Supersuckers Lee’s Palace, Toronto ON - April 20, 2006

Supersuckers Lee’s Palace, Toronto ON - April 20, 2006
Despite an admirable dedication to pure, honest rock’n’roll, there’s no avoiding the fact that the Supersuckers have been delivering diminishing returns over the past decade. Such was the case for this moderately awkward evening. Kicking off with the obligatory solo acoustic set from singer/bassist Eddie Spaghetti, the night began on the wrong foot when blew a rendition of Cash’s "Cocaine Blues” and was forced to restart. It set the tone for a gig plagued with difficulties. Strong yet overplayed, even Spaghetti noted how he was "indulging” during the half-hour string of twangers. The audience energy dwindled with each break, inciting Spaghetti’s offhanded, "You’re just putting up with this till we get to the rock” remark. Undaunted, he played on, seeming far more enthused rolling out these dozen tunes than at any other point in the night. Eventually switching into rock mode, seeing the rest of the band stroll out was more relief than excitement as they cranked "Dead Ends And Dust” from 1999’s The Evil Powers Of Rock ‘N’ Roll. Unfortunately, this was not to be the band’s finest moment. From guitar cables unplugging to missed marks and the band constantly having to gesticulate the intricacies of each song to their drummer of the week, it was a sad display — like watching them go through the motions and auditioning time-keepers at the same time. As if that wasn’t frustrating enough, the band’s strengthening devotion to country turned renditions of faves "Creepy Jackalope Eye,” "Mudhead,” "Pretty Fucked Up” and show closer "Born With A Tail” from typically shit-hot, adrenaline-pumping songs to deflated, mid-tempo toe-tappers. One must admit that despite the agonising fuck-ups, the Supersuckers maintained strong game faces. They tried hard with beaming smiles, rock posturing and the one-off quips seemed endless. Spaghetti even generated a few chuckles as he shoved one potential stage-diver back into the crowd. All in all though, while one can overlook the unavoidable mishaps, the end result felt more like a rough show from an alright band, not a life-altering epiphany from the self-proclaimed "greatest rock’n’roll band in the world.”