The Deludes, Solid Donkey, Whiskey Bitch

Plush, Saturday, June 4

The first time I saw Whiskey Bitch, at the Rialto Theatre a couple years back, their crazy-metal antics and balls-to-the-wall stage show left my jaw snuggling with the concrete floor. Spend too much time locked in the closet with indie rock, and you forget music like this exists--it's good to be reminded. Sadly, Wendy Gadzuk, Whiskey Bitch's boots-and-fishnet-wearing guitar player, and Justin, the bass player, are skipping town for better-paying gigs, and their show at Plush Saturday night was their next-to-last show in Tucson (they're playing this Saturday, June 11, at Che's Lounge, 350 N. Fourth Ave.).

The Deludes took the stage first, and a couple years of playing together has only made the trio tighter, louder and more energetic; they're like the Stones, with more hair. Solid Donkey, another local three-piece, played a bass-heavy segue into the more metal part of the evening.

As the crowd gathered around the stage after Solid Donkey's set, ready for things to get even louder, several black-draped women sauntered through the crowd. The house music went up, and they began belly dancing in front of the stage. "This is erotic," a guy behind me said to his friend; it's not every day you see belly dancing to a mix of metal and modern Arabic songs.

And then Whiskey Bitch turned up the wicked. Many of their songs have the word "rock" or the phrase "rock 'n' roll" in them somewhere, and so, rock they must. Whiskey Bitch manages to pack two guitars (both played expertly), drums, bass, vocals and girls who dance while they drink all on one stage, and no one ever spills a drink. They blasted through a set and an encore, and had a good half of the audience making the devil sign with their hands, pumping their fists in the air to the beat, and screaming for more. You have to seriously rock in order to make adults do that kind of thing.

Hopefully, the band will play the occasional reunion show when Wendy and Justin visit, and everyone, indie rock kids included, can let their inner sleaze-metalhead out to dance with the devil.