July 22nd, 2010 | Live reviews

Dusty Rhodes & The River Band traveled all the way from Orange County to celebrate their new record at Spaceland. The self-titled, self-released album really pleases because it’s got soul, pays attention to storytelling, and is unpredictable enough to feel like a fresh piece of work. Live, the energy rushing at song peaks felt like invigorating shots at the bar or jumping into waterfalls. Dustin Apodaca has a knack for twirling and pointing his finger to the ceiling that shines only in born-to-be-showmans. He wore a sleeveless jacket, easily grabbing attention when he asked for it. At times, Apodaca’s voice was like a party balloon twisting itself into James Brown, backed by his bandmates harmonizing piously. The Band performed a good number of newbies, songs about drinking, traveling, sunshine, massacres and cults, exploring American roots music with a modern pop temperament. “Street Fighter Opus” feels like when Queen did the theme song for the Flash Gordon movie. Plenty of audience members looked bewildered and amused by this and the many turns appearing on the Dusty road, all the while soothed by Andrea Babinksi’s violin that the ship was sailing fine. The band’s upbeat songs, such as “All One” and “Get Out Alive” were the most exciting for perhaps simple reasons, such as smiling.

Daiana Feuer