Futurebirds Get Hips Shaking In Santa Cruz: Review

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Words by: Dennis Cook

Futurebirds :: 07.01.19 :: The Crepe Place :: Santa Cruz, CA

Futurebirds inject a ill’ something extra into music’s bloodstream – gently, intuitively getting under a song’s skin and surfacing with greater understanding to explore the curves, sprint the straightaways and caress the folds. Palpable immediacy and engagement are the results, resonating in song after song.

Watching them work a close-packed crowd at The Crepe Place in Santa Cruz, digging in with grins and spirited kick even after a decade of van-living, city-to-city gigging was a joyous, swaying conversation with rock ‘n’ fuckin’ roll that was switched-on, invigorating, and so goddamn fun it’ll make ya kiss a stranger next to you in the club light because you’re sharing in an electrified hallelujah.

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Not much post-70s rock makes me freely strut & sway as much as Futurebirds. This in no way marks them as a bell bottom throwback, only that these guys remember rock has hips and shake them enthusiastically. It’s that same mojo hustle in prime Stones & Black Crowes, a come-hither undulation that makes women purr and fellas discover their swagger.

Both their studio work and live incarnation possess the gut level rush of At Dawn/It Still Moves-era My Morning Jacket alongside echoes of The Band (those fabulous, charmingly jagged-edge, interlocking vocals), My Bloody Valentine, R.E.M. and Centro-matic – all very human-made music, sweaty and glowing and pleasantly alive. However, these guys long ago figured out their sound, their thing and just steadily evolve and expand on it. Studio album number four is percolating presently, and based on the new material getting road tested it’s gonna be a humdinger.

10 Years On The Road Mini-Documentary

One of Futurebirds finest characteristics was on full display in Santa Cruz, a pervasive sense that they love what they do and try their damndest to deliver the goods every gig, be it a bopping, intimate club scene like The Crepe Place or a broad festival stage. They are rock’s faithful servants, which lends their amp-fueled proselytizing sincere heft and no small measure of charm. Spending time in the presence, volume up high and liquor flowing freely, is a shuffling revival that leaves one with a lil’ skip to their steps, feeling looser and lighter. May they roll on another decade or two or three. We’ll lucky if they do.

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Tour Dates for Futurebirds