Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Jun 18th 2010 11:00AM by Kenneth Partridge
It made sense for Leo -- performing solo, with just his trusty hollow-body Gibson electric -- to cover these songs. Hooky, punky and in their own way political, they're blueprints for much of the New Jersey rocker's catalog. Leo isn't as smart-alecky as Lowe or blunt as Eddie, but his punk poeticism is at least partially rooted in the era they helped define. Of course, Leo closed his hour-long, 17-song set with 'Swann Street,' a post-hardcore nugget by the little-known Washington, D.C., band Three, so there's obviously more to the man than jangly guitars and sweet melodies.
Leo often taps into hardcore's vein-bulging righteousness, and Thursday night, such tunes as 'Ballad of the Sin Eater' and 'Bleeding Powers' spoke to the singer's anti-war beliefs. Even at his most political, though, Leo is courteous and engaging, a portrait of affability. He arrived at Generation having spent the afternoon filming a music video, and despite being given a microphone that shocked his mouth every time he tried to sing, he never complained. Once he'd wrapped a shirt around the offending device and secured it with a piece of electrical tape, the rock 'n' roll MacGyver was good to go.
"Something's got to give," Leo said of his busy schedule, "but it's not going to be this."
Indeed, he played longer than he probably needed to, drawing songs from throughout his 20-year career. He even dusted off 'The Dog in Me,' a song by Chisel, the best known of his '90s bands. Other highlights included 'Timorous Me,' from 2001's 'The Tyranny of Distance'; 'The Mighty Sparrow,' from his latest album, 'The Brutalist Bricks'; and the fan-requested 'Where Have All the Rude Boys Gone?' a tune flush with Thin Lizzy guitar and in-jokes for 2 Tone ska nerds.
Leo might have played another hour, but the night was young, and the West Village was teeming with thrills.
"I know you all need to get to Kenny's Castaways to see Power Windows: A Tribute to Rush," he said, wondering aloud whether said cover band might allow him sit in.
"A man can dream," he said.