Live Review from Underground 51:
There’s a lot to be said for a really, truly beautiful guitar, and Gray@DREAM5’s guitar is a work of art. A big, deep, fat, semi-acoustic Gretsch, all lacquered top, deep ebony fretboard, and f-holes that could have been etched by the gods, not to mention the finely-turned gold knobs. You have to love a finely turned knob.
This wonderful instrument gave out an all-enveloping, fuzzy glow to get Underground 51 started. Only problem was it didn’t suit the music that much. A lean three-piece playing energetic rock and roll songs needs an itchy, scratchy, gutsy, Jack White kind of sound, but the Gretsch was a bit of a warm, wet fart.
Unfortunate, because Gray@DREAM5 have a simple and potentially effective plan: short, upbeat songs sung with a Billy Idol sneer. Riding with the Radio was a standout, and a short set had only one real low-point, which was announced, ominously, as a change of pace. Sadly the weird guitar sound, along with some pedestrian drums and bass robbed Gray@DREAM5 some of the energy they could have promised.
One final disappointment: I thought the last song was a magnificently-titled Cream of the Teas, yet a check back with the band’s
website suggests that it was actually Queen of the Tease. Pity!
Paul M

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Performances by Gray@DREAM5: