Now, many of you may not know this, but I am slightly hearing impaired and wear hearing aids in both my ears. With that in mind, it is very rare for me to turn the hearing aids off during a musical show to enjoy it better. I am not by any means saying that the music was bad; it was just unbelievably loud, even for this guy. That is exactly what happened last week when I was invited to attend a rambunctious show by The Dough Rollers at Webster Hall’s Studio Stage.
I had attended the awesome Moon Taxi show at Irving Plaza earlier that evening and was walking briskly in the rain to make it to Webster Hall. I was thankful for the rain after what seemed to be weeks of intense heat. After having a quick chat with the security guy at the studio stage entrance, I meandered downstairs into the dark dilapidated space. To my astonishment, upon my arrival, there was only a sparse crowd watching a rowdy band finishing up their wild set. With a slight applause the space cleared out and I stood in the open feeling slightly out of place.
For those of you that have never been into the depths of Webster Hall, here is the layout. The space is simply a dark and gloomy basement with posters on the wall with a heavily armored soundboard in the back. The Studio is supported by the most disgusting bar you could ever drink at. Even the beer on tap is always slightly leaking into cups to be handed to the next thirsty customer who becomes disappointed with the lukewarm beverage. Amazingly, the most organized part of the studio is their bathrooms, which have not one, not two but three gentlemen willingly lurking around to help out. That was the first spot I hustled over to, as I had anxiously needed to use the facilities. Walking in, the ground was soaked with some kind of fluid and one guy was muttering to himself and drying it all up as best he could. After I washed my hands slightly chuckling to myself on their obscene and often loud comments, they handed me a few paper towels to dry off. I loved their energy. Stepping out and checking to see if I walked on anything, I noticed the stage clearing up.
The tiny crowd lingered around all spread out in various social groups chatting busily. It really was a grungy crew gathered around with a mix sweaty hairy guys and ladies dressed in their revealing clothes looking a mess. None of them cared in the least and you could tell they were there for a night of pure mayhem in music. I admired their confidence and drive. It was then that I noticed the Dough Rollers beginning to set up their instruments and preparing for their rocking ride. The Dough Rollers currently is made up of musicians Jack Byrne, Malcolm Ford, Josh Barocas and Kyle Olson. I glanced over to the side and almost instantly they began playing out of nowhere! They were going to waste no time. A bluesy rock and roll jam started out as they all randomly took sips from their beers between riffs. With the support of a droning wailing sound Malcolm’s yelping and loud singing, reminiscent of Incubus’ Brandon Boyd’s voice, brought out a flair of power. There was tons of screaming as he became red in the face stumbling onstage, possibly wasted in the rock and roll vibe. He constantly yelled out to the tiny crowd and encouraged them to move up towards the front. I stayed close to the back.
The band had a strong and powerful riff that could easily be prepared for a fight montage. It had the lure of a battle song for a movie. It was at this point when the hearing aids had to be turned off due to the vibrating bass that rattled me deep into my bones. Malcolm had several mock seizures that had a lot of ladies and fans alike smiling and squealing with delight. In fact, there was a high volume of female fans in the audience with a passionate stare locked on the male presence of the band. Even as the microphone began swing alongside the flowing drumming, the eyes never left the musicians. The Dough Rollers transitioned their bluesy sound into a rather smooth current of surf music that could be overbearing with the bass. However, I was not the target audience out there that night. The fans were obviously having a ball on the center floor with their hands and drinks raised with each tune. After snagging another, of what must have been countless beers, Malcolm took the music to a slow pace but kept that intense screaming alive all the while. His feet kept stomping on the stage as the bass and guitar continued to drift with the straight haired musicians that wielded those weapons of rock. There was must banter among the crowd and with the band the rest of evening that was filled with hard rock. It never seemed to end.
Wow, what a wild evening that was. Even though The Dough Rollers may have been a little too much for my taste, they definitely were very entertaining musicians all around. Their stage performance is perfect for fans seeking hard rock to make them go insane with musical pleasure. For those of you that desire this theme in music, I suggest you take a listen to The Dough Rollers and join the crew. Be prepared to lose some hearing but enjoy doing it!