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Diarrhea Planet, Music Band and Left & Right @ The Barbary.

June 4, 2014

DP2Text and images by Brendan Menapace.

Remember Bill and Ted’s band Wyld Stallyns? The two-lead guitar band with constant Van Halen-like shredding that eventually became the basis of future society? With four lead guitarists, all of whom can spew out ripping solos, and one of the most energetic and fun live shows out there, Diarrhea Planet makes them sound like gentle folk music.

Spending too much time focusing on their unorthodox name only takes away from valuable time that could be used to describe their actual musical ability.

The Nashville sextet packed the small stage at The Barbary on Monday with their four guitars, bass and drums. They had support from their fellow Nashvillers Music Band as well as Left and Right.

The four guitarists lined up in the front, forming a wall between the crowd and the rhythm section. They opened their set with a fast-paced pounding intro to “Separations,” the second track off their latest LP, 2013’s I’m Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams.

They kept a good mix of both newer and older, playing multiple songs off of their first full-length, Loose Jewels, including “Raft Nasty” and “Juggernaut!” After a few crowd-pleasers, the vocalist and one fourth of the guitar arsenal, Jordan Smith, announced that the next song would be a new one. At some concerts, this is a dreaded sentence, but The Barbary crowd ate it up, bouncing with the wall of sound made from four guitars and the shrieking garage-punk vocals of Smith. They played another new song later in the set. Though the new album hasn’t been formally announced yet, what little insight we could get at the show gave the impression that it wouldn’t be too different than the sound DP fans are accustomed to.

Conditions for the show weren’t ideal for Smith, who made a few announcements to the crowd. The first was that he unfortunately had to cut his favorite show pants into shorts. Just before show time, he disappeared to the band’s Sprinter and emerged with his pants cut a few inches above the knee, revealing a few tattoos.

The second factor was that Smith has gone six days without smoking a cigarette, he used this as an introduction to the song “Cigarettes,” during which Smith yelled the chorus, “Can you give me one more cigarette?”

Rather than making him antsy or off of his game, the lack of nicotine didn’t keep Smith from anything. He was still as energetic as ever, ruthlessly picking at his strings, hopping all around the stage, and soloing from his knees.

In the spirit of shows like “Storytellers,” Smith gave brief little descriptions of what songs were about, usually by quickly popping up to the microphone and saying, “this song’s about dying, and coming back as an egg, or a chicken…or a rooster” or “this songs about going on a sweet date!”

The descriptions were said hastily, and the group sprung back into bouncing, strumming, and tapping on the fret boards.

The show closed with a few seconds of silence after their old fan favorite, “Ghost with a Boner,” and a few fans started spouting off requests. Smith turned back into the microphone.

“Hey! We have time for one more song! So I’m going to spin around, you all count to ten, and then I’m gonna point. I’m gonna point with my guitar, actually. That’s way more DP. And whoever I pick gets to pick the last song.”

He spun, we counted, and on 10 pointed the headstock of his guitar to someone to the left. A few people in the vicinity yelled song names.

“I believe we’ve reached a consensus,” Smith said. “It’s ‘Warm Ridin!’”

The level of depth and volume that the six-piece produces are matched only by their energy and stage presence. It’s a safe bet that if you look at all of them at once, one of the guitarists is on the upper frets, fingers flying. Gang-vocals and heavy guitar hooks and solos make it unlike any concert experience most people have seen. It’s loud. It’s impressive. It’s fun.

They have quite a name, but if they haven’t completely outgrown the initial shock of that name, they will soon. They’ve been on the major festival circuit for a bit now, and with a new album in the works and a growing fan base, Diarrhea Planet could just become one of the biggest names in music.

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