tresmts1.jpg
Dave Lake
Tres Mts.

Wednesday, March 16 Showbox at the Market

It might seem bold to name your band Three Mountains. Unless of course you're

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Tres Mts Debuts Their Hard, Soulful Grooves at Inaugural Gig, Last Night at the Showbox

tresmts1.jpg
Dave Lake
Tres Mts.

Wednesday, March 16 Showbox at the Market

It might seem bold to name your band Three Mountains. Unless of course you're a hard-rock supergroup that includes members of Pearl Jam, King's X, and the Fastbacks, in which case it makes perfect sense. It also makes perfect sense when you rock the faces off of all those who attended your first ever gig.

Led by Doug Pinnick of King's X, who resembles a palm tree more than a mountain, and featuring Jeff Ament of Pearl Jam and Richard Stuverud of the Fastbacks, the band's self-titled debut was many years in the making, but was finally unveiled Wednesday at Showbox at the Market. The album was released digitally this week (with CD and vinyl releases following later this month), and the gig also kicked off a mini-tour that will take them to SXSW and eventually the East Coast for a half-dozen shows before concluding with a March 24 appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

So what do they sound like? Pretty much what you'd get if you crossed Pearl Jam with King's X, which is to say soulful hard rock with heavy grooves and room to jam. Pinnick has always been one of the most underrated performers in rock, with a unique and powerful voice, a byproduct of his love for Motown and growing up in a Southern Baptist choir. Along with Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready--Tres Mts' unofficial fourth member--the band blazed through most of their debut, which ranges from the pounding first single, "My Baby," to the mellow gospel of "God Told Me."

For a first gig, the band seemed well-rehearsed and in sync. There weren't any hiccups during the set, and all four men could hardly contain their smiles. "You're making us feel really good," Pinnick said between songs. The King's X frontman played guitar during the set, not bass like in his other band, his lanky frame topped with a trilby hat. Stuverud's enthusiasm, meanwhile, could hardly be contained, and the ex-Fastbacks drummer could barely keep his rear planted on his seat as he pounded his kit with sticks, mallets, and even maracas, somehow managing to sing lovely harmonies as well. Ament, bearded and bandana'd, and McCready, sporting a green T-shirt with Suffragette City written across it, showed off their arena-rock moves, including some incredible guitar faces from the PJ guitarist, who hammed it up for the crowd and tossed out handfuls of stickers.

For their encore, the band played a trio of covers, including Roxy Music's "In Every Dream Home's a Heartache," which McCready kicked off on keyboards; ZZ Top's "La Grange"; and Jimi Hendrix's "Fire," which ended the show. With busy years planned for both Pearl Jam and King's X, it's unclear just how active Tres Mts will get to be in the coming months, but if their show at the Showbox Wednesday night was any indication of what we can expect from the band, you won't want to miss their show when it next plays in town (or comes to yours).

Overheard from the stage: "I need a raspberry kamikaze," said Pinnick, during a break in the set.

Costume change: McCready returned for the encore sporting a collared shirt and black blazer over his T-shirt.

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