Jack Logan & Liquor Cabinet – J.C. Dobbs (Philadelphia, PA)
“Ladies and gentlemen…Jack Logan & Liquor Cabinet.” Doesn’t quite have the impact of “…The Rolling Stones,” but if the band continues to roll out the raging full-on show on display recently, it could. It was a revelatory live experiences, and unexpected at that. I entered the club devoid of any real fervor for one of last year’s most chronicled new artists, but left believing I had just caught one of most scorching rock shows witnessed in quite some time.
The whole experience took me back to a time when a band such as Soul Asylum would walk onstage and kill with a mix of passionate musicianship and great songs. Although I saw Logan and his band at the same club (even playing some of the same songs) last year, they reached a far higher plane by the second song of the set (“Chinese Lorraine” from the recently released Mood Elevator). Logan seemed way more comfortable onstage this time around, and his singing seemed the better for it, while Liquor Cabinet has evolved into a flat-out great rock band. Guitarists Dave Phillips and Kelly Keneipp (also sitting in on piano where required) have gelled into quite a tandem, with Phillips providing many of set’s high points.
As expected, the majority of the evening was devoted to songs from Mood Elevator, four each bookending the set. The closing-stretch run of “When It All Comes Down”, “Neon Tombstone”, “Ladies And Gentlemen” and “Just Babies” ripped. And even with the 42-song catalog of Bulk to pull from, Logan still managed to throw in a smattering of newer material. From the poppy riffing of “Into The Surf” to the Neil Young-ish guitar workout of “Clowns” to the country waltz of “Melancholy Girl” to the just-funnin’ “Threw Up On The Replacments” (“He drank something brown / He drank it all down”), Logan continues to demonstrate an uncanny ability to write great songs that are stylistically divergent. All this could be seen as nothing more than hyperbole — but I have a sense that full throttle is all they know.