Dexter Freebish knew no demographical boundaries when they warmed up a considerably chilly Everlast crowd Friday night at Saint Andrews Hall in Detroit. Despite this improbable pairing with Everlast, Dexter Freebish proved that they can perform to and entertain a group that more than likely was not their ideal target audience.
At present, Dexter Freebish are still somewhat unknown to the common rock music fan however, they are slowly but surely making a name for themselves on the pop/mainstream rock front. The 1998 winners of the prestigious John Lennon Songwriting Award for their first single “Leaving Town” have been enjoying heavy airplay on modern rock and pop radio stations alike. Meanwhile, they have recently embarked on their third tour in less than a year, bringing them to venues all over the United States.
To open their set, “The Freeb” kicked it off with an up-tempo number entitled “What Do You See?” from their 2000 debut album, A Life of Saturdays. At first, the crowd was slightly apathetic yet about halfway into the song, the mass gradually began to congregate around the stage, and by the time the band began the second jam, “Higher,” an attentive throng was rocking out along with them. “Higher,” a vague ode to Dishwalla”s “Counting Blue Cars,” was followed by a brief, yet introspective soliloquy from lead singer Rob Kyle explaining the story behind the third song, “Spotlight,” which, coincidentally, describes the struggles of being (almost) famous.
After Spotlight, Dexter Freebish launched into a short, but engaging instrumental interlude. Throughout the wailing guitar solo, a faint reference to The Edge”s famous riff in U2″s “Bullet the Blue Sky” could be detected, solidifying their numerous claims that U2 are one of their biggest influences when writing songs. Definitely a highlight.
The instrumental interlude led to a rousing rendition of “Falling Down,” an up-tempo, guitar-driven jam that has catchy written all over it. As the crowd energy elevated, The Freeb busted into their fifth song of the set, “Pretty People.” The tune features a lyric regarding “pinches on the ass,” which got an extremely favorable response from the ladies in the house. As a matter of fact, during the entire set, Dexter Freebish seemed to accumulate a considerable amount of female fans, judging b the shrillness of the appreciative screams following every song. And this was at an Everlast show!
The sixth and second to last number of the night was the award-winning, familiar tune that is presently enjoying considerable radio airplay, “Leaving Town.” After a very Tom Cochrane, “Life is a Highway”-reminiscent opening riff, Dexter Freebish treated the ardent crowd to a tight live version of the nostalgia-laden, wistful jam. This is the song that will separate Dexter Freebish from all other mainstream pop rockers out there. Its sharp, yet melancholy delivery, clever lyrics and overall “singability” are the basic blueprint for a hit in both the pop and modern rock genres.
The Freeb rounded out their seven song set with a crowd-pleasing performance of sing-along anthem, “Wonderland.” After a final heartfelt thank you to the audience, Dexter Freebish headed into the crowd to sign autographs and chat with the fans, proving that promotion work doesn”t end with a successful stage show.
Everlast took the stage soon thereafter, only to have their show violently interrupted and cut short by fellow rapper and nemesis Eminem”s posse, D-12.