
Broken ATM's to Glory -Fear The Millennium
Get Your Shotgun -Fear The Millennium
Four Digit Blues - Fear The Millennium
It Ain't Me (I Didn't Steal That Idol) - The Dark Temple of Dread
Grendel's Theme - Beowulf and Grendel
Rite of Spring - Reflections on Stravinsky
Green Golf Balls - (cover)
File Not Found - Danger, Robots!
Cool and Hip, Jack - (new song)
Everyone Hates Me - Another Cog In Society
Happy! Happy! Joy! Joy! - (From David's Harp - 2 Happy 2 Be Sad)
The Revelation of the Chord G major - Serious Music

ENCORE:
21st Century Man - Fear The Millennium
The Safety Dance - (cover, Men Without Hats)
Thirteen Months A Year - Meet the Heisenburg Principle!

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