David La Duke's Sinbad

By James Bickers

Friday night, July 27, was the night of one of the biggest shows lately at C.D. Graffitti's, the under-21 music club which during the day is host to Laser Chase. On the bill for the night were four acts: Shauntique, Revolting, Madd Rabbit and the headliner, local guitarist David La Duke, leader of the group Sinbad.

David LaDuke

Having never been to Graffitti's before (except to play Laser Chase), I was really impressed with how well the room adapted to the concert setting. It makes for a most interesting show to be able to view the band from above on catwalks, or up close and personal. There is also plenty of room available for the inevitable slam-dancing which goes on at concerts like this.

The show started out with Shauntique, a very interesting and talented doomsday group. Their entirely original set was very melodic, well written and almost haunting at times with its eerie mixture of metal guitar and keyboards. The drummer stands out as extremely proficient at what he does, as does the lead singer-guitarist.

Next came Revolting, a thrash quartet. The minute they took the stage, their unbeatable charisma and personality captured the audience's. Attention. However, it couldn't quite carry the weight of the almost unifonn nature of their music – it all sounds exactly the same. The only time they really soared was on their cover of Sacred Reich's "Surf Nicaragua."

The last of the warm-up bands was Madd Rabbit. Watching them play, I almost stood with my mouth gaping wide open in astonishment. The impression I couldn't get out of my mind as I watched was that this was a band who had been big fans of Spinal Tap and never realized it was all a joke. William Shatner would have been proud of some of the tremendous overacting – they take themselves so seriously! I can't begrudge them, though, because their original songs are more melodic than anything Jon Bon Jovi has ever written in his life and it was worth it all to see their rendition of Queen's "Tie Your Mother Down."

All this led up to the big event of the night, Mr. La Duke himself. Obviously slightly more experienced than the others, La Duke's Sinbad even had their own stage, separate from the rest. As Sinbad began to play, I felt a sense of great expectation, great promise from the first few chords of the first song. This was cut short quickly, though. I certainly can't deny the man's ability as a guitarist, but from the beginning I noticed something strange about all of his songs, how they seemed to click together. Being a guitarist myself, I quickly figured out what it was – they were almost all written in the key of E! This made the whole night seem like one steady flow of sound, kind of like a 60-cycle hum with a little more activity. Even on their cover of the Rolling Stones' "Satisfaction," the band was into the second verse before anyone realized what they were playing!

Overall, I can't say that this was a really bad night; there were some great bits and pieces. It's just sort of sad that the best music of the night was over when the first band left the stage.