Outrageous Cherry / Asteroid Four / The Grip Weeds / Orange Alabaster Mushroom Zaphod Beeblebrox, Ottawa ON - February 27, 2003

Outrageous Cherry / Asteroid Four / The Grip Weeds / Orange Alabaster Mushroom Zaphod Beeblebrox, Ottawa ON - February 27, 2003
The Grip Weeds' Rick Reil was bang on when, after completing the band's first song, he faced a measly showing of people and said it would be a hell of a night. The only act not on Rainbow Quartz records was '60s psychedelic locals Orange Alabaster Mushroom, who launched the show with hippie-rock riffs and authentic big '70s hairdos. New Jersey melody makers the Grip Weeds then impressed many with their jangly rock, but it was clearly Asteroid 4 and Outrageous Cherry who owned the show. Dressed appropriately in cowboy boots and worn denim, Asteroid 4 charmed the bar with a mix of roots rock and classic Hank Williams-esque country. Harmonica and pedal steel were part of what made this set a glimpse of an album currently in the works by this former pop-psych band based out of Philadelphia. Singer/guitarist Scott Vitt paused to ask the audience if anyone would trade weed for Asteroid 4 records. According to Vitt, the band disposed of its stash before crossing into Canada, and was still held up for five hours at the border. Finishing their set with the folk perfection of "California," sung by Jamie Scythes, a tray of five Jägermeister shots was courteously set on the stage monitor by a waitress. All of them spilled. Outrageous Cherry completed the show with its dark and gritty tom-driven Detroit rock. Continuing the evening's trend of communicating with the audience, they teased Asteroid 4 with their own border story, having apparently breezed through by a miracle. The four-piece continued to blast everyone with its drowning pop. It was a night of good American rock, and in what was perhaps the night's truest show of rock and roll, Outrageous Cherry guitarist Larry Ray nonchalantly ignored his breaking strings, jamming out the sweaty end of the set with just two remaining.