Film Star Reeves Joins Rock Band
by Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle.
Section: TEMPO, Page: 8
Well-known actor Keanu Reeves and his new band Dogstar packed the huge local rock club One Step Beyond for a recent concert.
Reeves, in a surfer-boy crew-cut and black T-shirt, played bass and - aside from the fact that the bass was cranked up to abnormal McCartney-concert levels - you'd never know just walking in that he was the guy, the whole reason the joint was packed.
He barely said anything. A few times he bopped up to the microphone, muttered something and pointed at the crowd in a friendly way, but it was impossible to make out any of it. And the one song he sang - in a strong, thin voice - no one could hear because he kept forgetting to sing into the microphone.
That lost-in-the clouds, self-effacing thing Reeves does in his movies ("Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure") seems to be genuine. Reeves just played his bass, not acting like a star, not acting like someone consciously trying not to act like a star, but just oblivious.
At one point an overwrought young woman threw herself onto the stage and had to be carried out. That this should happen so early in Reeves' rock 'n' roll career - it's sort of like getting your Ph.D. on the first day of college.
Dogstar is not a good band. It's not a bad band. It's three friends making noise.
They murdered Jonathan Richman's "Roadrunner" - there was just nothing left of it. They took a hammer to Kingfish's "Jump for Joy." And their originals sound something like Flipper meets an industrial accident.
But let's not forget what this is. This is the time-honored thing of a movie star trying out being a rock star. You shouldn't expect too much.
It's also three guys getting out of the garage and having fun. Some of their fun translates into the experience of seeing them.