Freakin' Weekend: Davila 666, Turbo Fruits, Natural Child, Denney and the Jets & Cannomen at Springwater, 3/6/11



We knew from the beginning the Freaky-Deaky Weekend 2 was going to be one overflowing venue after another, and Sunday night's finale at Springwater was no exception.

Youngsters and mature audiences alike crowded the Supper Club and watched as Chris Denney and his Jets nursed the audience's collective weekend hangover with their personal brand of rock ’n' roll, delivering humanist songs about abusing pain pills, beating up wives and simply being a killing machine because the devil told him to do so. The mellow-then-insistent guitar-driven jams reignited fires in hearts, and the beats commanded every body to move. Their grassroots style was apparent in every detail, down to the merchandise, hand-painted by Denney's wife, and featuring a stencil of a Native American over blue and red spray paint.

After D and the Js, Cannomen seized the stage, grabbing their instruments with the eagerness of children, determined to display their hardcore punk mentalities matched only by their vigor for surfish punk rock. But in truth, they had nothing to prove. Everyone in Nashville already knows Cannomen are the best at what they do, taking their cues from GG King and the like to create a hard and fast mind-meld of dirty attitude. Everyone knows, that is, except them. The Cannoboys really seem to be totally oblivious to this, and that's part of their charm.

By the time Natural Child was up, the Supper Club was at capacity, and we weren't inclined to wade through the masses — we were mostly there to see Davila 666, to be sure. When the Puerto Rican band had finished preparing — borrowing Turbo Fruits' drum kit among other things — the showroom was vibrating with anticipation. It had been two years since the last time the band toured through Nashville and we're all indebted to Nashville's Dead for bringing them back. (Twice, this time — they had finished up a stirring and searingly loud set at Third Man Records just a few hours before.) From the first note, heads were nodding in super-agreement with their take on punchy ’60s beats, psych nuances and raw rock ’n' roll. They amped up their own single "Basura" before ripping through an nearly undiscernable rendition of "Hanging on the Telephone" by The Nerves. It's no wonder people call them "Menudo on drugs."

While we were chatting with the singer after the show, he would ask that we call the band "sweaty," which admittedly does sum up their show, more or less, but we think his own description in a Paste interview is a much better one: To them, Davila 666 is "music to make sad lowlifes happy," and we must agree. Their fuzzy hooks and spooky tones, increasingly apparent on their just-released EP Tan Bajo (or "So Low"), make for the kind of creepy comfort we desire when feeling like a sad lowlife (also when the Davilas are sweating before us).

As for Turbo Fruits, the closers didn't surprise us the way they did back at Next Big Nashville, but we think everyone was sort of tuckered out after being emotionally assaulted by Davila 666. "Volcano" was undoubtedly the biggest sing-along of the evening, and their cover of The Undertones' "Teenage Kicks" was an endearing tribute to creepy music (creepy in a perverted old man way), and everyone left satisfied. This Freakin' Weekend was proof that, due to an impenetrable brotherhood bound together by the sinew of punk gods before us, Nashville's music scene is anything but dead.

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