Milwaukee folk-punk rockers Violent Femmes stopped by the quaint Buckhead Theater in Atlanta for their “We Can Do Anything Tour”. Formed back in 1980 by bassist Brian Ritchie & percussionist Victor DeLorenzo, the Femmes were soon joined by lead vocalist and guitarist Gordon Gano. The band’s history includes nine albums and over 10 millions records sold – with two sabbaticals thrown in. After their most recent break lasting 16 years, their LP “We Can Do Anything” was released at the beginning of 2016.
The sold out venue was delightfully entertained by opening act Angelica Garcia, a promising young musician embarking on her first tour. For 30 minutes Garcia had the crowd warmed over with her powerful voice and pitch perfect notes and around 9:15PM, the Femmes came onstage. Ritchie and Gano are the only remaining original members of Femme and they’re received by loud cheers and plenty of wolf whistles from their female fans.
Photos by Andres Alvarado
The show starts off with the Femmes popular track “Blister in the Sun”, a melody that united the audience in a frenzied sing along. From that point, Gano and company go on to play many hit tracks from their new album, including “I Could Be Anything” and “Memory”. However, the highlights of the show are the bizarre array of instruments the performers play.
From the somewhat mundane acoustic bass, banjo, fiddle, to the somewhat rarer sub-contrabass saxophone, xylophone, mandolin, and even a shakuhachi (which some may recognize if they regularly frequent spas as the bamboo flute’s ambient sounds serenade you). They rounded off the performance with their hit songs like “Kiss Off”, “American Music” and “Add It Up.” When all is said and done, you have a worthwhile show that left all in attendance nodding their heads and tapping their feet.
To summarize, while the Violent Femmes are mostly known for their 80’s alternative hits and dramatic break ups… They play a plethora of instruments live, have sold over 10 million records, and still sell out venues despite a 16 year hiatus between albums. It’s no wonder their latest album and tour were aptly named “We Can Do Anything”.