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Taking a less angry approach

The Von Bondies
The Cactus Club
Milwaukee, WI
Nov. 14, 2007
The Von Bondies The Von Bondies

Story by Andrea Jenels
File Photos by Phil Bonyata

With a long hiatus from touring and no new press, fans weren't exactly sure what to expect from The Von Bondies on Wednesday night. The bar was buzzing with a wonderous anticipation as people packed into The Cactus Club to see the long awaited return of the Detroit based garage/rock band. With divorces, past dramas, and loss of members now behind them, The Von Bondies are starting fresh with a conviction that is rare in a world dominated by self-proclaimed musicians now saturating the Internet.

The band ended their mini self-funded tour to an enthusiastic crowd. The heart pumping 45 minute set proved to be harmonious and well pitched. With new additions Matt Lannoo (rhythm guitar), Alicia Gbur (keyboard and vocals), and Leanne Banks (bass and vocals) joining alums Jason Stollsteimer (lead guitar, lead vocals) and Don Blum (drums), the band has reformatted their style into a more inviting sound. With a twinge of melodic pop underlying their habitual rustic guitar riffs The Von Bondies are taking a less angry approach and focusing on more playful melodies.

Stollsteimer's voice was seductive as ever as he caterwauled his way through the set. He seemingly has learned at least one thing over their three-year breather, control. While the band cruised through some favorites from their last album, the new material introduced on stage gave fans a rare look into the future direction of their music. With Don Blum giving his prodigious performance on drums, the rhythm was anything but leisurely. Alicia and Leanne stayed harmoniously intact on vocals while the onslaught of the three rhythm guitars managed to avoid becoming entangled. The music was well received by the fervent audience proving that The Von Bondies have the staying power. They will be releasing their new record Love, Hate and Then There's You on Sire Records in early 2008.

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