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[whitespace] The Odd Numbers The Odd Numbers get set to break in the stage at the new Plant Fifty One.

The Light Fantastic

Trip Device brings big rock visuals to its small club shows

By Sarah Quelland

Preprogrammed lights pulse, dance and surge in time with the music, blinding the audience one moment, washing over it in ethereal waves of blue, green and magenta the next. This is a Trip Device show. But, as band founder and frontman Bryan Wright said, "They're just lights." His first priority is the music.

Just back from Corner Canyon Studios in Wright's home state of Utah, where the band is recording material for its forthcoming album (tentatively titled Countdown), Trip Device kicked off a big rock show at the Usual last Thursday (Feb. 21). Though Wright was still recovering from a cold he picked up on his long journey to Salt Lake City, his voice stood up well and the trio (which includes bassist Steve Ratcliff and drummer Matt Kolb) confidently delivered a set of its smart progressive-industrial songs. Trip Device and another local band, Ones and Zeros, seem to share a similar musical vision using drum loops, samples and sound effects to create a God Lives Underwater vibe. Different enough to keep it interesting, these two bands would make a great double feature. But for this show, Trip Device shared the marquee with Lonely Kings, Tenfold, Divided and Vent.

Vent releases its Atlantic Records debut in just a few months and seems to be doing a club run as a warm-up to work out any kinks in its live show. From Van Nuys, the group is fronted by Jason Boyd, a sexy, skinny little rock star with a massive voice who just happens to be brother to Incubus' Brandon Boyd. While the family resemblance is obvious, Vent's not an Incubus clone. Its super-intense brand of power-rock shows a little more strut that Incubus and, where Brandon's a pretty mellow guy onstage, Jason looks like he's been cultivating his Jim Morrison moves for years now. Vent may lack some of the depth Incubus has shown in its lyrics, but it makes up for it in dark, twisted songs like "Numb" and "Stalker." The group's disc, Papas Dojo (1999), is jammed with those sensitive power-rock melodramas radio stations and alt-rock fans can't get enough of. Vent should do well in this musical climate.

ALL THE NEWS: A new club called Plant Fifty One has just opened up in the space formerly occupied by San Jose's beloved Fuel. His eyes lighting up with excitement, congenial new owner and San Jose native Paul Kiely comes across like a kid with a new toy when talking about his plans for the venue. He's already booked two shows at his new club--the Odd Numbers play this Saturday (March 2) and Rolando Morales is scheduled for March 9--and is in the process of booking Zoo Story, Lisa Dewey, Triple Seven and John Wesley Harding. With Kiely and his business partner Joe Cirone still tidying up the loose ends of getting Plant Fifty One's permits approved and developing its music schedule, it's still fairly quiet at 44 S. Almaden Ave. But it won't be for long. ... Under new ownership, Limelight just reopened its doors in downtown Mountain View. Ages 18+ can hit the dance floor on Thursday's College Night, but Friday's Transition and Saturday's Groove Jet are restricted to 21+ only. ... Agenda is taking a new approach to its Tuesday nights. Starting next week (March 5), the downtown supper club hosts the "All-Star Lounge," a 10-week karaoke contest. Nightly winners take away $50 and qualify for the May 14 finals and a chance to win $500. Owner Jacek Rosicki plans to start up a jazzy series of outdoor patio funk and R&B shows in May. In the meantime, Broken English plays in the lounge this Wednesday (March 6). ... The Faction is making up for lost time. The legendary San Jose skate-punk group has a show coming up at the Catalyst on March 20 with MC Rad and the SK8 video premiere of 20 to Life. ... Blink-182, Green Day and Jimmy Eat World play Shoreline Amphitheatre on April 27 and the Oakland Arena on April 29 as part of their Pop Disaster tour.

PLAN AHEAD: 5 Dollar Shake, Polar, Stonecutters and Analog Heroes, Feb. 28 at the Cactus Club; Luce, Feb. 28 at the Icon Nightclub in Palo Alto; Fancy Hair Dragon and the Pimp Sticks, Feb. 28 at the Lido; Trip, Tiana Noyes and Atomic Mint, Feb. 28 at Fanny & Alexander's in San Jose; Super Diamond, March 1 at the Usual; Divided, Element of Surprise, Superchannel, Quitter and Phyllis, March 2 at the Cactus; Trip Device, March 3 at the Gaslighter Theater in Campbell; 5606, One Year Nothing, Soapbox Revolt and Fan 5, March 3 (matinee show) at the Cactus.

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From the February 28-March 6, 2002 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

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