Published Dec 01, 2004It may not have been this trio's best performance in Montreal I nominate their 1996 gig at the other Cabaret but Blues Explosion is still in full effect. I don't know or care how old Jon Spencer is, and don't be misled by the removal of his name from the old JSBX moniker, the man is the band's centrepiece. Of course, it wouldn't be Blues Explosion without hazy-eyed guitarist Judah Bauer and meaty Muppet drummer Russell Simmons (who continues to rock that wobbly white fro) but, as Katharine Hepburn might have said, "It's all about Spencer, boyeeeeeeeee!!!" Alongside the endearing faux-Southern vocals and ace guitar work, Spencer exuded that manic energy, emitted those surly "Blues explosion!" shout-outs, called out for mercy and dropped to his knees countless times throughout the show, which seemed to fly by. The set rewarded the faithful with some rapid-fire medleys of old favourites like "2 Kindsa Love" and delivered a heavy and hard-hitting load of new goods from their latest album, Damage, a return to form following 2002's underwhelming Plastic Fang. Among the best new tracks were the punked-up "Fed Up and Low Down" and the funked-up "Hot Gossip," a political tune that features Chuck D on the record. Brooklyn's Rogers Sisters took well to the warm-up task, beating the crowd into show-shape with slinky new wave hooks and fuzzy rock-outs from their Purely Evil and Three Fingers discs, with a side-order of shout-y fervour from the trio's token dude, Miyuki Furtado. That's rock'n'roll. Tourette's must be catching. Blues Explosion! Git down!