TIGER ARMY – by liz ortega
Tiger Army – Its Time To Rock The Voids – Showcase Theater in Corona – July 7, 2000
Since their January release on Hellcat Records, Tiger Army has been nowhere to seen or heard. They played a show back in November of 99, but that was it! Boy, did this MIA stunt make their fans eager for some psychobilly madness! The anticipated Tiger Army invasion had finally arrived at the Showcase in Corona. First of all, let me dive into my usual rants about driving…Corona is a long ways from my hood (Long Beach), so I dont frequent all those cool Orange County clubs that everybody raves about. Hell, I wont even drive to the KB Club and its down the frigging street from my house! Another problem I have with these all ages venues is the fact that one cannot indulge in alcohol abuse. Especially at the Showcase, where sugary treats and slurpees galore are the drug of choice. Call me stupid, but candy is just as bad as alcohol, if not worse! Regardless of it all, I just couldnt miss seeing Nick 13 and his band tear it up!
I arrived just as the Voids were ending their set. Ive heard a few good things about this female fronted punk band and by the audiences reaction, one would say they are a lively bunch! I wish I couldve caught their entire set. Its Time To Rock took the stage shortly after and let me tell you-they were fucking amazing! I have never seen a band with so much adrenaline being pumped out of every guitar chord, bass line, and skin beat! The lead singer, who looked to be about 12 years old, was incredibly engulfed with his singing and his high antics were all the rage! This kid was all over the place on the floor, on the audience, on the railings, on the speakers, on his guitarist everywhere! They kind of reminded me of Seattles own punk rock misfits, The Dirty Looks. Their sound is fully loaded with rock and sleaze and the vocalist can definitely carry out some damaging wails! I was quite impressed with their stage presence and their energy. They really went all out for this show and displayed what most bands lack nowadays having fun! They were having the time of their lives on that stage and I they managed to hold the audiences full attention even the hard-core psychos that were there. I think Its Time To Rock live up to their name and they do it damn well!
After that entertaining set by Its Time To Rock, it was time to get Psycho! Nick 13 and crew took awhile to set their gear on stage, which had the eager audience in suspense! While merely doing sound check; the crowd roared and chanted Never Die over and over again! I could feel the intensity from wall to wall and I, too, began to get impatient. Finally, Nick 13 took the mic and belted out Tiger Army Never Die! The crowd full of rockabilly-greaser-psycho-punks went ape shit! It was a whirlwind of spikes, pompadours, and unified chants, along with a massive body entanglement! Nick 13 didnt have to be on that stage to sing his songs as the crowd was taking care of that duty for him! It was an absolutely amazing sight to see so many loyal fans of this psychobilly band exchange energy with Nick 13. They not only sang the songs, but it was like they knew every twang and slap before hand and they predicted which songs were next. Tiger Army played songs off their self-titled album like Nocturnal, True Romance, and the most erotic song on the album, Trance. The audience was extremely responsive, exploding into a frenzy every 5 minutes! However, there were some technical difficulties that made Tiger Armys sound a bit restrained. The vocals were way off and the guitar leads were distorted. Although I love the album, I wasnt all that impressed with their set. I would blame it on the shitty sound that night, but I saw them a second time in Los Angeles and the same thing happened. I know Nick 13 is perfectly capable of getting psycho on stage… I just dont know whats holding him back. If only the same mind-boggling effect that is heard on the album was incorporated into their live performances Tiger Army would penetrate any thick wall! This is a band that has the capacity of entrancing their audience which that was crystal clear at both gigs, but their music would really come to life if they let loose the psycho demons that lurk within.
Unfortunately, due to my long drive back home and the fact that I had to attend mass the next morning, I was unable to stay and witness the twisted sounds of The Nerve Agents. Overall, I thought the show was well worth the drive and perhaps when I see Tiger Army again, theyll blow my mind away and make me eat my words!