Wednesday March 18, The Putnam Den in Saratoga Springs held court for monumental night of rock music. Jesus Christ and the Hallucinogenic Allstars (JCHA) released their brand new EP, Cosmic Annihilation to an eager crowd, and even gave every single person in attendance a copy with the price of admission. Following a huge party holiday (St. Patricks Day), and being a middle of the week show, there was still a good amount of rabid fans to make the night memorable.
First up was Long Island’s own Dead Superstar. They have been up this way before, playing the den for one of JCHA’s rock residency showcases. They brought their brand of heavy bass and drum driven rock to the stage, belting out multiple songs before ever addressing the crowd. The guitarists changed up multiple instruments throughout their set and the band delivered gang vocals on most tunes. They had a lot to offer, but the musicality fell short on a few numbers, because of the almost convoluted feel through the songs. A parallel could be made to bands like Stone Temple Pilots and Fuel, but with sadly less cohesion and hooks. But, they managed to get the crowd primed and ready for the rest of the show. With more work and solid performances, this band will be one to watch for sure.
Bobaflex took the stage next, switching the lineup with JCHA before the show began. They fit very well in the middle slot, and came right out of the gate with a forceful performance. Another band with multiple guitars and gang vocals, this band showed exactly why they are considered one of the hardest working in rock and roll. Harkening back to the lavish metal of the late eighties and early nineties, this band brought everything they had, and the audience was completely impressed by the rock they were slinging. To everyone’s surprise, the singer and guitarist kept switching roles throughout the set, and then proceeded to have three guitars on stage for a hard rock version of Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence,” which had to be seen to be believed. They have shared the stage with Megadeath, and are slated to play with Linking Park, Rob Zombie and others at the Loudwire Music Festival later this year.
JCHA mythically appeared on stage amid smoke and later fire and immediately launched into an older tune, igniting the crowd. The three-piece was tighter than ever, and the work they put into this performance shined through. Dustin, the front man and bass player, took his libations from their onstage witch doctor Jake with beaming pride, surveying the crowd as the culmination of the bands efforts came to fruition. They launched into the five song EP with fevered energy, playing some of the songs at break neck speed, getting the crowd riled up with each song. Ross’s punishing drums coupled with Jon’s tasteful guitar licks resonated with fans, both die-hard and new. The Putnam Den brought their sonic A-game to this show, and each band was better for it. JCHA sounded like a huge arena rock act, especially flanked by their onstage light show, and that is thanks to an attentive sound engineer, and a great rock club.
For those who are looking for more JCHA, they are on a short tour of New York State following their release, and plan to hit the road farther down south this spring. As always, follow the Putnam Den in Saratoga for more show, as they are starting to get better and bigger acts thanks in part to JCHA and their residency there.