1/16/12…Bear Suit Sucker Punch/Save The Swim Team @ Frontier Bar

Frontier Bar

Frontier Bar

As I drove up the street looking for the bar, I thought to myself, ‘am I in the right place??’  It looked like a residential neighborhood.  Then I saw a couple other bars, so I figured I was in the right place.  This bar is on the East Side of Austin, which I haven’t frequented much yet.  But, after coming here, I definitely will. The vibe of this area reminds me of the Lower East Side of NYC, which is a good thing.  When I walked in and took a peek around, I could tell I would like this place.  It’s one room with a long bar, tables scattered throughout the floor, and a stage.  Very minimal and very divey, but not dirty.  They did have a back area for the bands and an outside patio with picnic benches and another small bar.  I loved the red walls and the papier-mache batman on the wall behind the bar.  There was a merch table set up for The Beat Dolls and also a bunch of games and a jukebox in this merch area.  Bear Suit Sucker Punch was already on stage playing when I first arrived.  They were a 3 piece punk band with a guitarist/vocalist, bassist/vocalist (Mr. Tippy Toes), and a drummer.  Every time the bassist sang he would move up and down on his tiptoes, hence the nickname.  Apparently they were rockin’ out covers, but since I didn’t recognize the songs, it didn’t really make a difference to me.  I only got to see a few songs, so my only real impression was,’yeah it’s good to hear some punk music in Austin’.  I stuck around for the next band, which I originally thought was gonna be The Beat Dolls, but it turned out to be Save The Swim Team.  They’re a band from Cali.  They were on Day 7 of a ’10 shows in 10 days’ tour.  CRAZY!  When I saw one of the band members bust out his trombone, I knew they were gonna be playing ska.  I’m not a big fan of ska, but I have to give it to these guys.  They were doing original music and they gave it their all.  They’re a 7 piece band and they all had their unique way of performing.  The trombonist was jamming, the saxophonist was dancing around, the lead singer and spokesman gave 100%, the guitarist (the growler) was jumping up and down, and the bassist (Mr. Tippy Toes II) was up and down on his toes too.  The only guy that was low energy was their second guitarist who was kinda hiding behind the horns.  Oh, and let’s not forget their phenomenal drummer…he was banging out that beat!!  The lead line of guys (trombone, sax, guitar, bass) also contributed to backing vocals.  The one thing I didn’t really get about this band was the metal growling they would throw in to the backing vocals.  I’ve never heard that in ska before, and granted it was different, but I didn’t care for it.  On their second to last song, a song they hadn’t done in a long time, the lead singer prefaced the song with “This song’s about my dead dad and my mother whose a piece of shit.”  Nice…and it was pretty good! lol  They also threw in a ska-ified cover of “Chop Suey” by System Of A Down.  That was pretty weird!  I wish I had the chance to see The Beat Dolls, but I left before they went on.  I would like to check ‘em out some other time.  Overall, I dug Frontier Bar and, no doubt,  I will go back.


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