By Chris Varias
The Cincinnati Enquirer
As they say, there is nothing new under the sun. This is certainly true of music. You'd have to look no further than three of Cincinnati's best bands - the Greenhornes, Thee Shams and Pearlene - to find examples of musical throwbacks celebrated as part of a new breed.
Another group that fits this bill comes from a point on the opposite side of the globe. The Datsuns, from New Zealand, put on a fierce performance at the Southgate House Saturday night that recalled any number of 1970s bands, songs and styles.
Call the hour-plus concert "That '70s Show." The foursome boogied like Brownsville Station. They borrowed the meanest, fastest riffs from Deep Purple, ZZ Top and whoever else. They swung their guitars and dropped to their knees with the conviction of MC5.
And they looked the part, with long, stringy hair, bellbottoms and emaciated physiques suggesting provisions of an apple a day split four ways.
There was not one part of the Datsuns' act that could be called original, yet it was easily one of the best shows of the year so far, and the crowd of 200 or so was thoroughly knocked out.
The show fell between the band's dates on the Ozzfest tour, and playing on bigger stages to bigger crowds had to have helped a club appearance. The set was tight, one fast-and-loud number after the next, never relenting. And guitarists Christian and Phil, as they are known, spared neither the wah-wah pedal nor the windmill action.
"Harmonic Generator" had the only nod to contemporary style, as lead singer Dolf put down his bass and the band went with a drum-and-guitar-only sound. Everything else was a full-blown jam, either contained in five-minute structures or, in the case of the sprawling encore selection, "Freeze Sucker," a 10-minute-plus freak-out.
A pair of local opening bands, Dixie Trash and Jackass, also worked the hard-rock aesthetic, each from its own angle.
Dixie Trash's set was literally in-your-face. Singer Jack Rouse left the stage on several occasions to do some nose-to-nose screaming at members of the audience, while the band put forth a mix of punk, garage and rockabilly.
Jackass' set began a half-hour before the scheduled time, so unfortunately most of the crowd missed the band's crunchy, hard-rock-radio-worthy stylings.
BOB HOPE: 1903-2003
Hope leaves legacy of laughter
Gallery of 22 Bob Hope photos
Entertainer took time for Tristate causes
Local celebrities remember Hope
See Hope's USO Tour? Tell us your memories
Hope had joke for everything
One-liners through the years
Hope gave servicemen something to smile about
A hundred years of Hope
Golf's great ambassador
Latest news, plus video, audio from Hope's career
Clark's band, ballads bring out best in her
Datsuns wow Southgate crowd with energetic '70s-style set
'Dralion' full of fine acrobatics
Blue Man Group worth a look, if not a listen
Norah Jones writer lacks marquee value
MORE TEMPO HEADLINES
Style extra: Senior makes statement with wild ties
Comedians get 5 minutes to grab win
Get to it!
'The Pursuit' readable tale of quirky love
Writers conspire for superb 'Killing'
Harry, Hillary are not enough
Page turners: What you're reading