Cincinnati Garage Rock heroes The Mortals haven’t played a live show in nearly a quarter of a century. But on Dec. 28, the band will be bringing its hiatus to an end — at least for one night — and rock Woodward Theater to its foundation.
Tickets for the band’s first (and maybe last?) show of the 21st century are on sale now here.
The Mortals formed in 1989 and featured Steve Gatch on vocals, William Grapes and Denny Brown on guitars, Mike Grimm on drums and Matt Becher on bass. Scott Haggerty played bass with the band for its final two years; both bassists will be performing at the Woodward show.
An amazing live band fueled by frontman Gatch's stage presence and Grapes' fantastic songwriting, The Mortals were signed to Bellingham, Wash. label Estrus Records, the preeminent independent label for Garage Rock at the time and home to releases by bands like Mono Men, The Mummies, The Makers, Gas Huffer, The Mooney Suzuki, Soledad Brothers, Immortal Lee County Killers, Man or Astroman?, The Dexateens, Southern Culture on the Skids and others.
Estrus’ favored label status helped The Mortals develop a cult following amongst Garage Rock devotees worldwide and the band did shows across the country, including at the label’s annual Garage Shock festival. The band split in 1995.
Joining The Mortals on the Dec. 28 date are The Tigerlilies, contemporaries of the band who continue to play and release great new music to this day. The two acts have more than an era and hometown in common — Brown played in The Tigerlilies for a few years and Tigerlilies singer/guitarist Pat Hennessy appeared as the James Bond-ian figure on the cover of The Mortals’ 1994 album release, Bulletproof.