Concert Review: Stonefox Reunites at Poor House Saturday, May 1

Photo by Ian Witlen
Stonefox: Let's break something together
With Alexander, Green Mantles and Astari Nite
The Poor House, Fort Lauderdale
Saturday, May 1, 2010

View a slideshow from the concert here.

What follows is an actual online chat, more or less, between New Times Broward-Palm Beach Music Editor Reed Fischer, and regular contributor and Mood Vane Editrix Courtney Hambright regarding Saturday evening's Stonefox performance.

New Times: So Courtney, I really enjoyed the three-piece relaunch of StoneFox. They

seemed really prepared for the show. How did it compare to their

farewell show in terms of the intensity level?

Courtney Hambright:
Interesting observation, Reed. I definitely got the same impression; it

seemed like the Stonefox boys had put in a good deal of rehearsal time

to get back up to speed after three months off. That being said, the

pace, especially in the early part of the set, was much slower than the

old Stonefox. The band's farewell show at 1921 in January was a constant

forceful blast of their blues-heavy, dirty rock 'n' roll sound. I think

that this show, song for song, was a lot more spacious. In the last few

songs, we got a good solid dose of Stonefox's typical sound followed by

their usual instrument-destroying antics and frontman Jordan damn near

breaking his neck.

I dig. You told me after the show that there were a lot of new numbers

mixed in. I recognized a handful of the songs, but it's exciting to

think about a band that was considered dead to the local scene already

coming back playing not only its old songs well, but adding so much to

the reportoire. Loosely, how much new stuff figured in?

It's been a while since I've listened to either of Stonefox's albums,

its first Dead in the Sun or its second Back on the Wire, which has

nothing to do with their quality but rather, as anyone who's ever ridden

in my car can attest, the sorry condition in which I keep my CD

collection. But I would say that I heard at least two new songs at the

show. I spoke with frontman Jordan Cruz after the show about it. He said

that, yes, there was new material in the set, but that the band also

played some of its old songs that they weren't playing very often at

shows before they broke up. So, it was a mix, but I would say that at

least half of the set was made up of material that you didn't hear too

often at previous shows. So, it was a different experience. Hey Reed, is

this a one-way Q&A?

Ask me anything, Courtney. I think that it's refreshing that they're

doing new material and less-played stuff. Obviously everyone will

compare the "old" with the "new" when there's a break, a lineup change,

and some geographical factors at play. Just some visuals that stood out

for me were: Jordan's striped pants, and Jeff Rose's pink shades (those

got lost at some point, no?).

Jordan's striped pants were pretty bold, weren't they? I haven't seen

those before. Maybe he picked them up during his time in New York. They

were tight as all hell, which makes them Stonefox-appropriate gear


The look seems very important for them.

I think the look is important for the band. It's typical that each of

them will have a standout style element, especially at the beginning of

the night. Dave's huge fro is classic.

Yeah. I'm assuming that 'fro has been around for a while. So,

realistically, we have to wait and see if this new configuration sticks

-- if the fire is still there. I really hope so, because it makes for a

story to accompany the music.

You see a lot of bands that try to put on an aesthetic that they can't

pull off, but with Stonefox I think it's a little different. I get the

impression their style comes from an excess of energy and excitement

about what they're gonna do onstage. I think that they feed off of each

other. You can tell when they play that they're synchronized on a deeper

level than a lot of bands. There were no Craigslist ads in the

formation process. You could sense a huge heartbreak at their final show

and a great deal of joy to be reunited last night. In my opinion,

they'll be together for a good long while.

Jordan asked me about my impressions of the show after... and I sorta

turned the question on him. He placed his satisfaction-level between

"fair" and "really great," which is a decent margin to work with. I

would put it closer to "really good." I think the sort of "dirty retro

blues glam rock" think that they do is tough, but they pull it off. If

you aren't careful, you can end up sounding like Jet, and who the hell

wants more of that?

Haha. You've been around the musical block more than most of us. We're

isolated down here on the tip of a very long peninsula, so maybe we fall

in love easily. You came into town in time to see the resurgence of a

celebrated local band, but the hype about Stonefox has only been loud

for about a year. I thought the audience was pretty kicking though.

Chanting "Stonefox" and what not. I've never seen that from a SoFla

audience at a local show. Don't know if you've seen that in your time


What a great setup for this question, Courtney! Who would be an great

tour pairing for StoneFox? My votes would be one of those Jack White or

Josh Homme bands. But maybe they could hit it with like a Brit-rock act

too... hmmm.

I agree that Jack White would be a good pairing. I think that Stonefox

could win some favor with a Black Keys audience. Locally, there are few

things crazier than a Freakin Hott'-Stonefox bill.

Black Keys is a good call. Especially because they had NO opener last

time they were here.

That's ridiculous! Did you go? I can't believe I didn't go. My wallet's

still recovering from Christmas. I was going to say Dead Meadow, but I

think it's too slow.

On a similar note, I know that some major labels have expressed

interest, but Fat Possum would be a great home for a band like StoneFox.

Such a great creative stable right now. That's where Black Keys were

for their best albums.

That makes sense. I really do think they're ripe for that. It's not that

I have any personal love for Stonefox over other local bands that makes

me think they will ultimately get scooped up. It's that Jordan is such a

freaking animal in the sense that he's constantly talking about the

band and has this -- and I really don't mean this the way it sounds -- Kanye

West-caliber confidence about it all, and Dave and Jeff are so

competent and seem to be 100 percent on board. Plus, they're ballpark, 23 years old, which

means they've got plenty of years for trial and error. Add that. What's the word count?

Oh, we've got plenty.

All right. It was fun. I like the immediacy. I've actually had my chat

turned off for months so that people would stop writing me crap like

"OMG, can you believe it's almost Friday?"

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Reed Fischer
Contact: Reed Fischer