The Freaks of Nature - The Lost Leaf - 1/18/14
The Freaks of Nature have It. Whether it is charisma, spunk, panache, chutzpah, or a mix of everything and more the Valley-based proto-punks are entertaining as hell. They play a fast-paced style of rock that is as easy to shake and shimmy to as it is to mosh.
At their 1 a.m. Saturday night set at the Lost Leaf, the Freaks had more of a shake-and-shimmy crowd than a mosh crowd, but either way, the Freaks had the dance floor packed at the the little venue on Fifth and Roosevelt.
The set began with drummer Andrew Jemsek asking the crowd if they could find him some drumsticks -- he found himself with one-and-a-half. Unfortunately for him the answer was no, but the intrepid Jemsek played on, and played well.
The Freaks do not really have any slow songs, which makes things easy -- the set began with an upbeat rocker called "Get on Your Way," which had their emphatic frontman/rhythm guitarist Daniel Shircliff screaming out the lyrics to to an enthusiastic crowd that screamed them right back.
The Freaks went with one of their newer tunes next with "C'mon 'N Dance," and the crowd did not need to be told twice. All 50 or so of the Leaf's late-night customers were packed onto the dance floor.
The benchmark of a great show at the Lost Leaf is how much the floor feels like it's going to cave in underneath you. The Freaks had the floor wobbling by song number three, "Make Me Cry." That was also around the same time that opening act Andalusia Rose's drummer finally wrangled up some drumsticks for Jemsek.
The music continued to rock, the floor continued to shake, and the PBRs continued to flow for $2 per bottle. Jemsek and the rest of the band seemed to think that he sounded better with the broken sticks, but the crowd did not seem to notice a difference as every song brought more energy, and not less as would be expected at such a late set.