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Kruddler (Thursday, March 3rd, Triple Rock Social Club, Minneapolis)

By Cyn Collins

I Kruddler.

Shows by this St. Paul trio of Shane Gallivan guitar/vocals, Tim Baumgart, drums, and Tony Zaccardi, bass—who named themselves after a horse in a Simpson’s episode—are always marked by boisterously fun, near perfect rock and roll.

I needed a “fix” after not having seen Kruddler for two months. There was a fair turnout at the Triple Rock Social Club show on Thursday; some St. Paul music fans had even ventured across the river to show support of Kruddler and later in the evening, Jake Wisti and the Centurions. (A review of the Centurions is forthcoming on this site.)

Gallivan was wearing the St. Paul “colors”: SPMC Turf Club t-shirt, SPMC stocking cap, and plaid pants. He called out a friendly “Kudos to Plate-of-Shrimp!” the bill’s openers, then ripped into new song “Pi.4.5”from their upcoming album. As four burly guys danced with sheer abandon against the Triple Rock rail, the rest of the crowd bopped their heads to the catchy rhythms and riffs.

Gallivan’s new Gibson Flying V guitar, a Christmas present from his wife, Viva, was eye-catching and wild sounding, This is the type of guitar Hendrix played in 1968, and the type Lenny Kravitz plays now. I gather playing it is akin to the feel of a supersonic jet vs. a small aircraft as Gallivan sadly informed me that he could no longer play his old beloved guitar after experiencing the Flying V.

Kruddler played, “I Don’t Want to be Liked Anymore,“ a personal favorite of mine, and a Kruddler trademark. The new “Ashley’s Ashes” exemplified Gallivan’s clever songwriting, and to put it bluntly, “rawked.” Baumgart’s ace drumming is influenced by Charlie Watts, John Bonham, and Ringo Starr. Tony Zaccardi’s bass playing, inspired by the Pixies’ Kim Deal and Nirvana’s Krist Novoselich, is outstanding.

Zaccardi sang his errant love song, “About Her,” with his warm smooth baritone. Because Kruddler never uses a set list, congenial Gallivan conferred with the audience, “What do you want to hear next? Do you want to hear Tony sing another of his songs?” A unanimous chorus of “YEAHHH!’s” indicated the affirmative, and Tony tore into the punk rock “Heart Attack.”

There was a lot of banter between Gallivan and the audience between songs, setting Kruddler aside as one of the most personable bands I’ve seen. Someone walked in, and Gallivan called out, “Walty’s in the house!” Then, “This next one is for our good friend, Dave, wherever he is,“ Gallivan scanned the audience bonded now by shared hilarity and camaraderie.

This next song, a cover of Cheap Trick’s “Surrender,” is also a Kruddler favorite. I discerned Cheap Trick rhythms earlier by this category-defying band. The audience hooted a lot at the end. Gallivan quipped, “That was actually the song I wanted to go to,” making fun of his selecting songs on the fly. This charming wisecracker then affected a funny voice, “Now we’re gonna do our THING.” That thing was a Gear Daddies-esque Kruddler classic, “Pour Me,” (another drink). This song is anthemic in the best sense.

I knew Kruddler’s coming across the river meant that they would give the West Bank a hard time. And sure enough, they did. Gallivan called out to the audience (remember: 25% East of the River folks) “We came from the East Side to play on the West Side! Show us your love for St. Paul!” Silence. Not even a word from the St. Paulites who were perhaps afraid to reveal themselves. Gallivan repeated the request, and you could have heard a pin drop. Gallivan began chanting with mock ferocity, “Give us your love! Drop it like it’s HOT!” to titters as the crowd was reveling in making Gallivan beg for love from anywhere. Everyone laughed, as Gallivan pretended to come unhinged by this apparent “lack of love.”

Kruddler tore into “She Knows,” a Bad Religion rhythm-injected song. A Star Wars “Best Android” discussion with the audience and bandmates ensued. I have never laughed so hard at a rock show. Gallivan then gave fashion advice to an audience member in need.

Gallivan polled us for the next song. A new fan yelled, “#8! I’ve never seen you guys before and I want to hear #8.” Gallivan deadpanned, “Maybe you should see more of our shows. We’ve been here two weeks, for god sake. Maybe we should stay here longer. Is there an opening here next week?” he yelled to the bartender, who grinned and nodded. “Okay, then!”

That didn’t actually pan out, but Kruddler does play at the Hexagon on Friday, March 11.

Cyn Collins is at cyn.collins[at]

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