Jun 28, 2012

Bang Tango - Ottobar

By Bob Suehs



June 28, 2012


Baltimore, MD

Joe Leste is the only original member still a part of Bang Tango BUT what many people don’t realize is just how long the current rhythm section for the band has been there....these are not new “add on” members; these guys have been in the band for several years & earned their place in Bang Tango via constant touring, writing, recording and doing their part to keep the Bang Tango name alive!


Interesting new things to the Bang Tango set included a few new songs off their recently released record, the band now have monogramed bass & guitar picks which they toss out to the crowd & their set list is no longer a hand written piece of paper. These days the set list is a cool computer print out with band graphics & naked women on it and it’s a cool souvenir for the fan who manages to snag it off the stage!

I chatted with drummer Trent for a few minutes after the show and he told me about the new Bang Tango documentary which was the brainchild of the director who shot the last few BT vids. Apparently he had a vision that he wanted to tell the Bang Tango story and he covered the entire career of the band via the documentary and he obtained interviews with all past members of the band. Trent told me that everyone from the past was cool with the band & the documentary accept for one member in particular who’s still upset that Joe uses and performs under the name Bang Tango. I won’t name the band member but I will say he’s the only guy who was also part of The Newlydeads.


The posted set list was not used for the most part because the band skipped around and would play some songs while skipping others so I don’t have an accurate set list although I did post a picture of the onstage set list because I was impressed with their design for the set list.

Joe sounded great vocal wise and that was something I had feared because some nights he’s really “on” while other nights it’s hit or miss depending upon how much Mr. Leste is partying. Joe was rather smitten with making fun of the bands guitar player and his new shirt this night & kept calling him a “Dukes of Hazzard” guy & Trent even yelled out that he looked like Greg Allman!

The set overall was loose, Joe told jokes throughout the night and even commented that Bang Tango had never really gone away, they stayed out there and avoided the places where the big crowds were and stayed where the smaller crowds were. Joe made me laugh when he kept going to the side of the stage to bring out more and more beers because usually a roadie will do that for the band but the Bang Tango guys are self sufficient & bring their own beers out.


“Attack of Life” sounded strong and solid, “Breaking up a Heart of Stone” was touching & emotional while “Love Injection” was groove/hook filled. “Don’t Stop” was probably my favorite song of the set and during the break down part of that song Joe asked a guy if he would give his girl to him for $100,000 and the funniest part was the girl in question wasn’t his girl & I knew that because I knew her!

Joe joked that there were more girls in the crowd this particular night than usual and he blamed the primary guys turn out on their new guitar player; this was said jokingly of course and Joe blamed his guitar players “Dukes of Hazzard” shirt.

Towards the end of the show Joe ranted about the concept of celebrity and how someone like Bono from U2 isn’t God or anything more than anyone else...then he went on to joke that after Bono made all that money from the Facebook deal that you haven't seen him doing anymore efforts to save the world because Bono’s so rich that he doesn’t care about that shit anymore!


Bang Tango used an opening bands gear as their backline so essentially the only thing they really brought with them was a guitar, a bass & a few small accessories. BT arrived in a car and had no tour van, trailer, etc., so I give the band props for traveling light and they actually gave Baltimore a really good, solid, slightly loose yet thoroughly entertaining set that lasted a little under 2 hours. “Highway to Hell”, “Dancin’ on Coals” & “Someone Like You” were the nights last 3 songs and a perfect way to end the show.


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