Words and Pictures: Robert Cavuoto
On this Sunday evening, Beasto Blanco headlined Dingbatz in Clifton, NJ! The band is currently headlining a series of shows in the US to promote the release of their fierce new CD, We Are, due out on May 24th via Rat Pak Records. This headlining tour is on the heels of completing a North American tour supporting Halestorm. Tonight’s show will allow Beasto fans to hear a few of their new songs and experience the full theatrical aspect of their intense live show.
Chuck Garric [vocals/guitar], Calico Cooper [vocals], Chris “Brother” Latham [guitar], Jan Le Grow [bass], and Sean Sellers [drums] hit the stage at 9:15 pm and came out swinging with the perfect one-two punch of “Freak” and “The Seeker” to crush their New Jersey fans.
Beasto Blanco’s songs yield a powerful combination of crunchy guitar riffs, driving bass, growling vocals, and melodic choruses with shades of White Zombie and Motorhead thrown in for good measure. They have the unique talent of taking pure angst and turning it into an irreverent celebration of all things dark and malevolent. All 11 songs, regardless of which CD they came from were played with a sense of ferocity, like a locomotive speeding down the track.
It was great to see Chuck take center stage to showcase his ability not only as a solid guitarist but an outstanding frontman. His evil smirk and menacing presence kept fans off guard and guessing what surprises would be coming up next.
Beasto Blanco had no problem keeping their audience’s eyes on stage where Calico ran like a gymnast in black shorts, cropped leather jacket, knee-high boots, and torn stockings. Her voice is a nice contrast to Chuck’s heavy guttural growl, and her stage persona is downright terrifying at times. Many of their songs are approached like duets with Calico and Chuck trade off on vocal duties, but a “duet” conjures an image of love songs, nothing could be further from the truth as Calico spent most of the show dominating over Chuck with a spiked bat.
She is an outstanding performer who brings incredible imagery to life on stage whether swinging a mannequin arm over her head during “Machine Girl” or terrifying the front row with the spiked bat while singing lead on “Solitary Rave.”
I asked Chuck prior to the show about Calico’s sadistic onstage persona; he shared with me, “Calico Cooper is a visionary and very theatrical, all she thinks about is how she can make a song work with her character. We are fortunate that our theatrics are very natural and organic. They flow well into the show.”
Chris is an outstanding guitarist who supplied the lead work for the songs while using his ‘81 White Les Paul. Jan provided the unflinching back beat and Sean’s drumming was the driving force keeping everyone in lockstep; every hit on his kit was a full wind-up swing like he was pounding nails with a sledgehammer.
A slower and darker version of Alice Cooper’s “Feed my Frankenstein” was played during the encore and as expected brought down the house.
Tonight Clifton was the epicenter of the carnage as the band took the audience over the musical precipice with their innovative playing and macabre theatrics. There are still more headlining shows so check out Beasto Blanco when they roll into your town; you won’t regret it!
Feed My Frankenstein (Alice Cooper cover)