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Full disclosure: Sunday night’s event at the State Theater was supposed to begin with a showing of silly movies that I had something to do with long ago. That did not happen. Apparently, computers failed. (Surprise!) Judging by all the people who recognized me (none), I can safely say that the evening’s draw was in fact rockabilly king Robert Gordon, along with rockabilly prince Billy Hancock, guitar ace Eddie Angel, and an all-star collection of D.C. backing musicians.
The show was produced by Music on the Rise, a nonprofit aimed at promoting D.C.’s “singular roots rock sound.” If there is such a singular sound, this lineup captured it nicely. The opening act was the Hall Monitors, a fresh young D.C. quartet which in recordings achieve a startlingly accurate ’60s garage sound, in the melodic Standells/Yardbirds style. But live, songs such as “Be Your Man” and “Give You All My Love” are as loud, fast, and raw as anything the Ramones put out. Wowsville! The Monitors were joined by Angel, who performed the snappy instrumental “University Boulevard” (Angel lived here in the ’80s as part of Tex Rubinowitz‘s band), and cuts such as “Buzz Buzz a Diddle-It” from his sterling concept album, Eddie Angel Meets the Beatles.