Level 7 - A drummer, bass player, and keyboardist immediately lay down a nice sound comprised of rock, blues, and a nice trippy piano. The first of two vocalists begins with female lounge singing. The male vocalist awaits his cue as the band plays on. Then the careful atmosphere gets a blast of hip hop when the male vocalist begins his rap. This is pretty much the formula for the rest of the night. A decent band, good female vocals, and male rap with little singing. Normally, I like it when a hip hop band uses real musicians and this one had plenty of that. But here I found the hip hop more of a distraction for a good band that may be able to do things in a better way. There was some irony in a critical rap of the hip hop business, but I could not pull out all of the words on first listen. One song really reminded me of John Hawken's playing with the Strawbs and early Renaissance. At the risk of sounding like Andrew Loog Oldham kicking out Ian Stewart from the Rolling Stones, I would like to hear this band without the raps. But truth be told, I might be in the minority on that one as crowd response was decent. This is only their second show, so we will see what happens over time.
The Fed - A power trio is up next with the guitarist handling most of the vocals. I was first interested in the bass playing as I noticed he was left handed playing a bass designed for right-handers. Not unusual there, but then I noticed the strings were for a right-hander as well. So I can add him to my list which includes Dick Dale and the guitarist for the Entrance Band as guys that play upside down. Not as tough on the bass, but still it looks a challenge. Anyway, the band does some pretty decent down and dirty rock'n'roll here. They are a bit like a punk band covering the Troggs and Brownsville Station. They lose me a bit on the jams as it is way too plodding. But when they pick up the pace, it isn't too bad. They need some work, but it could happen.
Thundertyts - This is the final show of this short-lived band with a couple of guys I have seen in Little Bigheart over the years. The guitarist will continue on in Mercies and I hope they all will stay active as they have a great modern take on some of the sounds of my youth. This band focused on jamming away at some classic underground styled rock such as Keef Hartley or Steamhammer. They laid it all out for over 50 minutes and friends and fans had a nice time. Keep me posted on any new bands, guys.
Quote of the Night: from the rapper of Level 7... "...talking to the Fed who played the Velvet Lounge recently. It's been around a while and you should go there... a lot of local bands play there, it's great... and DC-9 is great."