Mississippi Cactus quenches thirst for rock and roll
Known for ecstatic three-hour sets drenched with high pitched rock and roll, hometown rockers Mississippi Cactus have a work ethic that doesn't lend itself to long breaks.
But when lead singer Brian Kasprzak moved to San Francisco last October, no one knew if the hard-hitting rock and roll outfit, together for 14 years, would return. A year passed with nothing new happening to the band until Kasprzak returned to his home city with a newly revitalized desire to play. The band decided to pick back up, plotting out a reunion tour to remind people that they're far from done.
The band will reconvene Friday night at Club Garibaldi, 2501 S. Superior St.
"We really missed playing and my brother missed being in Milwaukee and playing so there's going to be a lot of energy especially that first show back," says younger brother and drummer Mike Kasprzak.
With bassist Matt Turner and guitarist Mike Friedl back in the mix, there's no doubt that Mississippi Cactus plans to continue its hard-working ways.
It's this drive to present the in-your-face brand of rock and roll that caught the attention of not only their hometown music scene, but also the Midwest and East Coast scenes. For some time, Mississippi Cactus was one of the hottest bands around, setting attendance and bar sales records at Milwaukee venues in the early 2000s.
The key to that success is how the band shakes the rock and roll melting pot and creates its own sound by taking the vigor of '70s Rolling Stones rock and roll with kind of Black Crowes vibe and mixing in a modern touch.
"We all like the same kinds of music and at the same time we all like completely different kinds of music," says Mike Kasprzak. "We take everything we listen to and mix it all together and that's Mississippi Cactus."
With such a diverse sound that wades into many veins of rock and roll, the band's audience is just as varied. Jeff Hamilton, who booked the Club Garibaldi show, knows this well as he produced and performed as a sideman with the band for over 10 years.
"They have so much music, that they are able to do 'an evening with' show," Hamilton said. "Very few bands can do this. Many bands in town break up after they record their first CD or get a little recognition; these guys have been in the trenches for a dozen years now.
"They are the 'real' thing; you know that when watching them, so even if its not 'your thing' normally you know its honest and if you aren't such a tight-ass scenester, then maybe they have some tunes you will dig."
When it comes to performing live, the band is eager to get on stage and start having fun. Audience interaction keeps the band playing with full fledged energy the whole night.
"If the crowd starts dancing, you keep the song tempo up, keep them on the floor dancing and keep them happy," says Mike Kasprzak. "We used to play a gig for four hours straight and not take a break, which I don't see many bands doing that but we would do that to keep the people there. We wanted to keep people there and keep them happy and it seemed to work all the time."
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Mississippi Cactus always leaves the audience wanting LESS.
I was wondering what happened to these guys. Didn't know the singer moved away. Awesome that they're back!
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