Friday night April 10, 2015 at the Point Casino in Kingston, the northwest’s own Malfunkshun took the stage for their hometown birthday show. My 21 year old hard-rocking, metal-loving stepson accompanied me and since he hadn’t heard of either band, I thought it would be interesting to hear his thoughts. I am happy to report we, along with what looked like the rest of the crowd, were not to be disappointed.
The evening started with a really raw sounding acoustic performance by Mos Generator members Tony Reed and Sean Booth. I love it when musicians can strip it all down to the basics and still rock it, which they did beautifully. I can’t wait to check them out again soon when they are all plugged in.
Next up came the night’s headliners and Love Rock originators Malfunkshun. Sounding fast and furious right from the beginning with founding brother and guitarist Kevin Wood playing the guitar with a lightning speed. He played with skilled precision that can only be gained from natural talent combined with the confidence attained from years of experience honing your craft. On bass, which is such a strong part of Malfunkshun’s signature sound, Frank Scimeca did a great job . They also have a young up and coming talented drummer in Miles Freeborn who plays well.
For many in the hometown crowd, myself included who were blessed to have known Andy(Andrew Wood, founding brother, lead vocalist and bassist until 1988) or been a fan of his music, I think we would still find it important that the way his music is performed is true to what Andy created. Not just any vocalist could pull it off convincingly and yet still be completely true to their own voice and talent. I’m to report that Jeff Stark did a remarkable job of doing just that. He has a clear, strong, rocking voice that resonates in the way he can carry his notes. His voice is reminiscent of a classic arena rock sound but he definitely knows how to add the edginess to his voice exactly on cue. – If there were any doubters at the start of the show regarding his ability as frontman for Malfunkshun, he quickly dismissed them by the time the band played their first few songs and judging by the crowd, they must have been convinced because they were completely into it.
The set list included many Malfunkshun and Mother Love Bone classics.They energetically started the evening with Malfunkshun’s originals, “Love Child” and “My Only Fan” and a few others before shifting gears. Once the crowd was fully energized and into the love rock spirit, they transitioned into some Mother Love Bone favorites like “Shangrila” , “Crown of Thorns” and “Holy Roller”. At one point in the show Kevin[Wood] debuted a killer song he has been working on for a long time titled “Cautionary Tales”. You could hear immediately why it had taken so long to create, as the difficulty and speed of the guitar playing in the song is incredible all by itself but when the song is heard all-together it’s a hard , love rocking, soon to be classic Malfunkshun tune.
To bring the night to a close the band performed the classic heavy metal rocking cover “Hold Your Head Up” by Argent. Then, as a surprise to an already awesome show and a perfect way to end the evening, Kevin was joined by former Fire Ants member bassist and current Supercult member Rob Day(also played in Malfunkshun) on vocals and bass along with original Nirvana drummer and current Before Cars member Chad Channing for the final song of the evening. It was an epic performance of “With Yo’ Heart (Not Yo’ Hands)”.
Judging by the mood of the crowd people really enjoyed themselves. Malfunkshun is planning to play more shows here in the northwest probably this summer, so if you get the chance we recommend you get out there and check them out. Love Rock appeals to multiple generations so bring the family if you can, and stay tuned to Northwest Music Scene. We will keep you up to date with all the info for future shows.
My Only Fan
I Wanna Be Yo daddy
Man of Golden Words
Crown of Thorns
Goodbye Just in Case
Hold Your Head Up
With Yo’ Heart (Not Yo’ Hands)
Photos and review by Tara Wood