On Dead Rabbits and Designer Drugs

Pittsburgh is one weird city when it comes to live music. In early August, I went to Howlers in Bloomfield for a concert. There were two local openers, and the headliner that night was Dead Rabbits, a group from Georgia.

I was expecting nothing more than a regular bar gig. As per usual, I was blindsided. After getting on stage, the two-man Dead Rabbits ripped the carpet out from beneath us and started assaulting the blues mid-show. There was nothing more than a guitar, an amp, and a set of drums, and I’ll let you know that these whippersnappers’ performance would surely have the Black Keys thinking twice about playing the 12-bar blues again. The guitars, lush and with bass distortion, left no need for a bassist. Needless to say that this was a show that you walked out of buzzing with the high of testosterone and grinning like an over-sexed chimpanzee.

Well, what’s the point of my telling you about a show you missed, right? Check it.

Designer Drugs is coming to the Rex Theater this Thursday. You have no excuse not to be there: Tickets are only $10.50, and it’s a 17+ show, meaning even your kid sister can go.

Like with most DJs, with Designer Drugs it’s all about their live show. They’ve been through Pittsburgh two times in the past year and a half, so they must like something about the city, seeing as how most musicians find Pittsburgh to be one hell of a tough crowd. (More on that in a future Paperhouse.) The music, you ask? Electro. Hard electro.

Something that’s consistent throughout most Designer Drugs songs is a spooky “Dracula’s coming to town” synth such as the one found in “ZOMBIES!” Additionally, you can expect a show replete with fat synth bass blasts. Like most contemporary dance, the tempos are within the 128–132 bpm range, so it’s a blistering electro banger show.

-Juan Fernandez