Concert Review: Dirty Heads and Dear and the Headlights at Red Bull Soundclash

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I've said it before: With very few exceptions (well,  really one exception, The Aggrolites) white reggae is a pox upon America. So, believe me, it's not that I wanted to go see The Dirty Heads play last night's Red Bull Soundclash at Marquee Theatre. But, since the other half of the show -- stages are set up on opposite sides of the theater, the bands play a song or so, sometimes covering each other, then the audience votes for a favorite by applause-o-meter -- was Dear and the Headlights, aka The Most Important Band in Arizona, I kinda-sorta had to go.

By the end of the night, when I was watching a band with not one but two guys from Huntington Beach who could stunt-double for Jason Mewes in the next Jay and Silent Bob movie sing Bob Marley's "Stir It Up," I had regrets about the whole thing.

Sure, I guess the Soundclash thing is sort of a novel idea, but it is a lot like a high school Battle of the Bands, except with a toothy host, an applause-o-meter and a little more booze in the audience. The version they did in Dallas, which our sister paper covered, had Erykah Badu, so that seems pretty cool.

As it happens, here we just got both bands playing their catalog small chunks at a time with pauses for cheering and DJed intros to type the crowd. In the end, The Dirty Heads, who must have brought a dedicated army of loathsome OC-bred white reggae fans to show, "won," impressively beating Dear in their own city. Kudos to them. Both bands got together on the Heads' stage to cover that Marley track and I cringed. Then I realized another dude in the band was wearing his own band's shirt. Oof.

Call me a homer, but I cannot believe DATH lost anything to these clowns, even an awkward battle of the bands sponsored by an energy drink.

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