by Dan Gibson
One thing I really appreciate about the Rialto is that you get some strange back-to-back-nights show combos there...one night it might be a flamenco-inspired guitar act, the next, the Insane Clown Posse. They just book acts people might want to see and people in Tucson tend to want to see interesting stuff.
Tonight, you get one of those weird genre collisions on the same night, as Buckwheat Zydeco plays the early show and Easy Star All Stars play the late show (and if you want, you can see both shows for one ticket price).
An interesting double-bill of sorts at the Rialto on Thursday, Sept. 25 with two shows on the same night—Louisana legend Buckwheat Zydeco at 6 p.m. and reggae cover artists Easy Star All Stars performing later that evening. If you enjoy fun, you'd probably be into Buckwheat Zydeco who has been playing music for an exceptionally long time, but focusing on the accordion in the late '70s. Zydeco is about the most danceable music out there, so expect to see a lot of people shuffling around the Rialto's floor.
Easy Star All Stars is something else entirely, a reggae band largely created to create covers of popular albums in the Jamaican style, most recently a take on Michael Jackson's "Thriller," but probably most famously their album "Dub Side of the Moon," which they'll perform at the Rialto front-to-back. It sounds a little cheesy (especially considering there are a ton of third-rate "[Fill in genre here] tribute to [popular band] albums out there), but the band's legit and even deeply cynical music critic types have generally agreed that the Easy Star takes hold up on their own. For what it's worth, their version of Radiohead's "Let Down," featuring Toots of the Maytals is one of my favorite covers ever.
Opening for Easy Star, Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, who have an incredibly ridiculous name, but play a really interesting take on contemporary reggae with a good chunk of jam band culture thrown in. My general beef with these sort of bands is that there are barely songs there underneath the jamming and aesthetic, but GPGDS's songwriting holds up, especially on their new material from the album, "Steady," coming out at the end of the month.
You can get just a ticket for the Easy Star show ($15), but for $24, you can see Buckwheat as well. Hell of a deal. More info at rialtotheatre.com.