Concert Sutra Explores Vietnam
by terri sapp
photographs taken by terri sapp
© Concert Sutra, All Rights Reserved
The buzz around Atlanta currently surrounds local Georgia legends reincarnated after many years for our pleasure, Vietnam. From all the way back to the 1980’s, which doesn’t seem that long ago, Vietnam still rocks the stage as gracefully as ever! Unapologetic and in your face, these folks exude the essence of what any music lover would deem ROCK AND ROLL. The most recent lineup of Vietnam includes Stan Satin (lead vocals, saxophone), David Dean (keyboards, vocals), Zod (drums), Laurie G-Force (bass, vocals), and John Stun (guitar, vocals). I never saw them in earlier decades, but here and now, I will see them again and again! The Vietnam experience feels great. The music rocks out, and the people behind it are warm and humble. I can’t wait for my next opportunity to get some of that energy on December 16, 2006 at the Scared Records Showcase at Lenny’s in Atlanta.
My first look at Vietnam happened on October 7, 2006 at a very unique venue in Atlanta called the Eyedrum. When I first walked into the Eyedrum, there were some synthesizer players to my right, and a gallery containing art to my left. The art on this particular night involved very tedious needle work with sewing needles in the shapes of pin up shaped women in different situations. I was immediately intrigued. Straight ahead was the area where the bands play. It is a separate room from the many gallery areas with a stage. Upon arrival, we met David Dean, Laurie G-Force, and Stan Satin greeting folks coming in to see them and the various art shows. Vietnam was on fire at the Eyedrum. You can find clips of video from this show on their band, and individual, MySpace accounts, which can all be found at http://www.myspace.com/vietnam80.
My next available time with Vietnam occurred on the weekend before Halloween, my favorite time of year! They played a Halloween themed show at Club 29 in Decatur on October 28, 2006. I was pleased to join the monster fun, costume and all. My rendition of Carrie White, covered in “blood,” with blood-spattered prom date on my arm, was a real hit! Stan Satin even told me that if they had had a costume contest, I would have won, for sure!! Club 29 is pretty cool. The stage is nice, and the dance floor kicks ass! Many were dressed for the occasion, but several were dressed as STICKS IN THE MUD, a.k.a. no costume. This was a very special weekend for me, and Vietnam contributed tremendously.
The set lists included old and new songs from Vietnam. Always a favorite, “I B B B” pulls the crowd in immediately with the sound of the saxophone loud, and staccato. “Teeth” is an exotic sounding song with many facets. David Dean’s synthesizing mixes well with Stan’s sexy saxophone. Anyone who knows me, or has kept up with the Concert Sutra over the years, knows that I am partial to the saxophone. I just love the horns! This makes Vietnam an absolute favorite of mine, because Stan Satin is a madman on the sax!!! The sounds he makes on that horn, as well as with his vocal cords, make me very happy.
“It Don’t Work” is a great live experience. The cow bell, and Laurie G-Force’s bass compliment the wonderfully melodic saxophone quite well. This is one of my favorite Vietnam songs. The vocals give me a wiggle every time. I find myself singing this song in my day to day life. It visits me at work when I least expect it…just pops in my head. “OOOOOOOOOOOO…why don’t you go to hell…it don’t work…” Actually, it does work, if you are talking about Zod’s bombastic beats! It works for booty shaking, that’s for sure. “12 or 13” gets a little spooky at first, but quickly runs into a rocking group effort. Stan and David sing together a lot on this one. I love harmonies.
A nice and slow one, “Failing” makes the ladies want to sway back and forth! John Stun’s guitar keeps it going. The guitar is my favorite on “Failing!” “Scorchothon” is fun! Upbeat and moving, no one can sit still for this! David Dean freaks out on the keys, and Zod RIPS the drum set. What a combination these guys (and Laurie G-Force) are! The bass hits my deepest guts! One of my favorite songs from the latest album, Past Away, “Harte” has no lyrics, but kills musically. The sax line of “Harte” is pleasing to my ears! Stan’s vocals consist of noises that could be found in a Zoo, and/or a Carmon Miranda show! I dance every time I hear Vietnam’s “Harte.”
The crowds at both of the shows I attended in October were more than welcoming to the slow dance numbers, like “Match Your Equal.” The song sounds sweet, but the lyrics suggest a darker side to this seemingly sweet ballad. Of course, Vietnam’s slow songs never seem to be slow the whole way through. This makes for a little swaying, and a little shaking all at the same time. Man, Zod is a beast on the drum kit! On a different note, “California” is headed up by the misleadingly quiet guitar player, John Stun. One of the bands newer songs, it was written as a group with the new line up. John Stun vocalizes with Stan on “California,” but the band members join in on this edgy ditty. “California” has a rough and tumble feel, with an extremely sexy drum and bass line. I LOVE this new material! “Bobby Jameson” bounces the entire room. David Dean, and John Stun really shine on this one. Zod and Laurie, of course, kick ass, as they are an exquisite team. “Enough is said, ok?” The lyrics here are too funny to me. I think there may have been an argument that lead up to the writing of this song. That is just my guess.
Always my favorite time of the night is when they get funky with “(Or Is It That You) Never Lost It?” The saxophone part of this song pulled me in from the first time Noel played their music for me riding down 285 in the car. John Stun’s guitar is also very playful. I have to say that one of the best parts of Stan’s impeccable vocals is when he starts squealing and hits the falsettos. This is usually coupled with flailing about the stage and other wild antics! I LOVE IT!!! For this, and many reasons, it is always sad to come to the end of the Vietnam show. “Polythene Pam” apparently comes to quite a few Vietnam shows. She sounds like a good time!
“Missing In Action” is one of Laurie G-Force’s songs, which ended the shows with a bang! One word…ROCK! Zod and John really kick it together on MIA! Zod is an animal! Vietnam always leaves me wanting more.
For another opportunity to view my photo gallery, hosted by Concert Sutra’s wonderful photographer that has been on a hiatus that we hope will be ending very soon, Leah Yetter, go to: http://www.concertsutra.com/06vietnam/. Also, check out the in depth interview I was lucky enough to conduct with Vietnam. Most importantly, if you see the opportunity to catch Vietnam playing live, don’t miss it.