Jon Spencer – No Fun, Sun. Feb 11th – Review

Written by on February 13, 2024

Jon Spencer – No Fun, Sun. Feb 11th – Review – by Dean Giagni.

It’s like Elvis for Hipsters, Jon Spencer at No Fun, Sunday February 11, 2024 – by Dean Giagni

If I had a dollar for every howl, grunt and “whoooo yeahhh” that Jon Spencer throated into the mic for 90 minutes on Sunday night at No Fun, I’d have a week’s full paycheck. Unreserved, energetic and uninhibited, he’s been going strong since the early nineties with mega popular independent bands Pussy Galore, Boss Hogg and the Explosion; with no signs of slowing down.

Spencer took the stage wearing a slim, slick dark navy suit and chunky, black Edna Mode glasses he’s been stalking around the club with all evening. Within moments the glasses were gone, his hair had burst into his trademark messiness and the crunchy, hard blues, punk rock assault had begun. The No Fun stage is small and he danced, jumped and posed on every square inch. Flirting with the crowd, leaning out over the edge of the stage, launching gutbucket guitar riffs, slapping hands and even hugging yours truly to my sweaty amazement and joy.

Crowd work and communication is one of Jon Spencer’s greatest strength, making any size venue intimate and passionate. Finding and filling those moments when the rhythm section riffs to preach, plead and cry to the crowd in blues sermons about women, liquor, love and heartbreak all punctuated with call and response from the audience. He commanded us to clap and keep rhythm, “You gotta work!” he growls to the enthusiastic crowd and we respond “Yeah!!!”

The space between Spencer’s funky soulful guitar riffs was filled powerfully by his two piece rhythm section, the drums and bass of Spider Bowman and Kendall Wind both only 22 years old and playing with a heavy, chunky precision that belies their years. They filled the room around Spencer when he shifted into preacher mode. The power trio had constant communication both verbally and physically with Jon skating around the stage to rub up against Spider as he assaulted his stripped down drum kit and Kendall smiling and chuckling more than once at Jon’s eyebrow nods of communication about where they were driving the song. Most of the time her eyes were closed, not needing to see, instead her head and body feeling it.

The crowd was smallish but Jon Spencer’s not one to save his energy or phone it in. He puts it all out there on the stage, reflecting the audiences excitement and passion back at them. Songs like “Bellbottoms” and “Blues X Man” were practically singalongs. With a 60 second break at the end of the set, Spencer retook the stage as Spider and Kendall raced back through the crowd from taking a cool down outside the club. Four more songs closing with “2Kindsa Love”, Jon leading the crowd in wailing the chorus “Roll On, Roll On, Roll On!!!”


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