Mt. Clemens, MI- Another epic night of musical history went down at the historic Emerald Theatre in Mt Clemens this past Saturday Night as Detroit’s own Sponge revisited their 1994 breakout album, playing Rotting Piñata in its entirety, and in track listing order before a sold out crowd that infiltrated the entire downtown area all night long. An entire evening of entertainment sent a vibe through the air reminiscent of what is usually reserved for the annual Detroit Music Awards. Kicking of the night were local veteran rockers, Gon Publik, set the bar high as they ripped out a smooth groove, rockin the Emerald’s big stage with their classic style rock. Coming on strong was Something Utopic, who delivered a blazing set of energetic rock & roll that pumped a fresh breeze through the pa, settling over a crowd that was quickly growing to monumental proportions! Playing big gigs is something that Shockwave will have to get used to if this fledgling group of 15 yr olds keeps knocking them over as they did tonight. With a nod to the past, these guys brought the rock to the roll, the hands down “buzz” winner of the night as we were asked that illustrious question…..“did you see those kids, who where they?” at least a dozen times from the floor to the sidewalk as we made our way through and around the Theatre.
What an amazing sight to see, if not hear, and feel, was that “something special is happening” vibe overtaking the Emerald, and with the box office door lined up around the corner at 10pm, it was evident that the word was spreading across the Clem.
By the time Amy Gore and Her Valentines hit the stage, there was no turning back. In fact, if you hadn’t found your way to the front of the stage you were missing out on one of the hottest “new” bands to come out of Detroit. Amy Gore has been rocking not only Detroit but the whole damn country with her bands Gore Gore, Girls and Gorevette. This time Gore assembled Jackson Smith (Electric Six (and who is also married to Meg White)) on guitar, Leann Banks (the Von Bondies) on bass and Joe Leone (Grayling) hitting the skins. It took literally 2 ½ chords for Gore and Her Valentines to have all 1,500 gathered in front to be eating from there hands as they pounded out their newest single Drivin’ Around ,.
In the late 90's Sponge gained widespread notoriety with their debut album "Rotting Piñata." Hits like "Plowed" and "Molly (16 Candles)" fueled massive airplay on radio stations from coast to coast and were in heavy rotation on MTV and for the first time ever , Sponge gave fans a rare treat – performing "Rotting Piñata" in its entirety -and in CD track order - at the Emerald Theatre. Boy did they respond! Even with all the fanfare leading up to this moment, there was absolutely no doubt who this mass of people was here to see, as Screamin’ Scott Detroit’s brought out Sponge! Not only did the Emerald erupt, but you could see that sparkle returning to Vin’s eyes as they “plowed” (pun intended) through the certified gold album, pausing between hits to offer a bit of insight to what the band was going through during those whirlwind years.
But, as those final chords played on that big stage, a new, smaller, and definitely more intimate show was quietly swelling to capacity upstairs in the Rock Room. Not Enough Indians opened up this second show, nailing a 30 minute set that turned the heat up with a hot rockin slam fest that had the overflowing room dancing from the ceilings!
With a Gold Record in hand, Vinnie made his way through the crowd to meet up with his band mates while the fans showered him with their appreciation. What a scene to see as Sponge literally played face to face with there fans, giving them every ounce of energy they had left, kicking out their hits Party Till Ya Drop, Have You Seen Mary, and Destroy the Boy! Not sure how anyone else felt the next morning, but it looked like a lot of people were definitely looking to party till they dropped….think we were some of them! We just have to say on behalf of everyone who attended and all of us here at DetroitRockReview.com, Thank You Sponge, That Was a Riot!!!