Beasto Blanco: It’s Like My Soul Just Got Run Over By A Groovy Truck
Beasto Blanco, a groove-dripping metal band with the stage show that could easily be described as a dirty circus, is playing a few dates in the U.S. in support of their latest album. "Beasto Blanco" is the second album from Alice Cooper's Bassist Chuck Garric and Lead Guitarist Brother Latham since they formed the band in 2012. Chuck switched to guitar and vocals with the help of Cooper's kin, Calico, and they do not disappoint in the follow-up to 2013's 'Live Fast Die Loud.'
I saw them at RascalsLive in Moline as they warmed-up for their U.S. dates, which include a Monsters Of Rock cruise. Well, they are already in mid-season form. A lethal combination of equal parts bombast and aggression rules the rhythm section, while Latham's guitars and Garric's vocals orbit like an eagle waiting to strike. Jan Legrow and Brother Latham somehow stay in tune while punishing the strings song after song.
The show was fueled partly by the energy of the crowd who were waiting for Beasto's updated version of Alice Cooper's 'Feed My Frankenstein', but Beasto peppered the audience with blow after powerful blow. The crowd was whipped up immediately with 'Beasto Blanco' a call-and-response tune that I pictured shaking the foundation of a stadium in the not-too-distant future. 'Freak' was next from the four boys, and all the while you're asking yourself, "Where's Calli?" Then, She pours on stage, like adding gasoline to a brush fire. She immediately hurls vocal heft and imagery to what is already a great sounding band, alternating vocals with Garric so well you don't know where to look.
Garric's growl is a solid match for Calico's tortured but-never-out-of-control vocals, but nobody, NOBODY matches her for pure stage presence. She stalks the stage and seems to float above it at the same time. 'Motorqueen' and 'Grind' continue the assault as the anticipation builds.
When Garric takes a minute to speak to the crowd (a rarity at their high energy shows) the cellphones pop up from the dark like hundreds of periscopes searching to capture a moment. It comes when Garric takes a second to thank the crowd and introduce Kenny Bailey as the fill-in drummer who "Saved our Asses" after U.S. Customs gave the hook to Tim Husung 3 days earlier. As the crowd cheers their added appreciation for Bailey filling in, the band tiptoes into the opening chords of 'Feed My Frankenstein'. It doesn't tiptoe for long. Their updated version somehow keeps true to the trouncing pace and sinister feel of the original, while wrapping it in a dirtier, sexy groove. The audience went ballistic. Welcome to the dirty circus.
I won't bore you with how down-to-earth and generally awesome the band is offstage, except to tell you that they thanked every person at that show personally--posing for seflies, signing shirts and hats, and answering the same questions over and over--enthusiastically, for each fan.
I can't hear anything but the ringing in my ears today, and the ringing keeps saying, "Feed My Frankenstein."