Last night I drove to Greensboro to see one of my all-time favorite NC bands, Rebar. Their heyday was the mid-late 90s, and their claim to fame was a catalog of songs that took the skewed guitar-driven indie-rock of the time, and intermittently fucked with the speed control. They’d be cruising along at a semi-normal tempo & then suddenly everything would smear and slow down to a crawl.
(Their other claim to fame was an unexpectedly brilliant end-to-end cover of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, which they performed maybe a half-dozen times to crowds of people with mouths hanging open in astonishment.)
Rebar split up nearly 20 years ago. Their breakup was an odd one — guitarist Masa Koyama had to return to Japan (maybe something to do with visa expiry — it was a long time ago & my memory is fuzzy). They briefly reformed around the turn of the millennium with guitarist Scott Hicks but couldn’t regain the momentum.
Cut to this summer: some oldschool Greensboro folks decided to throw a homecoming/reunion weekend, complete with band reunions. Conversations started. The next thing we knew, word trickled out that Masa had booked a plane ticket & Rebar would be playing.
So it was that ~75 middle-aged people (and maybe 25-30 of their kids) convened on a farm outside of Greensboro last night to sit around in the twilight, catch up on old times, and watch Rebar (as well as even-older Greensboro band Slowchange Madagascar) shamble through a set of songs that sounded as fresh and weird now as they did 20 years ago.
I only shot video of one song, “Acquaintances.” Here it is:
As sometimes happens, the momentum built up via the reunion planning overflowed & resulted in the band finally getting it together enough to master & release the full-length album that they had completed but never released. It is phenomenal. You can buy it here. I strongly encourage you to do so.