Arts & Entertainment, Events, The Muse

Dangerous weapons

From the moment the first three members of the Semi Precious Weapons climbed on stage at the Paradise Rock Club Tuesday night, it was clear that the mid-week crowd in attendance was about to get a little more than it anticipated. But to expect anything less than gritty, glitzy, garage-glam rock “n’ roll from the Weapons is a mistake people only ever make once.
Bassist and guitarist Cole Whittle and Stevy Pine threw themselves into the music with a violent and genuine disregard for their own personal safety and the safety of the structure surrounding them. Drummer Dan Crean leered around the stage masterfully, smirking as if he owned the beat itself &-&- which he did. The moment the first notes of their self-titled song “Semi Precious Weapons” roared from the amps, Pine and Whittle pitched themselves into an enthusiastic head-on collision with the music and, several times, narrowly avoided actual collisions with everything ranging from the stage, their equipment, an understandably wary-looking crew member and, most often, each other.
By the time the band’s front man Justin Tranter ascended to the stage in a white mesh mini dress, ripped fishnets, impossibly high heeled gold glitter boots and not much else &-&- with a bottle of Jack Daniels swinging from his hand so smoothly that Ke$ha herself would have surrendered the bottle she uses for dental hygiene on the spot out of respect for a superior presence &-&- the three other members had worked themselves into a frenzy. Some of the skeptics in the audience might have doubted the band’s ability to maintain such an intense presence for more than a few minutes. But the Weapons didn’t disappoint.
As the song ended, Tranter stepped to the edge of the stage, balancing on mile-long legs (so toned that upon seeing them, even Gwyneth Paltrow might consider hitting the gym a little harder) and let the audience, and the rest of Boston, know exactly who it was that had just gotten their attention.
“We . . . are the Semi Precious Weapons from New York City,” he roared into the microphone. “And our job on this Tuesday night is to get all you Massachusetts [people] laid!”
With that, the band launched into its set of blazing and rough glam rock, and the stage exploded like a supernova of energy. Whittle and Pine continued their epic battle of guitar versus bass, while Crean watched over the artful chaos from his perch above his crazed band mates.
As for Tranter, he commanded the stage, thrusting his mic at the audience, drenching them in champagne from a bottle bearing his own face, writhing half-naked on center stage as he performed possibly the most sexualized and public costume change ever in the history of music, gasping as he poured the intensity of a final performance into every single song.
Despite Tranter’s mid-show declaration that “Rock “n’ roll has been dead for a very long time,” it might just be that the Semi Precious Weapons are what rock “n’ roll has been missing. All those old sold-out, has-been rockers need a taste of this medicine, like a kind of Pulp Fiction-esque adrenaline shot to the heart, courtesy of the Weapons. Cynics might say rock is dead, but the Semi Precious Weapons were playing with the volume and intensity to wake whatever dead rock deities need resurrecting
“I don’t care that it’s Tuesday, Boston,” Tranter screamed, as the music swelled behind him. “We’re gonna party like it’s Saturday night at 3 a.m.!”
As the crowd shrieked its approval back to him, Tranter exploded to his full height: “Now that’s the applause I expect to hear after feeding champagne to minors and changing my entire outfit on stage!” he roared.
But Tranter’s secret isn’t that he expects to hear that applause after such a performance. He expects it for simply living his life. That attitude, and the band’s take-no-prisoners, shoot-the-messenger rock rage infused with glamour, is exactly why the Semi Precious Weapons might just be rock’s last great new hope.

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