The Go’s Detroit heritage comes up in every single piece of press on the band–and with their dark shades, shaggy dos, and murky production, that’s obviously exactly what they want. On the band’s recent debut album, Whatcha Doin’ (Sub Pop), guitarists Jack White (who’s since been replaced by Dion Fischer) and John Krautner never quite evoke the sheer terror that the MC5’s Fred “Sonic” Smith and Wayne Kramer or the Stooges’ Ron Asheton could, but the Go do understand something about their predecessors that nearly every other Motor City wannabe doesn’t: the essential rhythm ‘n’ blues groove. As hip-shaking jams like “Summer Sun Blues” and “Suzy Don’t Leave” demonstrate, it takes something more than velocity and volume. (Sometimes, as in the latter, it can be aided immeasurably by some well-placed hand claps.) I’ve never seen the band live, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see singer Bobby Harlow running through Iggy’s moves onstage; vocally, however, he sounds more like another Detroit icon, Mitch Ryder. In fact, the Go’s trump card is their tunefulness: the ascending harmonies in the chorus of “It Might Be Bad” recall the Sweet’s bubblegum-glam hit “Fox on the Run,” and the catchy hook leaps out of the otherwise grinding “Tired of the Night” like a strobe flash in a cave. The Nerves headline. Saturday, 10 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western; 773-276-3600. PETER MARGASAK
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Doug Combe.