Concert Review: Cosmic Shakedown, Ionia at California Brew Haus

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After shutter-buggin’ with Violet Mary (watch out, a new LP is on the way), I headed over to the California Brew Haus Saturday night, where an all-day hard-rock line-up had been pummeling away since 4 in the afternoon. I don’t know about you, but an all day rock ’n’ roll show can leave my head felling like green Jell-O.

I arrived about 10 p.m. or so to catch Cosmic Shakedown, a trio from the mean streets of Buffalo. The band was straight-ahead hard rock except for the way-cool hooks it centered two songs around. It was reminiscent of the thump-and-twang skeleton laid forth by Son House, or more recently by Jack White or The Black Keys. I dug it and will dig it again.

Cleveland’s Ionia followed, preceded by a lot of what struck me as disingenuous posturing. The band sounded good and was tight, but the music came off contrived and overwrought. I don’t know; maybe my head was gelatin at that point, too… Besides, the Mirage is under new management, and there was a steak sandwich at home calling my name like that Mickey and Sylvia tune.

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