Material: MRC kick off their hot and sweaty 40 minute set with an original song that encapsulates their mission, “Rock ‘n’ Roll.” It is gritty, raw and sets the tone for the night. “Bad Motivation” follows and features chunky rhythms, smooth bass runs and tribal drums. “Black Witch” and their cover of Awolnation’s “Sail” are also visceral highlights that blend controlled chaos and fiery riffs. The overall vibe is a convergence of garage rock, with a jam-oriented and bluesy sensibility.
Musicianship: Midnight Radio Confession is a no frills outfit that leaves it all on the stage (or in this case the basement floor!). Doyle has a basic guitar and amp setup, sans any visible outboard gear. What you hear is what you get, and that’s good! He has a no-holds-barred attack that is a mix of nervous energy and frenetic aplomb. Luedcke plays a five-string bass and really plumbs the depths with rich, punchy lines. He and Laack are quite skilled at their respective crafts, yet keep it fairly simple and clean. Hence, the songs breathe and hit you right where they should.
Performance: Some latency and online static hampered the festivities at first. But that was no reflection on their performance. They kicked off their set with unbridled energy and kept a fairly consistent presence throughout. Doyle possessed a somewhat manic demeanor when doing his solos. They had a Billy Corgan/Neil Young/James Williamson abandon to them. Luedcke and Laack appeared to steer the ship and provided an anchor for Doyle’s hysterics to soar. While the band’s delivery was impressive, there was too much space between songs. As a result, their show had a pervasive feel that pivoted between a standard rehearsal and a pedestrian club gig.
Summary: Midnight Radio Confession is the answer to those who state that modern rock has lost its edge. These guys deliver that edge and then some. Songs such as “Nobody Like You” and “Before the Night is Through” are well constructed and have strong airplay potential. Although they are seasoned musicians, the members of MRC are just beginning to gel in this lineup. The writing is there and so is the musicianship. With more live gigs under their belt, it will be exciting to see what the future holds.
Players: James Doyle, guitar and vocals; Mike Luedcke, bass guitar; Dave Laack, drums