When I look back at the time that has passed since my first Joe Iconis experience, The Blacksuits at SPF in '08, I'm embarrassed by how closely I've followed his career, how much money I've spent on his shows, and how much I adore just about every song that has worked its way into my brain. But I am not afraid to say that I am a huge fan of Joe's music and that I have never been so convinced that someone is destined for greatness. From his outlook on the business and his determination to keep his friends close, to the sheer talent of his music and the wit of his lyrics, if he creates something, I want to see it.
Needless to say, I have been highly anticipating Joe's latest show, a full length music done as a part of his residency at Ars Nova. Fully titled Bloodsong of Love: The Rock 'n' Roll Spaghetti Western, this show does not disappoint in bringing a distinctly Joe Iconis voice and presence to the stage in a hilarious, irreverent parody and send-up of the Spaghetti Western. For one thing, the usual suspects are all here, shining in their multiple roles. Eric William Morse gets his cowboy on, MK Lawson plays the camp out of her heroine role, and Jason "Sweet Tooth" Williams lends sweet vocals with some winking narration. Lance Rubin steals the show in countless areas as sidekick "Banana," and Jeremy Morse delights in creepiness and ruthlessness as the shows villain, while Katrina Rose Dideriksen brought the house down with a few choice notes and played a string of bizarre characters, including a footless prostitute.
The music, as always, was flawless. Not a weak song in the bunch with a lot of solid motifs that help carry the story through. There's the unforgiving rock undertone, but it gives way to a sound that sets the scenes for a Western show down. "Last on Land" only dazzles even more in context, and a string of other songs voices the dusty, worn hearts of an open road.
Anyone who has seen Joe's concerts will recognize some of his trademark humor throughout, and there are a few choice gags involving walks across the desert plain and lots and lots of blood.
Overall, it's a fun evening with a lot of unexpected twists. Believe the Bloodsong.