The Memory Pain/ Jiggs Tavern/ March 24, 2007/Butler, NJ

Filed under: Live Music — doktorjohn March 24, 2007 @ 2:07 am

   A really accomplished cover band is a unique pleasure. Sure, we all respect creative and innovative rock music writers and composers. But lets face it. Aren’t 99.99% of them beating their heads against a wall for their entire careers? The time spent mastering their craft, the investment in instruments, equipment and recording costs are rarely if ever recovered. The fact is that most attendees at live music performances would rather pay to hear the songs they love and remember performed live rather than try to fathom whether or not they are listening to the next, yet-to-be-discovered Nirvana.

   Well, The Memory Pain is comprised of five guys who have put in the time and paid their dues contributing to and performing with highly acclaimed, highly creative original-music bands that never got signed to a label. Their love of the music that they grew up with remains undiminished. And let’s face it. The years of practice they put in, and their natural talents are assets that have to be expressed.

 These are really accomplished performers. Frontman Fred Hays has the talent and vocal range that enable him to re-animate such cherished entries as “I’ll Melt With You,” “You’re All I’ve Got Tonight”— even “Mystery Achievement.” The virtuoso accompanists and sometimes-vocalists including Byron on drums, Dan on bass, Jason on guitar and Doug on keyboards somehow replicate enough of the arrangements to match the sound of the originals with the added pleasure and spontaneity of a live-and-in-person feel.

   Nothing is more entertaining, really, than an evening of our favorite songs performed with astounding mastery and energetic intensity that a group like this can bring to the music we all have known and loved throughout our years. And do they give you your money’s worth! For three hours, with a short intermission break, The Memory Pain pours forth lovingly crafted, respectful versions of the best from the 70s, 80s and 90s.

   This was the second time I witnessed one of their marathon sets, and I really can’t think of a better way for a fan with a healthy knowledge of rock music history to spend an evening. The Memory Pain’s ever-expanding repertoire will please and satisfy anyone who has an interest in the musical history of the last quarter of the 20th Century. And those who are nostalgic for the passion that they felt when they first experienced New Wave, Goth, and Alternative, will find it to be “Just Like Heaven”