LIVE: The Fleshtones @ the Hangar on the Hudson, 11/4/17
Review and photographs by Ed Conway
Additional photographs by Tim Reidy
On a beautiful early November Saturday afternoon, the master garage rockers, The Fleshtones, stopped by the Hangar on the Hudson in Troy for a matinee. As always, they made their grand entrance to guitar and bass strains from the empty stage, thanks to the wireless system that guitarist Keith Streng and bassist Ken Fox use to full effect. If you’ve never seen one of their shows, be ready for a non-stop onslaught of loud, infectious garage rock. Once on stage with drummer Bill Milhizer settled into his office, Count Peter (aka, vocalist Peter Zaremba) lit into “Bigger and Better,” “Going Back to School” and “Feeling Good to Feel” in rapid fire succession.
In fact, this is the way the entire show was, as the band ran from song to song without hesitation. Stopping occasionally for the “Wheel of Talent,” whereby the four members would start spinning while Zaremba would choose either Streng or Fox for lead vocal duties to whip the crowd up.
Although the current line-up of the band has been together for more than 20 years – with Streng and Zaremba being together since the bands beginning in 1976 – there is an almost volcanic energy simmering below the surface that bursts out once they hit the stage. Fox and Streng are in constant motion, running around the stage and out into the audience, while Zaremba has firm control of the stage and takes his own forays into the crowd. Having so much experience, they really know how to build the audience into a wild frenzy so that by the time they get to their signature songs – such as “Teenage Zombie” and “Remember The Ramones,” nearing the end of their set – the crowd is shouting along with the band. Finishing off the main set were “My Kinda Lovin’,” “Alright” and “Ama Como Un Hombre.”
With a little encouragement from the crowd – okay, raucous encouragement from the crowd – The Fleshtones came back out for a three-song encore. Starting off with “I’m Not a Sissy” and finishing off with a parade through the crowd, they had the audience on their feet dancing. That’s something considering the grayish tint to the majority of the hairstyles.
Starting off the afternoon were local garage favorites Big Frank & the Bargain Bingers (Frank Novko, bass; Johnny Hoffman, guitar; and Bob Resnick, drums) and the Va Va Voodoos. Each of whom built perfectly for the madness to follow.
All in all, it was another great show presented by 106.1-FM, The X’s Artie Fredette. Let’s keep ’em coming…