The Bottle Rockets recently rolled through Milwaukee, and of course I was at the show. No way I would ever miss this band live. They are one of my all-time favorites…And always will be. Roots Rock has always struck a huge chord in me, and The Bottle Rockets, as a band, in this genre, have always been at the top of the list with music fans. This tour was them and Marshall Crenshaw, who they were also the band for. Have seen these two on tour before, and it is always a great musical evening, and a lot of fun.
Mark Ortmann has been using a 1.5 Steel–6.5 x 14 exclusively live for some time now, and included it on a track on their new record: South Broadway Athletic Club. He has the greatest way of tuning this drum and his kit. They always all sound fantastic. The minute I walked in I could hear he had the snare tuned open and washy. He usually has the drum tuned to Mids, but this sounded fantastic. The club has a low ceiling and is small, and it fit the evening and the music perfectly.
The night before they were in Chicago and Brad Elvis (The Handcuffs/The Romantics) was at the show with Chloe Orwell, who is the lead vocalist and guitar player for The Handcuffs. Mark said Brad was standing at the back of the room and asked him later: “Is that a Beier Snare you are playing?”. That was a huge compliment. That is precisely what I am trying to accomplish here at Beier Drums: A consistent and identifiable sound. Brad also has several of my drums, and has performed live with them with The Romantics and The Handcuffs on a number of occasions.
Mark also uses Attack Heads which are impressive. I have used them before for drums for Jules Radino of Blue Oyster Cult, and David Dix of The Outlaws on an early drum of mine. They always have this wonderful open, and very natural sound.
Thanks Again Mark and to all of you guys. Without fail, it is always a great time to see all of you, and you were phenomenal live as always. Link below for a great clip of Mark live last Summer with his 1.5 Steel–6.5 x 14. He really is the Charlie Watts of Roots Rock. He is so steady, so consistent, and he always-always has the discipline to stay with the music, and never jump out of it. To me, that is drumming. That is music….