Superdrag has been on hiatus since shortly after their last release, 2002's Last Call For Vitriol. The original members of the band (that is Superdrag circa 1992) reunited for their latest release Industry Giants, which was produced by singer and guitarist John Davis and recorded by the band themselves.The first and last time I saw the band was in 2003 when they opened for Mod-God Paul Weller. I was rather impressed with their performance, so I was definitely excited to see them again six years later, headlining their own show.
Saturday night these Knoxville rock vets played to a sparse and unresponsive crowd at Metro. Having been amongst the ranks of the undead for the better portion of the day it would seem I would blend easily with the lackluster audience, but instead I was one of a hand full of people who physically responded to the band at all.
Davis picked up his clear acrylic guitar and began blasting the chords to "Slow to Speak" and soon after barreled into songs from their back catalog like "Do the Vampire" and "Shuck and Jive" (which they stated they had never played in Chicago), "Keep it Close to Me" and "Gimme Animosity." The crowd would simply have to wait if they wanted to hear their 1995 hit "Sucked Out."
Towards the tail end of the set, bassist Tom Pappas led the band in "Cheap Poltergeists" which features some really awesome pop harmonies. Unfortunately, the song itself is killed for me at the end of the song when he growls the last few lines as if he were some sort of wide-necked beer consuming meat head from the South.
As a fan of the band I was really hoping that this show would wow me more than it did. I was prime for it, having spent several hours before-hand getting good and tipsy, but it turns out the crowd really killed it for me (and my buzz). Superdrag is really fantastic at writing infectious pop hits so really this should have been a more enjoyable show. Perhaps if the show were in a smaller more cozy venue it would've helped. Perhaps if the people standing fifteen feet from me (the next closest people outside of my friend who accompanied) had at least bobbed their heads or moved their legs I would've felt like something more substantial was happening at Metro that night. Instead I ended up becoming restless and bored. "Filthy and Afraid"? Not exactly.