The Fire Apes
Art’s Bar & Grill
Oct. 31

Charleston band The Fire Apes returned to the scene this summer, when singer/guitarist John Seymour and drummer Tommy Hamer welcomed lead guitarist Jeff Bateman and bassist Dave Stewart to the lineup. In recent weeks, they’ve worked through a string of casual Saturday night sets at Art’s Bar & Grill In Mt. Pleasant. In front of a small crowd, Halloween’s (very) late-night show was about as laid-back as they’ve been all season. It rocked. They were tight.

No stage, no frills, no cover charge — Art’s is an ideally low-stress gig in which to try out new tunes and polish a setlist.

Known for their slick black suits and neckties, the Apes do less formal things at the Art’s gigs. On Saturday, they dressed down more than usual. Seymour looked the sharpest and most Angus Young-like in his sportcoat and Gibson SG, while Hamer showed up with a green bandit mask painted across his face.

After a few rounds of beers, whiskeys, and Red Bulls, the band kicked off with a faithful rendition of Deep Purple’s “Hush” and bounced right into a tight version of “Hey Kate,” a recent favorite original tune among Apes fans. A dense, guitar-heavy cover of ABBA’s “S.O.S.” followed. The boisterous zig-zag from clever covers to similarly catchy songs of their own set the pace for the night — and with the Daylight Savings time change on their side, the beery, harmony-laden, power-chord pop-rock sets zig-zagged all the way to 2:30 a.m.

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