Storm Large & The Hellfire Antisocial Club
Wednesdays, 10 pm, free
Dante's, 1 SW 3rd, 226-6630
Some Wednesday night, as you find yourself trolling around Burnside to and fro between the bars and clubs, you might catch a glimpse of Dante's new secret weapon. A tall, striking woman flops melodramatically around the stage in an afro wig, singing into space with wide, demented eyes. Then she lurches into a wail with arms flailing, face knotted. She is impossible not to watch. You're turned on and a little frightened, but it's absolutely imperative that you go inside.
Her name is Storm Large, and if you're not knocked out by her appearance--whether dolled up or in drag--her voice will have you kissing the floor. Soaring and flawless, or throaty and grumbling, she plays her vocal cords as simply as bouncing a ball. It's all over the place, but absolutely under her control, and it never fails her.
Storm moved from San Francisco less than six months ago, leaving her band of ten years, and scored a weekly spot at Dante's. She and her band redo punk and metal songs as lounge numbers, which could be murky territory--but as it turns out? They're brilliant.
Not that the show is a must-see for visiting grandparents, unless they're particularly strong of heart. Storm pitches around the stage as a character she describes as a "drunk, battered, showgirl hottie." She also spits lewd fire, verbally abusing her band and the audience, and then suddenly swaps this personality for a demurely confused, purring guise.
The band tries to have at least one new song every week, but they also have covers which have become crowd favorites. Bad Brains' "Sacred Love," Soundgarden's "Mind Riot," and a rumba version of "Anarchy In the U.K."--sung in Spanish--are a few examples from their torching set. As a weekly event with no cover, this is without a doubt the best deal in town. Her onstage banter is so riotous and theatrical that it's almost like seeing two shows in one. This is too good to last forever, so check it out, biznatch, before someone does something idiotic like writing about it in a weekly newspaper for the whole world to see. MARJORIE SKINNER